Origami is not my thing. Trust me on this. I don’t know how someone who specializes in paper crafts can bungle origami so badly. I even have my own Tower-of-Failed-Origami that I am planning to show you sometime soon.
That’s why I picked the simplest origami boat possible for this project. Then, The Husband™ took the paper out for a test-fold before he would even let me make a single crease. Now, don’t go thinking he is some extra special crafty guy. He was just trying to protect our children’s innocence—because me + origami = a sure way for our kids to learn loud and in color exactly how sailors talk.
I found instructions for a basic boat shell, including helpful step-by-step diagrams at www.origami-fun.com. This site does a great job. They somehow made it easy enough that even I experienced success on my first attempt. I was in origamic bliss*. My only complaint is their size URL name. Who on earth thinks origami can be fun?
How to make a sailboat place card
Making the boat base
Step 1 Trim all four sides of a Whisker Graphics Bigger Bitty Bag as close to the edge as possible. You will now have two paper rectangles. One of the serrated edges will be shorter, so you will need to trim that separately. (I used a Middy Bitty Bag for the green striped boat).
Step 2 Set aside the rectangle without the seam to use for a second, slightly smaller boat. Lay the rectangle, pattern side up on your work surface with the long sides running vertically (portrait mode).
Step 3 Fold paper in half downwards.
Step 4 Bring top corners in to center line, creating two triangles.
Step 5 Fold bottom layer below triangles upward. Do the same on the back. Crease well.
Step 6 Pull the sides out and flatten so that it opens in the opposite direction.
Step 7 Fold front layer up to top, creating triangle. Then do the same on the back side.
Step 8 Pull the sides apart and flatten so that it opens in the opposite direction.
Step 9 Flatten to crease all folds. Then open out slightly forming a boat shape. If what appears slightly resembles a boat and not a wadded up piece of trash, I hereby deem you a crafting genius.
Making the Sails and Mast
Step 1 Trim all four sides of a 5.75” x 7.75” glassine bag in the same manner you did for Step 1 of making the boat.
Step 2 Cut a 4 ½” x 2 ½” rectangle.
Step 3 Lay the rectangle diagonally across your paper trimmer and cut so that you make two triangles. These will be your two sails.
Step 4 Trim along the short leg of one of the triangle so that the long leg is 1/2” shorter (4”)
Step 5 Punch two small holes in each triangle at each of the adjacent leg corners (the non-diagonal side that runs parallel to the mast). Be careful doing this because glassine paper and hole punches do not play well together.
Step 6 Cut a 5 ¼” length of straw.
Step 7 Cut two 15” pieces of Divine Twine in a color that coordinates well with your boat.
Step 8 Thread the Divine Twine through the bottom hole of the first sail and out again through the top. Repeat for the second sail.
Step 9 On one of the sails, write the name of the person for whom the boat will be a place card. Make sure you write it on the same side that the Divine Twine is showing.
Step 10 Bring the tops of both Divine Twines together and thread them into the top of the straw, out the bottom and tie each one to itself. Trim the extra Divine Twine.**
Step 11 Tape the bottom of the straw to the interior triangle of the boat, You may need to play with it a bit to get the balance just right. Adding treats to the interior of the boat will also help keep your boat from capsizing.
Stuff I used
- Bigger Bitty Bags
- Middy Bitty Bags
- Glassine bags
- Divine Twine
- Hole punch
- Fine tip marker
*See what I did there? Heh
**Based on my Google image search, I believe the smaller sail is usually above the bow. Since my experience with sailboats involves me trying to not end up face down in the water with a concussion from missiles booms that hurl towards me with a microsecond’s notice, you are more than welcome to correct me on where the little sail goes, or even if there is supposed to be a little sail.