Thank you to Annie of Alphabet Glue and
Bird And Little Bird for today's guest post!
Our family doesn’t own a red canoe (ours is a
decidedly faded shade of green) and at the moment,
we are a family with an infant and a novice swimmer.
The grand adventure of a river canoe camping trip like
the one in Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe by
Vera B. Williams is probably still a bit in the future for us.
But the book is very much a favorite of ours, and I
figured that we might find another way to channel
our inspiration after reading the canoe-trip classic. These
origami paper boats are easy to fold and if you ask me,
look enough like a canoe to make a very nice follow-up
activity after reading the book, particularly now that
spring is on the way and we may all be looking for
ways to make the best out of front yard puddles.
This is a classic origami project, modified just a bit for
our purposes here. Read on to find a printable template,
as well as a tutorial, for folding a red canoe of your very
own. If you’d like to sail your canoe in a nearby lake,
stream or bathtub, you’ll find instructions for
waterproofing your boat at the end.
Print the red square template from the PDF file that
follows this tutorial and cut it out, making sure to follow
the lines of the square as closely and neatly as you can.
It will help with folding. Fold the square in half neatly,
with the right (red) sides together. Use a folding tool
to make a nice, sharp crease at the fold.
Now unfold the square and then fold the outside edges
of the square so that they meet the fold in the middle,
as in the picture at left. Again, make a nice, sharp
crease where the paper is folded.
Leaving the paper folded into the rectangle pictured
above, fold one of the four corners down and in so
that it forms a triangle with a point that lines up
with the middle of the rectangle.
Repeat this process with the remaining three corners so
that you have a shape that looks like the photo above.
Fold the two tips at one end of the paper in half so
that they line up with the middle line and make a
sharp point at the end of the paper.
Repeat this process at the other end of the paper. You
will find that you get a bit of strange overlap effect in the
middle of the paper, where it comes to a kind of a point.
Just ignore this- it’s really fine. You should now have a
vaguely diamond shaped piece of paper.
Now fold the center points of your diamond down
and in so that they line up neatly with the middle
line of the paper. More sharp creases!
Here’s where it gets interesting. Gently open up the
paper at the middle. You will have this nice little boat
shape, but you will also notice that it is red on the
inside. Not on the outside where it should be. So...
Turn it inside out! You can do this by carefully pushing
the center and the sides of the boat outward with your
fingers until you are able to turn the entire thing
inside out. Now you have a red canoe!
If you’d like to waterproof your boat, you can do
so pretty easily. Light a candle and wait for the center
to pool with a good amount of melted wax. Using a
paintbrush, apply a coat of wax to the outside of the
boat. Our candle was white, so we did get a white,
waxy residue in the areas where we painted it on
thickly. If you want to avoid this, I suspect that a bit
of red food coloring added to the liquid wax would
probably be just the thing.
Now all that is left to do is to take your miniature
watercraft on its maiden voyage! If you are going to
be outside with your canoe, you might consider tying
a string to one end so that it doesn’t go too
far down river without you!
Download PDF tutorial and paper template
For more projects like this one, look no further
than Alphabet Glue! There are 11 issues to choose
from, each one featuring projects to go-along
with great children's stories!