How to Make a Cardboard Box Rocket

Updated February 21, 2017

When some children receive gifts, they end up liking the cardboard box more than the gift. However, it is possible to sometimes make the cardboard box so attractive that it is the gift. This is true when making a cardboard box rocket. This is a craft that can be done in a fairly short time but offers children hours and hours of fun.

Cut the box along one of the sides and along the bottom so that it can be opened up and laid out flat on the ground. Unfold the four pieces of cardboard on the top. Using a straight edge, mark four angles on the top as triangles. There should be two tabs cut out of each of the long sides of the triangle. Each panel of the box will be about 2 feet wide. The tabs should be 2 inches wide and about 5 inches long.

Cut slots in the sides into which the tabs will be placed. The location of these slots can easily be determined by standing the rocket up, folding the sides in and seeing where the tabs line up. The slots should be about 2 inches wide.

Lay the cardboard back down on the ground and trace windows anywhere where you will want them to be. Remember that the finished rocket will be standing, so the windows should be located in the upper portion of the cardboard box. Use a paint can or a dish to trace and make circular windows. Trace an area for a door at the bottom of the rocket using a yardstick or some other kind of straight edge.

Spray paint the outside of the rocket. Use a Magic Marker to write words or make drawings on the rocket if desired. Allow time to dry before moving to next step.

Cut out the tracings of the windows that were made by using a knife or heavy-duty scissors to cut around the area marked in step 3. Do the same with the door. For best results, leave the right side of the door uncut so that the door is able to open and close without being removed.

Fold the tabs on the top into the slots on the panels next to them. This will create a pointed shape at the top that will not lose its form.


Paint is not needed for this project. If you do use paint, use some that will dry quickly and not run.


The doors can easily be destroyed if children are not careful. Adding duct tape along the left side of the door will help keep it in better shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Large refrigerator box
  • Box cutter
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge
  • Magic Marker
  • Three cans of spray paint
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