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
Repeat this process with the remaining three corners so that you have a shape that looks like the photo above.
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!
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!
I love dioramas so as soon as I saw these miniature scenes from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol I was smitten! There aren't any instructions, just lots of pictures to enjoy and inspire! Thank you Artistes a Les Corts for this treat! English translation here.