Cardboard Pirate Ship Wagon for Kids

cardboard pirate ship

Check out this adorable cardboard pirate ship I made for my boys! We are attending the Children’s Gasparilla Parade this weekend in Tampa. It’s a huge celebration that takes place every year in January. I wanted the boys to ride in style so I decided to turn their wagon into a cardboard pirate ship. It’s a cool way to transport the kids to the parade since they will also be dressed up as pirates. You only need a few supplies to complete this DIY cardboard pirate ship wagon for kids.

cardboard pirate ship

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Supplies for Cardboard Pirate Ship

  • Wagon
  • Cardboard box (Large…mine is 22” x 18” x 18”)
  • Black permanent marker
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Ruler
  • Acrylic paint (brown, yellow and black…you can use any color)
  • Foam paint brush
  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Hardwood Dowel (3/8″) *Optional
  • Felt (red, white and black) *Optional
  • Packing tape (Gorilla tape worked best for me)


  1. First, freehand your pirate ship onto the cardboard then cut out parts for the side of the wagon. I used a ruler to help measure everything. After you make the first side, make the second one by tracing the finished cut out onto the cardboard.
  2. Next, add windows before painting the ship. You can outline the windows using a permanent marker to avoid painting over the window. Using a foam brush, paint the ship using the acrylic paint. After that, add “planks” of wood to the ship by using a permanent marker or black paint. This takes a lot of time so that step is optional.
  3. Make the cannons out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Start by painting each roll black then allow them to dry. After that, use a hot glue gun to attach the cannons to the cardboard ship.
  4. Finally, it’s time to make the flag. I cut out the skull and crossbones and hot glued it on. Use the hot glue gun to make a fold on the side of the flag to attach to the hardwood dowel. To attach the cardboard to the wagon, use a lot of tape to secure it. Now your child is ready for Gasparilla or Halloween in their cardboard pirate ship.

This was such a fun project to create for my boys. It made the Gasparilla experience so much better. They enjoyed riding around and waving at people.

cardboard pirate ship for kids

I had the opportunity to share this awesome cardboard pirate ship with the viewers of Good Day Tampa Bay on Fox 13.

Looking for more pirate crafts as well as DIY projects and activities? Check out these fun ideas below to celebrate Gasparilla, Halloween or Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Don’t forget to share this post and tag me on Facebook or Instagram if you try any of these crafts!

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