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How-Tuesday: Paper Beeswax Boats

Mar 8, 2011

by Julie Schneider

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

I was a crafty kid, with afternoons and summer hours happily spent making treasure maps, elaborate costumes, fairy houses, shrinky jewelry, notes with invisible ink, lip balm, and on and on. These days, I keep the spirit alive and continue on my handmade hunt for fun projects to do, which has, on many occasions led me to Whipup.

Whipup is an online oasis for getting a how-to fix and a jolt of inspiration. Kathreen Ricketson, the creative mind behind the site and author of Mini Quilts (check out a project from her book here), has just launched a new downloadable monthly craft magazine for kids (ages 7+) called Action Pack: A Mini Mag for Kids Who Want to Do Stuff. The theme for the inaugural issue is paper and beeswax, and it is buzzing with ideas of projects that incorporate those materials. Score a copy of your own in Whipup’s Etsy shop for just a few bucks. I only wish Action Pack was around when I was a kid!  

Origami is a Japanese word: ori means to fold, and kami means paper. Thus, origami is the traditional Japanese art of folding paper into interesting shapes. These three basic designs shown here are just the beginning of a whole world of amazing and intricate sculptural paper possibilities. Make an origami boat, then dip it in wax for some fun in the sun! You can dip any paper project into beeswax, but it is especially fun with boats, water bombs and cups, as you can wet these and use them over and over again.

Note: This project involves the use of hot wax. Be very careful when using hot wax as you can easily burn yourself. Make sure an adult is on standby should you need any help. Be sure to use heat proof gloves and tongs to prevent your skin from touching the hot wax. 

 

Supplies you’ll need:

  • paper
  • beeswax
  • an old saucepan or double-boiler
  • a stove
  • tongs
  • heatproof gloves
  • heat pad
  • newspaper

 

Directions:

Fold Your Paper
1-2. Take a regular piece of rectangular printer paper and fold it half width-ways, then in half again to find the center.

3-4. From the folded edge, fold the top two corners down to the center line.

5. Then fold the bottom flap upward on each side.

6-7. Bring the corners of the base together to create a square shape and fold the flaps under each other to tidy it up.

8. Fold each of these bottom corners up to the top corner on each side. It should look like a triangle. Open up the base of this triangle and squash it into a square shape.

9. Gently pull the side pieces out and unfold it to create a boat shape. Open up the base with your fingers — this will help it to float.

Heat Your Wax
10. Place your wax into your old saucepan or double boiler, and heat the beeswax on the lowest temperature on your stove top. It should take about 5-10 minutes depending on how much you have. Your wax will melt quicker if it is in small pieces, so if you’d like, you can break up your beeswax sheet or use a grater to grate your block of beeswax. Turn the stove off when it has melted. 

Dip Your Boat
11. Take the pot of hot melted beeswax and place it carefully on a heat pad on the table.

12. Hold your origami creation with your tongs and place it carefully into the hot wax. The wax will immediately start to soak into the paper. Use the tongs to carefully rotate the origami piece around so that it soaks up the wax on all sides.

13. After a minute or so, use the tongs to remove the origami from the wax and let it drain on a piece of newspaper. It will be cool and dry within a few minutes.

14. Go and float it in the bath, at the local frog pond, or in your backyard pool.

Thank you to Kathreen from Whipup for sharing this project with us. For more projects, check out Whipup.net and Action Pack.

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89 comments

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 5 years ago

    A fun tradition.

  • catchalljewelry

    catchalljewelry said 5 years ago

    Curious George would've loved this how-to =)

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 5 years ago

    The wax is a clever twist. My children are going to love it! Thank you.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    Great project! Origami is a wonderful craft!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 5 years ago

    Cool I'll be making these, I love little boats.

  • jezek

    jezek said 5 years ago

    I like it! And make paper beeswax boats http://jezeks-felting.livejournal.com/42995.html

  • minouette

    minouette said 5 years ago

    What fun! Coincidentally, I recently listed a woodblock print featuring a paper boat on the ocean http://www.etsy.com/listing/69558441/little-boat-big-ocean-woodblock-print

  • KittiesCanCrochet

    KittiesCanCrochet said 5 years ago

    Cute little creations. I would have loved these as a kid!

  • fuetsy

    fuetsy said 5 years ago

    cute

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 5 years ago

    Cute idea.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    Adorable! Origami is so much fun to do!

  • SewSweetandSimple

    SewSweetandSimple said 5 years ago

    My grandkids are going to love this! Reminds me of when I was little making paper kites with my dad:) Thanks!

  • HatsyUK

    HatsyUK said 5 years ago

    Gorgeous, and simple too.

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods said 5 years ago

    fun project. :D

  • expressyourself

    expressyourself said 5 years ago

    Nice:O)

  • SimpleAspen

    SimpleAspen said 5 years ago

    Could you use a different kind of wax, like crayons? Then it would add its own color. I'm not familiar with using wax but thought that might be fun.

  • DewdropTreasures

    DewdropTreasures said 5 years ago

    I always loved the paper boats. Thank you for sharing.

  • kosmea

    kosmea said 5 years ago

    Wow! Nice idea!

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 5 years ago

    We used to make these and float them in the pool every spring for Easter. It never occurred to us to dip them in wax... My dad would probably have appreciated not having to pull sodden paper from the filter.

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 5 years ago

    feels like travelling in time back to childhood...

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 5 years ago

    Wonderful idea for the kids. Love it.

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals said 5 years ago

    Very cute!~ =)

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    sweet! filing this idea away

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 5 years ago

    I love these! :D

  • BeciMay

    BeciMay said 5 years ago

    very nice :)

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 5 years ago

    I've never thought of waxing them before. Great idea

  • soberwear

    soberwear said 5 years ago

    What a FUN project! LUV IT!

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 5 years ago

    That's so cool! It sets your mind spinning with all kinds of great uses for beeswax paper. Thanks, Kathreen and Julie!

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 5 years ago

    So simple yet so clever!!!

  • theroyalvintage

    theroyalvintage said 5 years ago

    making your own wax paper is FUN :)

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 5 years ago

    very interesting I can use that approach on some jewelry I want to make!

  • EverydayCookies

    EverydayCookies said 5 years ago

    Our grandchildren would love this! What fun!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 5 years ago

    this little boat is so easy to make. it would be a great favor at any party, from a kids birthday to a wedding.

  • SparklePaw

    SparklePaw said 5 years ago

    Fun project - can't wait to try!!

  • SoftForest

    SoftForest said 5 years ago

    Great fun, I just folded my first one out of some junk paper, nice clear directions! Now to find some beeswax hmmm...

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 5 years ago

    what a great craft to fill those lazy summer days!!! Kids will love this!!!

  • beevintageredux

    beevintageredux said 5 years ago

    Oh, I love paper boats! Can't wait to make these for my nephew!

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 5 years ago

    super cool project!

  • TubeHeaven

    TubeHeaven said 5 years ago

    wow, this really makes me excited as my kids grow older...i love making stuff, especially stuff that can be used as a toy! great feature.

  • sweetcandyprints

    sweetcandyprints said 5 years ago

    I use to make these out of bubble gum wrappers or any little paper that i had in hand and now i make them for my boys during bath time, what a great idea with the wax, thank you.

  • whipup

    whipup said 5 years ago

    You could use other wax if you like - or you could colour your wax with grated crayon too. Thanks for the all the positive feedback cheers Kathreen

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 5 years ago

    A gorgeous idea- will be trying this!

  • pearlgirl660

    pearlgirl660 said 5 years ago

    I do that all the time during class :)

  • GourdNut

    GourdNut said 5 years ago

    Great idea!

  • theobscureabluvion

    theobscureabluvion said 5 years ago

    How cute!

  • SailThouForth

    SailThouForth said 5 years ago

    So cool! Makes me long for lazy summer afternoons by the water.

  • LeoLee

    LeoLee said 5 years ago

    very nice wholesaleonestop com

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 5 years ago

    Love your creativity!

  • aynart

    aynart said 5 years ago

    there's faux beeswax too for vegans too! great tiny project!

  • littleloveblue

    littleloveblue said 5 years ago

    love ot, can't wait to try it!

  • tripperdungan

    tripperdungan said 5 years ago

    So cool. I'm going to do this with my daughter.

  • ZipTieART

    ZipTieART said 5 years ago

    Paraffin also works, the kind you use for sealing jelly jars. It's a bit more brittle but less costly.

  • SanDesign

    SanDesign said 5 years ago

    Cool idea.

  • armcandyforyou

    armcandyforyou said 5 years ago

    I am soooooo making this for my kids:) Thank you for sharing:)

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 5 years ago

    Looks so fun.

  • desatsi

    desatsi said 5 years ago

    I used to make tons of paper boats when I was a child! I still love them!

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty said 5 years ago

    Nice and just in time for spring (^.^)

  • lunahoo

    lunahoo said 5 years ago

    I love paper!!Great idea!!

  • RebeccasEmporium

    RebeccasEmporium said 5 years ago

    So beautiful! I love the beeswax idea :)

  • riskybeads

    riskybeads said 5 years ago

    can't wait to try it!

  • LAccentNou

    LAccentNou said 5 years ago

    Cool!

  • wearebandits

    wearebandits said 5 years ago

    yay!

  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire said 5 years ago

    Oh, my son would love to do that! And the smell of beeswax...mmmmmm....

  • nauli

    nauli said 5 years ago

    This is what we did last summer with our cousin! So much fun!

  • iWALLS

    iWALLS said 5 years ago

    I remember doing this as kids! So much fun, and so simple too!

  • PinesVintageClothing

    PinesVintageClothing said 5 years ago

    Spring is nearby and Origami in the air. I was just thinking about the fine art of folding paper the other day. Can't wait to try these boats with my little niece the fish.

  • InspireUart

    InspireUart said 5 years ago

    I read an interesting bit on marketing strategies this morning followed by a quick peak at an article via Etsy.com about building Beeswax Boats. While the marketing strategies were definitely helpful and I completely appreciated the forthrightness of the author's generous outpouring of information, something about the simplicity of the Beeswax Boats article grabbed me deep down, smack in the center of my childlike heart that loves to ponder the beauty and wonder in the little things. If you have a little one to share this activity with then, wonderful. But by all means, if the notion strikes you, with or without the youngster to share this with, I think it is an easy way to spend a moment amidst my preferred world of basic fancy... small pleasures that deliver huge visual reward. Http://inspireuart.com

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 5 years ago

    I've always enjoyed origami, thanks for posting.

  • saralim

    saralim said 5 years ago

    awe! i just love paper crafts! for our 2 year anniversary, my husband strung a bunch of origami animals he made from the ceiling of my studio. it was a beautiful surprise! i still haven't taken all of them down :)

  • bialakura

    bialakura said 5 years ago

    what a lvely and simple idea! Thanks:)

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 5 years ago

    very sweet

  • YourBeeswax

    YourBeeswax said 5 years ago

    Great use of beeswax and a fun activity for the kids! Thank~you

  • tiedyejedi

    tiedyejedi said 5 years ago

    Adorable! I might have to do this before my family's next trip to the park; that little lake out there would be a nice place to set some pirate ships afloat . . . I mean cruise ships. Yes. No piracy at all here.

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 5 years ago

    beautiful photos to accompany!

  • EmilyWiserJewelry

    EmilyWiserJewelry said 5 years ago

    so cool!

  • EmilyWiserJewelry

    EmilyWiserJewelry said 5 years ago

    so cool!

  • SilverFirsFarm

    SilverFirsFarm said 5 years ago

    fun! And if anyone is interested- I have lots of beeswax I could do a custom listing for. I buy my beeswax locally, actually hundreds of pounds at a time, so I have extra :)

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 5 years ago

    THIS IS SO COOL! Rowan(my son) would love this as bath time funs or for going to the park.

  • KimsCraftyApple

    KimsCraftyApple said 5 years ago

    looks amazing!

  • StringUnion

    StringUnion said 5 years ago

    What would make this even more fun would add some glitter!!

  • JustaBrenda

    JustaBrenda said 5 years ago

    I have the beeswax out doing collages today, I'm going to have to try this!

  • gofancynancy

    gofancynancy said 5 years ago

    I don't have any grandchildren yet, but I am saving this for when they do arrive. This looks like great fun for kids of all ages, thank you very much!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 5 years ago

    I am always amazed at the talent of others. This is fantastic!

  • NavankaCreations

    NavankaCreations said 5 years ago

    Takes me back to memorylane. Only difference is we didn't use beeswax as kids and kept making boats over and over again. Was a good origami practice though. Great idea.

  • GloriousMemory

    GloriousMemory said 5 years ago

    Lovely!!!

  • mybabybooties

    mybabybooties said 5 years ago

    how fun. cool idia

  • jiang888

    jiang888 said 5 years ago

    Make sure an adult is on standby should you need any help. Be sure to use heat proof gloves and tongs to prevent your skin from touching the hot wax. Microsoft Office 2010 download

  • JadieBaby

    JadieBaby said 5 years ago

    I used to love doing origami when I was little! I will have to introduce my little girls to this art... thanks for the reminder! They will LOVE playing with these little ships! How clever!

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