Recycled Cardboard Box Rocket Ship

So, Christmas is behind us, the kids were inundated with gifts, and what are they playing with the most? Cardboard boxes! There us just something inherently attractive for kids, about letting their imagination run wild with cardboard boxed as a blank canvas – the bigger the boxes, the better. My boys particularly love building rocket ships to fly to the moon with, and today I wanted to share with you one of our most successful rocket ships to date.

This is one we actually made two summers ago, when we had just moved back to Edinburgh. One oversized removal box, one rainy afternoon, and a couple hours later we had the most magnificent rocket ship a kid could wish for, which cost us no more than a roll of Duck tape and actually stayed with us for a whole year.

I haven’t included any measurements, as it depends entirely on what kind of box you have at your disposal. Removal boxes are great – we had an double sized one, or you could stack up two removal boxes. Delivery boxes for fridges or furniture are great too (unless it’s flat pack, haha). You’ll also need some additional cardboard (we cut up another removal box or this), afore mentioned Duck tape, and a craft knife.

The first thing we did, to make our box even taller, was to tape up the flaps on the top of the box. We pulled up the flaps, then taped folded strips of cardboard in to the corners to secure and stabilise them (see below).

Next, we added a roof. For this, you’ll need four pieces of cardboard, to cut in to four triangles. The bottom edges of the triangles should be the same length as the top edges of your box. Tape each in to place, then bring all the triangles together, and secure by wrapping more tape around the point at the top. Here’s our roof in progress (as you can see, I cut the tops of two of the triangles to make them fit better together):

And here’s the finished roof:

After the roof, we cut a door. I made one long cut down the middle of the front of the box, then marked out the width of the door, and cut a semi circle across the top of the first cut. You can see what I mean in the picture below:

Next up was the windows. We decided on two round windows, either side of the box.

Here you can see both windows, looking from one through to the other:

The final step, was to add wings either side of the rocket. For this, we two corners out of our spare box and taped one below each window. We used a LOT of tape to keep them in place. It’s a little hard to explain what I mean by cutting out corners, but here’s a close up of them to give you a better idea:

And that was it, one rocket ready to fly to the moon! As you can see, we decorated it some more with some coloured tape. You could also draw on it, or paint it, whatever you please.

This rocket was one of the most fun projects we’ve ever done, and it was a gift that gave twice – first we had fun making it together, and then the boys had hours of fun playing with it. Of course, they had to dig out their astronaut costumes! I think if it hadn’t fallen victim to yet another house move, it might still be with us. But now we have an excuse to build a new rocket!

Have you ever built a rocket ship out of cardboard boxes? Or any other great cardboard box projects? I’d love to see your creations! Please feel free to share with me and tag me on Instagram or Twitter.

14 Comments on Recycled Cardboard Box Rocket Ship

  1. Sarah howe
    17 January 2019 at 7:50 am (2 years ago)

    Ah I bet you thought why didn’t I wrap this up as a Christmas present!! The kids in reception love boxes too. You can make so much. X

  2. Cath - Passports and Adventures
    17 January 2019 at 11:37 am (2 years ago)

    That is one of the most amazing rockets I’ve ever seen. It really looks brilliant. No wonder the boys spent hours over months playing in it! I’m going to bear this in mind for this year’s costume party in school.

  3. Fran Back With A Bump
    17 January 2019 at 12:29 pm (2 years ago)

    This is fab and looks a great rainy day idea! Kids always enjoy playing with boxes don’t they! At 10 my eldest still gets excited by bubble packaging and insists on popping it all!

  4. Rebecca Jones
    17 January 2019 at 12:44 pm (2 years ago)

    This is fab on so many levels – I bet your kids had such fun playing, making up stories and generally enjoying themselves. You can’t beat a box to play in ;-)

  5. Talya Stone
    17 January 2019 at 1:17 pm (2 years ago)

    This is such a great idea – can’t wait to make this next time we have a massive cardboard box lying around thanks for the inspo!

  6. lucy mackcracken
    17 January 2019 at 1:51 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great way to make use of the boxes from Christmas, your boys look like they’re having a great time playing with it. My little one would love to get her paints on one of these rockets to make it super colourful.

  7. Anosa
    18 January 2019 at 12:43 pm (2 years ago)

    What a genius and inexpensive idea, especially with the weather so cold outside, we need something to keep the kid’s entertained

  8. Wendy
    19 January 2019 at 7:16 am (2 years ago)

    This is AMAZING! My boys got a build it yourself cardboard rocket from hobby craft for Christmas but yours looks so much better! Much sturdier and a bigger size too xx

  9. fiona brown
    20 January 2019 at 2:35 pm (2 years ago)

    My kids love nothing more than making things out of boxes, taping them up, cutting them out – we made a pirate ship once that even I was impressed with and had lots of play!

  10. fiona brown
    20 January 2019 at 2:36 pm (2 years ago)

    My kids love nothing more than making things out of boxes, taping them up, cutting them out – we made a pirate ship once that even I was impressed with and had lots of play! Fab

  11. Rachael
    22 January 2019 at 12:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I this is my mum bought a treadmill and then my dad turned the big box into the den for me. There really is nothing better than playing a Cardboard boxes when you’re a kid!

  12. Custom printed boxes
    11 September 2019 at 3:19 am (1 year ago)

    Great idea! There are so many benefits for the cardboard box playhouse: economical, versatile and hands-on training when the kids are involved in the building…


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