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Good Things: Paper-Boat Place Card

Set a shipshape table with seaworthy vessels whose sails designate younger guests' seats. Great for a children's table, these whimsical place cards require little more than kraft paper and a simple folding technique. Outfit boats with Life Savers candies and cast them adrift on blue napkins.
Martha Stewart Weddings, 2005

Paper-Boat Place Card How-To

1. For one boat, cut out a 7 1/2-by-9 1/2-inch sheet of kraft paper.

2. Fold paper in half end to end.

3. Fold corners of folded edge down so edges meet at the center; crease.

4. Fold up the top layer of the remaining rectangle for a cuff.

5. Turn paper over. Fold up remaining layer for another cuff. Fold down the corners of both cuffs, following the angle of the triangle's sides.

6. Pull long sides out so the bottom corners come together to create a diamond shape; crease.

7. Fold up one bottom corner, making a triangle; crease.

8. Turn paper over. Fold up remaining corner; crease. Repeat step 6.

9. At the diamond's top, pull flaps out and away from center tip in a single smooth motion.

10. Pinch boat's bottom edges and pull out so it stands. Write name on white paper; cut into a pennant shape. Punch two holes in pennant with a small hole punch; slip a wooden skewer (cut to a 5-inch length) through holes. Hold boat on its side and punch a half circle in center tip; insert skewer. Decorate boat with white Life Savers candies strung onto striped twine.

Comments (5)

  • Ragnhilde 31 Jul, 2012

    As children we enjoyed watching our dad folding those paperboats. I totally forgot about them. Thank you for giving the instruction. Now I`ll do them myself in moments of leisure, just for fun and decoration.

  • rosie44d 29 Jul, 2012

    Thank you Martha, for a trip into the past. I made these boats nearly 60 years ago, and had forgotten them, and how to make them. Your pictures and instructions quickly refreshed my memory. These also make cute little caps when done with larger pieces of paper. Even look like Nursing Caps - also now a thing of the past.

  • IrishCoffee 2 Oct, 2010

    yes, most people probably know how to make a paper boat - it's the whole look and idea of it that counts. and my grandma taught me this when i was 4, but i no longer remember how to do it, it's been 20 years. so thank you for the refresher :)

  • joyceross 4 Jun, 2010

    What a cute idea! We live on a lake..and always have a special 4th of July party. The boats will make great place cards! I tried to make them out of my scrap booking paper but it wasn't strong enough. I then cut my rectangles for the boats out of paper shopping bags... it worked great!

  • yadira 13 Jun, 2008

    Totally fell in love with this project! Not only was it cute, but it was super simple since Martha provided a picture with step by step instructions on the folds. Love it! Love you Martha!!