DIY Cardboard Box Rocket Ship

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Looking for something fun to occupy your kiddos’ time now that the long days of summer are here? This project is a total blast (pun totally intended), and you can probably make it with pieces of this and that laying around your house! Get your child in on the action to build and decorate their very own cardboard box rocket ship. Building it is half the fun—then send them on space missions all summer long!



  • Cardboard box large enough for your child to safely sit inside
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Glue or glue gun
  • Tinfoil
  • Plastic cup
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Things to decorate with! Any of your art supplies around the house will work—stickers, paint, glitter, tape, tissue paper, and more.


Step 1: Cut the two long flaps and one short flap off of the cardboard box. On the remaining flap, cut out a rectangle for the windshield on the front of the rocket ship. (Every good rocket ship needs a windshield!)

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Step 2: Punch two small holes in the bottom of your plastic cup. Punch two corresponding holes in the front of the rocket. Use a pipe cleaner to connect the cup by threading it through the holes in the cardboard and then the cup. Inside the cup, twist the pipe cleaner a few times to keep it in place.


Step 3: Make a steering wheel shape out of tinfoil (a highly unscientific process—just make something that your kiddo can hold onto and “steer”).


Step 4: Twist the pipe cleaner inside the cup around the center of the steering wheel, keeping it in place but loose enough to turn and steer a bit.


Step 5: Go crazy decorating your rocket! This is where your kids can really jump in. Let them bust out the stickers, paint, whatever they like. We went with some classy racing stripes and a glittery message. Other fun details can include wings, antennae, buttons on the dashboard, and more.


Step 6: Add finishing touches. If you’d like a rocket blast in the back of your ship, cut two fiery colors of tissue paper, about 6” x 12”. On one long end, cut a jagged shape. Roll the colors up together and rough up the paper a bit. Glue it onto the back of the rocket ship. Add any other crazy bits and pieces, and send your kiddo to the moon! 

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