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Ahoy! Learn to Fold a Toilet Paper Origami Sailboat

Share it, boy!

You have absolutely nothing better to do right now than jump up, run to the nearest bathroom and learn how to fold a toilet paper origami boat. Seriously. Bonus points if you’re near a public bathroom and you spend the day re-folding the toilet paper every time someone leaves the stall.

I’m going to let you know right now that I happen to enjoy the crispy, cheap toilet paper instead of the creepy fluffy stuff that feels like I want to punch it, so I can’t attest to how this will hold up on that.

For as easy as this looks, and it is once you have the hang of it, you first few boats will look like utter crap. (Did you catch the poop reference?)

Practice a bunch of times until you figure out the proportions you like for the sail to hull ratio, the fatness or thinness of the sail, etc. You’ll see which folds affect what as you practice.

I found it strangely satisfying to focus on this one simple activity for a while until I mastered it, because my brain has become so sadly unused to focusing on anything.

Instructions For the Toilet Paper Origami Sailboat:

  • Unfold a section of toilet paper against the wall behind where it is hanging.
  • Fold down the 2 corners toward you to meet in the middle.
  • Fold the whole piece back down onto the roll and fold back the 2 edges to make a new point. You can kinda see what’s going on in the photo, but I recommend you watch the video to see this fancy move more clearly.

toilet paper origami sailboat steps br scaled

4. Fold this whole piece back up the roll at the top of this v-shape so you see your original folds. 5. Fold the bottom edge of the t.p. up to just cover the bottom edges of these folds. 6. Fold the little bottom corners under. 7. Now say ‘toilet paper origami sailboat’ 5 times fast.

origami toilet paper sailboat 2 br scaled

Why You Must Learn This Important Life Skill

  • It can be your “calling card” for one night stands.
  • You can amuse yourself in the bathroom stall while your 3 year old is trying to poop for 25 minutes.
  • You can hire yourself out for parties.
  • People love when the toilet paper they are about to wipe their butt with has already been manhandled.
  • You will surprise and delight your children.

Here, have a video. it’s easier to see the steps, and I have a special thumbnail with the remains of some random pink nail polish on it.

Here is the nautical shot I took:

Like random projects? Why don’t you draw these with me:

  • A cute fish-bear
  • This stunning diamond

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Toilet Paper Origami Boat

origami toilet paper

Toilet Paper Origami Boat Instructions

  • Lift up approximately one and a half “squares” of toilet paper. Fold the two corners down so the edges meet at the center.  
  • Lower the toilet paper back onto the roll.  
  • Fold in the left and right edges a little. The amount you fold-in is up to personal taste. If you fold-in a lot, the sail of the boat will be narrow. If you fold-in a little, then the sail will be wide.  
  • Valley fold the bottom part of the toilet paper up so you have a triangle.  
  • Roll the toilet paper down a little so the triangle is centered.  
  • Fold up the bottom edge of the triangle. The amount of paper to fold is up to personal taste; a narrow fold will give you a shallow hull whereas a wide fold will give you a deeper hull.  
  • Mountain fold the left and right side of the hull of the boat made in the step above. This shapes the bow and stern of the sailboat.  
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how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

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how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Sail Away Blog

Learn How to Make a Sailboat Origami: Step-by-Step Guide

Alex Morgan

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Origami, the art of paper folding, offers endless possibilities for creative expression. Making a sailboat origami is a delightful project that showcases both the elegance and simplicity of this craft. Perfect for beginners and experienced origami enthusiasts alike, creating a sailboat from a single sheet of paper is a delightful and rewarding experience.

To get started with sailboat origami, there are a few materials you will need. These include a square piece of paper, preferably thin and lightweight, that can easily be folded and manipulated. You may also want to have a ruler or bone folder on hand to ensure precise and crisp folds.

In this step-by-step guide, we will take you through the process of making a sailboat origami from start to finish. We will cover each step, including folding the base, creating the sail, and forming the hull. The instructions will be presented in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for you to follow along and create your own sailboat.

As with any craft, there are tips and tricks that can help you achieve the best results with your sailboat origami. We will share some insightful techniques that can make the folding process easier and more efficient. We will explore variations of the sailboat origami, such as adding color and patterns or using different paper sizes, allowing you to customize your creations and make them unique.

Beyond the joy of creating something beautiful, sailboat origami offers various benefits and applications. It can enhance fine motor skills as you manipulate the paper and execute precise folds. The finished origami sailboat can be used for decoration and display, whether it’s as a centerpiece on a table or as part of a nautical-themed room.

By delving into the world of sailboat origami, you can unlock your creativity, engage in a relaxing and meditative activity, and bring a touch of elegance and charm to your surroundings. Let’s dive in and explore the captivating art of making a sailboat origami!

Key takeaway:

  • Sailboat origami is a fun and creative craft that can be easily made with simple materials.
  • By following a step-by-step guide, anyone can learn how to make a sailboat origami and create their own little paper boats.
  • Adding color, patterns, and experimenting with different paper sizes allows for creative variations in sailboat origami.
  • Sailboat origami is not only a fun activity, but it also enhances fine motor skills and can be used for decoration and display purposes.

Materials Needed for Sailboat Origami

To create a sailboat origami, you will require the following materials: a square sheet of paper (preferably origami paper or any decorative paper), a flat and clean surface to work on, and a pair of scissors (optional, if any cuts are necessary).

Origami , a traditional Japanese art form of paper folding that has been prevalent for ages, is the foundation of sailboat origami . Sailboat origami is a representation of the elegance and simplicity of sailing and is said to have originated in Japan , a country with a rich sailing heritage. In today’s world, people from all walks of life enjoy the art of sailboat origami as a calming and imaginative pastime.

Crafting sailboat origami is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, due to the simplicity of the required materials. The process of molding the paper into a sailboat shape is not only enjoyable but also encourages personal expression by allowing individuals to choose from a variety of colors and patterns. So gather your materials and let your imagination embark on a voyage as you create your own breathtaking sailboat origami masterpiece.

Step-by-Step Guide on Making a Sailboat Origami

Looking to embark on a creative journey into the world of origami? In this step-by-step guide, we’ll sail through the process of making a sailboat origami. From folding the base to creating the sail and forming the hull, each sub-section will navigate you through the art of crafting an elegant sailboat with precision and finesse. So grab your paper and let’s set sail on this origami adventure!

Step 1: Folding the Base

The initial step in the process of creating a sailboat origami involves folding the base. You can follow these specific steps to accomplish this:

1. To start, obtain a square sheet of paper.

2. Fold the paper in half diagonally, forming a triangular shape.

3. Unfold the paper and then fold it diagonally in the opposite direction, creating another triangle.

4. Unfold the paper once more and rotate it 90 degrees.

5. Fold the paper in half horizontally, bringing the top edge down to meet the bottom edge.

6. Unfold the paper and proceed to fold it in half vertically, aligning the left edge with the right edge.

7. After unfolding the paper once again, you will notice a crease in the middle that resembles a cross shape.

8. Choose one corner of the paper and fold it towards the center, ensuring it aligns with the crease resembling a cross.

9. Repeat the previous step with the remaining three corners, folding them towards the center and aligning them with the cross-shaped crease.

10. Firmly press down on the folded edges to secure the base of your sailboat origami.

It is essential to note that origami is an art form that originated in Japan and has been practiced for centuries. It involves the skill of folding paper into various shapes and figures without utilizing any cutting or adhesive materials.

Step 2: Creating the Sail

In order to create a sailboat origami, the second step entails the process of making the sail. Follow these steps precisely to successfully create the sail:

1. Begin by taking a square piece of paper and fold it in half diagonally, shaping it into a triangle.

2. Proceed by folding the right corner of the triangle downwards, towards the bottom corner, which will ultimately create a smaller triangle.

3. Repeat step 2, but this time with the left corner of the triangle, folding it down towards the bottom corner.

4. Now, fold the top point of the triangle downwards towards the bottom, resulting in a small square at the top.

5. Carefully unfold the previous fold and proceed to fold the square in half towards the back, effectively producing the desired sail shape.

Here’s a pro-tip to enhance the overall appearance of your sailboat origami: consider using patterned or colored paper, as it will undoubtedly make your creation stand out from the rest.

Step 3: Forming the Hull

  • Take the base of your origami sailboat and fold it in half diagonally to create a triangle shape with the opening facing downwards .
  • Fold the bottom right corner of the triangle up towards the top point , about one-third of the way up, lining up the folded edge with the center crease .
  • Repeat the previous step with the bottom left corner , folding it up towards the top point and lining up the folded edge with the center crease .
  • Create a small triangle shape at the top by folding the top point of the triangle down towards the center . This will be the bow of your sailboat.
  • Flip the sailboat over and repeat the previous steps on the other side to create a symmetrical hull .
  • Create a more rounded shape by slowly pinching and shaping the sides of the hull inward. This will make your sailboat look more realistic .
  • Your sailboat hull is now formed and ready to be displayed or used for decoration .

Tips and Tricks for Sailboat Origami

  • Choose thin paper: Use origami paper or wrapping paper for easier folding.
  • Follow clear instructions: Find easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions or video tutorials.
  • Practice folding techniques: Learn valley folds, mountain folds, and squash folds for creating sailboat parts.
  • Precision is key: Make neat and accurate folds for a clean sailboat.
  • Experiment with different sizes: Try folding sailboats of various sizes for variation.

Origami sailors in 17th century Japan crafted miniature sailboats as art. These folded boats represented good luck and prosperity in households. Over time, sailboat origami techniques and designs advanced, and it remains a popular form of origami worldwide. With intricate folding techniques, sailboat origami combines creativity and precision.

Origami Sailboat Variations

Looking to add a splash of creativity to your origami sailboat? In this section, we’ll explore exciting variations you can make to your origami sailboat that will surely catch the eye. Get ready to take your paper-folding skills to the next level as we dive into different options, including adding vibrant colors and patterns , as well as experimenting with various paper sizes. Prepare to be amazed by the multitude of possibilities for creating unique and captivating sailboat origami designs.

Option 1: Adding Color and Patterns

Adding Color and Patterns

Incorporating color and patterns into your sailboat origami can greatly enhance its visual appeal. Consider using origami paper in various vibrant colors to create an eye-catching sail. You can either choose complementary colors or express your personal style through your color selection. To incorporate patterns, you have the option to draw or print designs on the origami paper before folding it into a sail. This allows for the creation of unique and customizable patterns that will make your sailboat truly stand out. Another convenient option is to use decorative paper that already has pre-printed patterns , providing a quick and effortless way to add visual interest. There are countless choices available, ranging from beautiful floral prints to captivating geometric designs . By adding color and patterns, you not only increase the aesthetic appeal of your sailboat origami but also have the opportunity for self-expression. Don’t hesitate to experiment with various color combinations and patterns to create sailboats that reflect your creativity and personal style.

Option 2: Using Different Paper Sizes

The “Option 2: Using Different Paper Sizes” in sailboat origami allows for creativity and customization. By using different paper sizes, you can create sailboats of various dimensions. This adds variety and visual interest to your origami collection.

To explore this option, experiment with paper sizes such as 6×6 inches , 8×8 inches , or larger sizes like 12×12 inches . Each size will give a unique result and allow for different levels of intricacy in folding.

Using smaller paper sizes, like 6×6 inches , will result in cute and delicate sailboats. They make great decorations or gifts. Using larger paper sizes, like 12×12 inches , creates bigger sailboats that can be used as centerpieces or displayed prominently.

Keep in mind that different paper sizes may require adjustments to the folding techniques and proportions. For instance, larger paper sizes may require wider folds or additional steps to maintain the structural integrity of the sailboat.

By experimenting with different paper sizes, you can fully explore your creative potential and create a diverse fleet of sailboat origami. Unleash your creativity by utilizing the varying paper sizes in this option.

Benefits and Applications of Sailboat Origami

Unleash your creativity and enhance your fine motor skills as we explore the captivating world of sailboat origami . Discover the benefits and wide range of applications that sailboat origami offers. From improving dexterity to creating stunning decorations , this section will delve into the captivating sub-sections of enhancing fine motor skills and the art of decoration and display. Prepare to set sail on a journey of artistic expression and practicality!

Enhancing Fine Motor Skills

Start with a square piece of paper.

Fold the paper in half diagonally to form a triangle .

Fold the triangle in half again, bringing the corners together.

Fold the bottom right corner up towards the top point.

Repeat the previous step with the bottom left corner.

Fold the bottom edge of the triangle up towards the top point.

Fold the bottom edge of the triangle up again, creating a small flap.

Open the flaps on both sides to form the sail of the sailboat .

Shape the hull of the sailboat using your fingers.

Hold the sailboat gently by the hull and let it float in a bowl of water.

Practice precise paper folding to improve hand-eye coordination and enhance fine motor skills .

Challenge yourself by using different paper sizes to further develop fine motor skills .

Enhance your creativity and the visual appeal of your origami sailboat by experimenting with different colors and patterns.

Display your sailboats as decorations around your house to showcase your handiwork and boost your self-confidence.

Decoration and Display

To decorate and display your sailboat origami, consider the following ideas:

  • Add color and patterns: Use a small decorative box or a glass case to enhance the decoration and display of your sailboat origami.
  • Use different paper sizes: Place your origami sailboat inside a shadow box frame to create depth and visual interest for the display.

By incorporating decoration and display techniques, you can make your sailboat origami visually appealing. Utilize colored paper or paint and markers to enhance the design and incorporate patterns. Experimenting with various paper sizes can create a captivating display. Try using larger or smaller paper sizes to achieve a variety of sailboat sizes and arrange them in a display that catches the eye.

Jane , an origami enthusiast, took great care in decorating and displaying her sailboat origami collection. She utilized vibrant colors and patterns, ensuring her sailboats stood out against the white backdrop. Jane showcased them in glass display cases, arranging them in different formations to create an engaging visual experience. Her unique approach garnered attention and admiration, inspiring others to delve into the art of sailboat origami.

Some Facts About How To Make A Sailboat Origami:

  • ✅ The origami sailboat can actually float. (Source: www.origami-instructions.com)
  • ✅ Thicker paper, such as craft paper, is recommended for better results. (Source: www.thesprucecrafts.com)
  • ✅ The boat can be used as decoration at a kids party or as a table place card. (Source: www.thesprucecrafts.com)
  • ✅ The model requires one piece of square paper and works best with origami paper that has a different design or color on each side. (Source: www.thesprucecrafts.com)
  • ✅ The steps to make the origami sailboat include folding the paper into a triangle, refolding it into a rectangle, creating the sails, inserting the sails into the boat, and folding the bottom corner up to form a stand. (Source: www.thesprucecrafts.com)

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do i need to make a sailboat origami.

To make a sailboat origami, you will need a square piece of paper. It is recommended to use origami paper, but you can also use any paper that you have. Thicker paper, like craft paper, may yield better results.

Can I use any size of paper to make a sailboat origami?

Yes, you can use any size of paper to make a sailboat origami. It is recommended to use a square paper for better folding and precise results. If you don’t have square paper, you can easily cut any paper into a square shape.

Can the sailboat origami float in water?

Yes, the sailboat origami can actually float in water. It is an action toy that can provide fun during the rainy season or any water-based activities. To improve its floating ability, you can expand the hole in the bottom of the boat.

How can I decorate the sailboat origami?

You can decorate the sailboat origami in any way you desire. You can use markers, stickers, or colored pencils to add designs or patterns to the boat. It works best if you use origami paper that has different designs or colors on each side.

Where can I find instructions with photo tutorials for making a sailboat origami?

You can find instructions with photo tutorials for making a sailboat origami on websites such as “Origami Guide” and “WikiHow.” These tutorials provide step-by-step instructions and visual aids to make the folding process easier to follow.

How can I share my completed sailboat origami photos?

You can share your completed sailboat origami photos by leaving comments on the websites where you found the instructions. These websites often have a comment box at the end of the page where you can upload your photos. Make sure the file size of your photo is within the specified limit, usually around 2MB.

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Ahoy! Learn to Fold a Toilet Paper Origami Sailboat

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Published: November 7, 2016

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

2 thoughts on “Ahoy! Learn to Fold a Toilet Paper Origami Sailboat”

You make me look forward to going to the bathroom. This is why I love you.

Thank you for the VIDEO! I have tried this several times without success. I’m traveling this week and can’t wait to whip this up in my hostess’s guest bathroom during my stay.

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how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

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Paper Plate Sailboat

Craft an easy mini sailboat using some basic materials— a paper plate, a craft stick, a toilet paper roll and some paper. Paint and decorate it into an awesome-looking sailboat. Make some paper people to ride in it too!

Paper Plate Sailboat craft

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Paper Bowl Jellyfish

Paper Bowl Jellyfish

Supplies needed.

  • Paper plate
  • Craft stick or wooden dowel
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Poster paint, tempera, or acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Crayons or colored markers
  • Stickers, buttons, etc. (optional)

Step 1 Paper Plate Sailboat

1 Cut a paper plate in half.

Fold a paper plate in half. Cut along the crease.

Step 2 Paper Plate Sailboat

2 Trim off the plate's curved bottom.

Stack the two halves together. While keeping them aligned, cut a straight line 2½ to 3 inches from the plate's straight edge.

Step 3 Paper Plate Sailboat

3 Assemble the boat.

Position the two halves facing each other so that they form a boat-like shape. Make sure that the edges are aligned, then staple or glue all four corners together.

Step 4 Paper Plate Sailboat

4 Paint the boat.

Paint the boat with a water-based paint like poster paint, tempera, or acrylic.

Step 5a Paper Plate Sailboat

5 Make a sail.

To make a triangular sail, you can start off with a square or a rectangular piece of paper.

a.)   Square - prepare a square sheet such as origami paper. Fold it diagonally in half to come up with a triangular sail.

Step 5b Paper Plate Sailboat

b.)   Rectangle - begin with a rectangular sheet like A4 or Letter-size paper. If you used a small paper plate to make your boat, you may need to cut the paper in half for a smaller sail.

Fold one top corner of the paper down to meet the opposite edge, forming a triangle. Cut and discard the excess paper below the triangle.

Step 6 Paper Plate Sailboat

6 Decorate the sail.

Use crayons, colored pencils or markers to decorate both sides of the sail. You can also put stickers or glue some paper cut-outs.

Step 7 Paper Plate Sailboat

7 Glue a craft stick.

Unfold the sail and apply glue on all four sides of the square. Position a large craft stick or a wooden dowel along one side.

Fold the square again along the diagonal crease. Press on the edges to glue them in place.

Step 8 Paper Plate Sailboat

8 Cut a slit on a TP roll.

About ¾" to 1" from one end of a TP roll, cut a slit just wide enough for your craft stick.

If you used a wooden dowel instead of a craft stick, make a small hole on the TP roll using the tip of a pencil. Make the hole just wide enough for the dowel to get through.

Step 9 Paper Plate Sailboat

9 Position the craft stick.

Insert the bottom end of the craft stick or dowel into the slit or hole. Push until it touches the bottom of the TP roll.

The stick should fit snugly inside the TP roll's slit. If the slit is too wide, put tape around the craft stick to keep the sail steady and upright.

Step 10 Paper Plate Sailboat

10 Put the TP roll in the boat.

Place the TP roll inside the boat. The roll should fit snugly. If it does not, glue the sides of the TP roll to the inside of the paper plate boat.

Step 11 Paper Plate Sailboat

11 Add more detail.

You can further decorate your boat, if you like. Glue some buttons or foam shapes. To get your sailing theme going, make paper cut-outs of anchors, life savers, or flags. You can also draw and cut out paper people to ride on your awesome sailboat.

Though your boat looks all set for sailing, it is not made to float on water. Take it for a fun pretend sailing adventure instead!

MORE IDEAS - Create a fabric sail.

Create a fabric sail.

Instead of a paper sail, create one from fabric. Choose a plain piece of fabric or a colorful patterned one. Cut it into a triangle and glue it onto a craft stick or wooden dowel.

Check out these crafts for ideas on for fabric decorating ideas:

  • Bubble Wrap Prints
  • Fruit and Vegetable Prints
  • Potato Stamps

MORE IDEAS - Paint a wooden boat effect.

Paint a wooden boat effect.

For a wooden-looking boat, first paint the boat a light brown or beige color.

MORE IDEAS - Paint a wooden boat effect.

Once the paint is almost dry, use a dry brush to paint horizontal stripes in a darker shade of brown. Add very little or no water to the dark brown paint. Spread the paint a bit below each stripe so that it blends lightly with the background.

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Toilet Paper Boat

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

This toilet paper boat is fun and whimsical. The best part is that it is easy to make (takes less than 5 minutes to complete). If you have trouble making the origami boat, just tear off the sheet and start again. There’s not much waste involved.

Ocean, beach, and water-play are common themes for bathrooms, so why not add a sailboat on your toilet rolls. It’s a cute design which you don’t want to flush down the toilet.

Instructions for Toilet Paper Boat

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Pull the toilet paper down a little.

Mountain fold (fold back) the bottom corners so the edges meet at the backside of the toilet paper.

Another way to do this is to lift the toilet paper up above the toilet paper roll and then make two valley folds. When you put the toilet paper back down, the folds will be behind.

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Valley fold the edges of the toilet paper so the triangle is more narrow. This will be the sail of the boat. The amount you fold back will define how wide or narrow the sail will be.

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Valley fold the triangle section up.

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

If necessary, roll the toilet paper up/down a little so the triangle is centered.

Valley fold the base of the triangle to make the hull of the sailboat. The amount you fold will define the height of the hull.

It would be best to fold the hull so it covers the raw edges of the toilet paper (the sail made in step 1).

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

Mountain fold (fold under) the bottom corners of the rectangle made in step 4.

how to make a sailboat on toilet paper

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we know stuff

A Long Island Parenting Blog

6 May 11, 2015 Crafts

Toilet Paper Tube Boats

Our toilet paper tube boats are perfect for a rainy day. Kids love them! Plus, they're a great way to recycle some of those paper towel rolls in your house!

“If April showers bring May flowers, why is it raining in May?”

My daughter asked me this the other day and I had to laugh. Spring was late to the party this year and now that it is finally here, the last thing my kids want to see is rain. They spent the winter staring at snow and slush, early spring brought unseasonably cold rainy weather. I completely understood her irritation about the rain. We need sunshine, warm air and barbecues.

Our toilet paper tube boats are perfect for a rainy day. Kids love them! Plus, they're a great way to recycle some of those paper towel rolls in your house!

We are so ready for it!

Except that it was raining and it was going to be raining the entire day. Ugh. I suggested we do a craft together, but my kids didn’t want to make a craft. They wanted to play outside. The truth was, I wanted to play outside too. I wrangled up some toilet paper tubes and duct tape. As I spread everything out on the kitchen table I explained that we were going to make a craft that we could play with – outside, in the rain .

Our toilet paper tube boats are perfect for a rainy day. Kids love them! Plus, they're a great way to recycle some of those paper towel rolls in your house!

We sat down and I easily explained this simple little craft. They gleefully started ripping off pieces of duct tape, debating whose boat would be the fastest.  As we learned during our boat race – the shorter and squatter the boat, mast and sail – the easier it is for the boat to stay upright. After we finished racing our boats, we decided to sink them with rocks from the garden.

Every kid loves throwing rocks into puddles – the boats served at the perfect target practice!

Our toilet paper tube boats are perfect for a rainy day. Kids love them! Plus, they're a great way to recycle some of those paper towel rolls in your house!

TOILET PAPER TUBE BOATS

  • Toilet paper tubes

Directions:

Step 1: Cut the tube open. Trim it so the hull of the boat will be shallow. The higher the sides of the boat, the more it will tip.

Step 2: Duct tape the back of the tube, this will waterproof the outside. Take a shorter piece of tape and close the open ends.

Step 3: Cut out matching triangles for the sail, decorate them with crayon. Put a q-tip in the middle of the triangles and using a glue stick, glue the two triangles together.

Step 4: Put a drop of hot glue in the bottom of the inside of the boat and put the other end of the q-tip in the glue.

Step 5: Once the glue is dry, your boats are ready to float!

Thanks for reading!

Our toilet paper tube boats are perfect for a rainy day. Kids love them! Plus, they're a great way to recycle some of those paper towel rolls in your house!

About weknowstuff

We Know Stuff is an award-winning lifestyle blog written by two sisters, Denine & Daniele. Based in New York, we cover a variety of topics that interest families such as recipes, crafts, pets, safer skincare, fitness, parenting, education, special needs, and travel. We Know Stuff won Best Blog of Long Island from Bethpage Federal Credit Union in 2017 & 2015. The blog was also voted #2 in Pop Sugar’s Circle of Mom’s Top 25 NY Moms!

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June 22, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Good post. I will be facing some of these issues as well..

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How to Get Your White Shoes Looking Brand New

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There’s nothing quite like unboxing a brand-new pair of white shoes, but dirt and debris can quickly take away their luster. Here’s how to get them looking fresh again.

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  • Laundry detergent
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Toilet paper
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Micellar water
  • White cloth or old toothbrush
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Magic eraser

A new pair of white Air Force 1s out of the box look so pristine, you may shudder at the thought of stepping outside in your new kicks. But a good pair of sneakers is designed to take you places, whether you’re exploring the city or taking your adventures off-road. Inevitably, scuff marks, dirt and stains will blemish your once-perfect white shoes. And the color of dirty dish water isn’t exactly fashion-forward.

But before you rush out to buy another pair, there are a few tricks you can try at home to restore your white shoes to their original glory. Clean your shoes regularly to avoid tough messes later on, and when your shoes get especially dingy, use these tricks to revitalize them.

How to Revive Your White Shoes

Whether you’re dealing with a slight greyish tinge or a pair of sneakers you’d never guess were once white, there are at-home cleaning methods you can try to improve the appearance of your white shoes. Depending on the type of mess and the materials used to construct your shoes, some of these methods may work better than others. Luckily, none of them require an extensive shopping list.

How to Clean Canvas Shoes

While some folks may suggest putting canvas shoes in the washing machine, this method of cleaning can cause unnecessary wear and tear and even damage the construction of the shoe. To be safe, try one of the methods below instead. You can also use toothpaste and an old toothbrush to scrub away stains on the soles of your shoes.

1. Mild Laundry Detergent

  • Mix a small amount of mild laundry detergent with warm water
  • Dip a white cloth or old toothbrush in the soapy water and use it to scrub away stains on the uppers
  • Brush away dirt on the midsole and outsole of the shoe
  • Use a damp cloth to rinse away excess soap

2. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

3% hydrogen peroxide not only removes stains and brightens whites, but it also disinfects your shoes from harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. You can make a paste by mixing two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide. Use an old toothbrush to apply the mixture to the soles and uppers of your shoes. Wait 30 minutes before rinsing or leave them to air-dry in the sun and brush away the paste once they’re dry.

While you shouldn’t try to use bleach on delicate fabrics like leather or suede, it’s effective at returning canvas sneakers to their original bright white color. Follow these steps:

  • Add one tablespoon of bleach to one quart of water and stir
  • Dip a brush or white cloth in the mixture
  • Scrub the uppers of each shoe, followed by the midsole and outsole, in a circular motion
  • Rinse or wipe away excess soap and allow to dry completely

4. Toilet Paper

You’ve probably never considered mummifying your shoes with toilet paper, but it can be a surprisingly effective method of removing stains. Layer water-soaked sheets of toilet paper over your shoes, paper-mache style, and allow your shoes to dry for 12 hours before peeling away the strips. This method can lift stubborn stains often left behind after cleaning.

5. Lemon and Sunlight

If all you’ve got lying around is a lemon in the fridge, you can use it to bleach stains out of your shoes. Simply mix some fresh lemon juice with a little bit of water. Using a clean cloth or brush, scrub the mixture over stains in a circular motion. Then, leave your shoes in direct sunlight for a few hours before rinsing away the mixture with clean water.

How to Clean Leather Shoes

Leather shoes require a little more TLC than canvas sneakers, since the material is delicate and can lose its shape when it gets wet. Before you start, place a shoe tree inside your shoes or stuff them with newspapers. Then, apply a leather cleaning product or try one of the methods below.

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are effective at removing odors, stains and bacteria. Make a solution with one tablespoon of baking soda, two tablespoons of white vinegar and a cup of water. Use a brush or a cloth to gently scrub away dirt and debris. This method will also work on canvas shoes.

2. Magic Eraser

Sometimes, all you need to get a pair of white leather shoes clean is the same tool you use to remove grime from your bathtub. Just dip the Magic Eraser in water and use it to scrub out stains from the leather upper and the sole of the shoe.

3. Micellar Water

Micellar water is designed to cleanse the skin, but it’s also gentle enough to use on leather shoes. It’s made with purified water, moisturizers and cleansing compounds that form spherical micelles. The micelles act on dirt and oil to pull these substances away from the surface, leaving your shoes clean and white. It works well with leather, suede and rubber.

How to Clean Shoelaces

First, remove your shoelaces from your sneakers. You can wash them by hand using a mild soap or detergent mixed with water, or you can place them in a mesh laundry bag and run them through your washing machine’s gentle cycle. Make sure to allow them to air-dry, since heat can deform the plastic tips.

If your shoelaces still don’t come out looking white, soak them in bleach. Using gloves, mix three tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water. Place your laces in a mesh laundry bag before submerging them in the solution, and use something heavy to keep the bag from floating to the top. Leave your shoelaces to sit for five minutes, and then wash them thoroughly by hand or in the washer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your white leather shoes and opt for baking soda and vinegar or micellar water instead. You can also use a magic eraser to gently scrub away stains from the surface of your shoes.

If you’ve tried every whitening method and your shoes are still looking soiled and drab, it might be time to purchase a new pair. It’s generally a good idea to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles, so if you’ve been walking and running in your trusty kicks for about six months, you may benefit from a new pair regardless.

Need New White Shoes?

Shoes

Nike P-6000

Men's Shoes

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Women's Shoes

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Originally published: November 2, 2021

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IMAGES

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