How to Make a Boat Costume

Wooden Boat image by Pearsoc from

Invited to a nautical theme party and need a quick and easy costume? Be the captain of the party with a boat costume that's sure to be an original. Whether you're going for a Miami Vice feel or a distinguished yacht look, a boat costume is surprisingly easy to make and customize depending on the look you are going for.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper Strips
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Packaging Tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hot Glue
  • Fabric Or Webbing Strips
  • Paint
  • Flour
  • Cardboard
  • Medium Bowl

Decide what sort of boat you would like to be. Most boats have a very similar basic shape whether you would like to be a fishing vessel, yacht, tug boat, or cruise ship, but the small details can make your costume really great.

Cut the cardboard into two uniform pieces for the sides of the boat. Bend the cardboard into a slight curve to look like the hull of a boat. Use packing tape to attach the side pieces together at the front. Cut another piece of cardboard to form the back of the boat and tape it to the sides.

Trace around the inside of the boat onto another piece of cardboard and cut it out to make the deck of the boat. Cut a hole in this piece that is large enough for you to fit though comfortably. Tape the deck inside the boat and try it on to make sure that it will be easy to get in and out of and to walk around in.

Make structural details like propellers or cabins from cardboard and tape them on. Cardboard paper towel rolls make good smokestacks.

Mix one part flour with two parts water in a medium bowl to make a thick paste. Dip newspaper strips into the paste and cover the boat. This paper mache technique will add more stability to the boat, cover the tape, and make the boat much nicer looking.

Paint your boat after the paper mache dries completely. Acrylic paint or spray paint are the best choices for this project. Use a small paintbrush to paint details like windows, anchors, or the name of the boat.

Attach webbing or fabric straps to the boat using hot glue so that they can be worn over the shoulders like suspenders to hold the boat up.


  • Glue small details to the boat like sails, fishing poles, crabs, life jackets, or ropes to make it more realistic.