Fresh Ideas

DIY Mayflower Boat

Holiday crafting is not only a great way to engage with your little ones, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to teach them about the history of the holiday. In this post, we’ll show you how to turn a basic gable top FreshHouse™* carton into a DIY Mayflower that is perfect for an afternoon of Thanksgiving crafting.


Remember that FreshHouse cartons are great for crafting! They’re made from paper that comes from trees — a renewable resource.

*Learn more about FreshHouse cartons here.

Tools and materials:

  • Craft knife or box cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • 1 gable top FreshHouse carton
  • Mod Podge glue
  • Dark brown acrylic craft paint
  • 2 sizes of thin wooden dowels, plus 2 toothpicks
  • Text weight paper for the sails and anchor
  • Thin twine

(Considering the tools needed for this craft, children should always ask a parent or adult for help.)


  • Step 1

    Clean out your carton with soap and water and let it dry completely.

  • Step 2

    Print the PDF template and cut out each piece. Place the boat template against the side of the carton to use as a guide for cutting the boat with a craft knife. Make sure to save the extra pieces! Remove the spout at the top.

    Tip: Cut out the side panel piece first (leaving it intact), then carve out the shape of the boat. You should be left with the side panel piece, plus two thin 6-inch strips of the carton. You can throw away the rest of the scraps.

  • Step 3

    Print the PDF of the woodgrain pattern and attach it to the sides of the boat with Mod Podge glue.

  • Step 4

    Use brown acrylic paint to cover the inside of the boat, the detached side panel piece and the wooden dowels for the sails. You can also add a little trim to your woodgrain pattern with this paint. (Any craft paint will work.)

  • Step 5

    Use your craft knife to cut three evenly spaced holes in the side panel piece. This will be where you stick your dowels to attach the sails. Cut a hole in the centers of the two 6-inch strips. Stick your three dowels through these holes with the side panel stacked on top of the two strips. Bend the strips so that they will support the side panel piece inside the boat.

  • Step 6

    Cut out the sails according to the template. We used text weight metallic paper in champagne, but any paper will work. Glue the sails to thinner dowels with hot glue, then glue the dowels perpendicular to the larger dowels. Add flags with toothpicks.

  • Step 7

    To finish off your DIY Mayflower, add thin twine and anchor accents as you like.


Lia Griffith

Lia Griffith is a designer, maker and handcrafted lifestyle expert who began blogging to share her unique paper flower designs and diy projects. Lia inspires millions worldwide to reconnect with their creativity through daily DIY projects, tutorials and videos at

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