How to Make a Rocketship Out of Cardboard Tubes

Updated November 21, 2016

Save empty paper towel, toilet paper and gift wrap rolls for a rocket-ship building extravaganza. This simple craft project is perfect for young children and their parents. It may be difficult for young children to properly cut the correct shapes to make a rocket’s nosecone and fins. Parents can help with this part of the craft and allow their children to decorate their individual rockets. Find stories about space travel and have kids take their rocket projects on a “space mission” throughout the house or backyard.

Cut the paper towel roll to 8 1/2 inches long. Squeeze a thin line of craft glue running the length of the cardboard tube. Attach construction paper to the glue line and roll the tube down the length of the paper. Where the paper meets with the original starting point, cut the paper and secure with another line of craft glue.

Place a separate sheet of paper down on the table. Trace two triangles on to the paper that measure 5 inches long at the base and 4 inches high. From the centre of the base to the top to the triangle draw a line. Cut out the shapes.

Slide the dowel into the base of the rocket. Secure with electrical tape.

Cut each of the triangles from Step 2 in half along the line previously drawn in the middle. Glue the triangles around to each side of the tube’s base to create the rocket’s fins.

Draw a circle on construction or wrapping paper that measures about 4 inches in diameter. Trace a glass with the appropriate diameter or use a compass. Cut out the circle. Cut a slit from one edge to the centre. Wrap the construction circle around the top of the cardboard tube to create a nosecone for the rocket. Place a thin line of glue around the outside edge of the cardboard tube. Press the nosecone to the glue to secure.

Curl three pipe cleaners around a pencil to create a springlike shape. Secure the pipe cleaners so they come out of the end of the rocket like exhaust. Use tape or glue to create a strong hold.

Glue three ribbons at the top edge of the dowel closest to the rocket. Wrap the ribbon around the dowel. Secure to the end of the dowel with a drop of glue. Allow the ends of the ribbons to trail off the end of the dowel.

Decorate the rocket’s body with stickers and glitter glue designs.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Construction paper or wrapping paper
  • Craft glue
  • Ruler
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glass with 4 inch diameter or compass
  • Electrical tape
  • ¼-inch dowel, 12 inches long
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pencil
  • Compass or glass with 4-inch diameter
  • Ribbons
  • Stickers
  • Glitter glue
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