How to create a paper Viking boat

Updated November 21, 2016

Vikings were Norse explores who travelled the seas looking to expand their territory. They used large boats called longboats to get around. Longboats were designed to travel long distances and were sturdy enough to withstand the elements. The design of the boat helped instil fear in the towns and villages the Vikings wanted to pillage. Making your own longboat can be fun and educational. An easy way to make a Viking longboat is by using newspaper and paste to make a paper-mache boat.

Tear newspaper into strips approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. The number of strips will vary depending on the size of your Viking ship.

Mix one part flour to five parts water in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for three minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. This is your paper-mache paste.

Dip your strips of newspaper into your prepared paste. Run the strips through your fingers to wipe off the excess paste.

Place your strips onto a plastic drink bottle. You can use a 500 ml (or 17.5 oz) bottle or a 2 litre (70 oz) bottle. Leave the underside of the bottle uncovered. Also leave the end of the bottle that would usually be the bottom of the bottle uncovered. Overlap the strips to cover the rest of the bottle, including the bottle neck. Apply a second layer of newspaper and allow the paste to dry completely. This may take up to 24 hours.

Remove the newspaper ship from the bottle. Turn the ship around so that the open end that was at the bottle's bottom is now facing the bottle's neck. Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 to create the other end of the ship.

Remove your dried ship from the bottle.

Paint your dried ship with acrylic paints. Allow the paint to dry.

Poke two holes in an index card with a wooden skewer. The holes should be in the centre top and bottom of the card. The top and bottom are the long sides of the card. This is your mast and sail. Use glue to attach your mast to the centre bottom of your ship.

Punch several holes in the upper backside of your ship, using a hole puncher. This will be for the oars. Insert wooden skewers through the holes like a Viking ship's oars would be.

Draw a dragon head on a piece of paper. Cut the shape out and attach it, using tape, to the front, or bow, of the boat to complete it.


If you desire, cut round shields out of paper and attach those to the side of your ship as well.

If you prefer not to use paper-mache paste, purchase liquid starch from your local supermarket.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Medium saucepan
  • Plastic drinks bottle
  • Acrylic paint
  • Wooden skewer
  • Index card
  • Hole puncher
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Tape
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