Apr 27, 2014

Crafting with Clothes pins (aka clothes peg) Part 1: Sailboat

SO I had an idea in mind for a fun project for Mothers day (or Fathers day!) but as I was thinking I decided to do this easier one first with the kids - a sailboat made from clothes pins.

Kiddos had fun painting them, I had fun gluing them and then we put them in the water.....the kids were looking on as I launched our boat into the bathtub and I thought just like magic they would float - a realistic expectation right? especially after all the fun we just had creating them! BUT oh no....the boat did not float! Not cool right?  It just kept tipping sideways :o( .

Here is the beautiful fleet of sailboats we made - they just don't float!

SO back to the ole drawing board and we all put our thinking caps on - even my dear husband got involved and we discussed bouyancy, keels, anchors, centre of gravity.....it was fun learning the different terms about how a boat floats.  The kids sure learnt alot (so did we) and maybe they'll be sailors one day and wisk their dear old Mom and Dad to far away "warm" places. LOL I can dream right?!

Here's some of the solutions we came up with:  catamaran style boat, heavier base, add a keel and/or anchor, opt for a lighter sail post.....and so we experimented having fun, cheering when the boat stayed afloat and then boo'ing when it didn't.  It was a fun day and kept us entertained for a few hours!

Below are the instructions for the boats that DID float!

Here's what you will need:

Clothespins (I bought 50 pegs from Walmart for $1.97 Cdn)
Vinyl tablecloth (same as the ones used for the Cheese Stringy monster thingy! See them here: http://www.ilovethatmom.com/2014/04/cheese-stringy-waving-monster-thingy.html )
Paint (I used Acrylic) or spray paint
Glue gun
Finishing spray (to waterproof the boats)

Separate the clothespins - you will get two wooden pieces and a hinge.

Paint or spray paint the toothpicks, clothespins, and the hinges. I stuck the toothpicks into a piece of playdough - made it much easier to spray paint them!

Glue two clothespins together like this:

When they are dry, apply a coat or two of finishing spray to water proof the boats.

Cut rectangles or triangles for the sail and insert onto toothpick.   Insert the toothpick into the glued clothespin (you should be able to insert it quite easily into one of the tiny holes on top of the glued clothespin).

Slide the hinge onto the boat - we are using this as our keel.  You may have to fiddle with the exact position of the keel as each boat will be different. And now set sail!

We made a whole fleet and the kids had races in the bathtub, if the boats tipped they would just pick them up and set them afloat again! FUN FUN FUN and we cannot wait to try them at the lake once the warm weather is here!

Now go make your own fleet - Try experimenting with your kids and see what you come up with and please do share - I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

Much Love
Quin xo

Make It and Love It


  1. AWESOME!!! I'm sure my little ones will think Momma is the best when these little boats make an appearance this summer!

    1. Thanks Jenn! You will definitley be one very LOVED mom! It was such a fun project and my kiddos learned a lot about how/why boats float!

  2. Brilliant!!! My kids will definitely love it and this will be my weekend project. Perfect!!

    1. Thanks Di! My three kiddos sure had fun with these boats! Have fun making your own this weekend!


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