How to make cardboard surfboards

Updated February 21, 2017

Wowing your friends with a life-size cardboard surfboard is a must at a beach-themed party. Construct a simple surfboard to cut costs, and save time by using old cardboard boxes. You need to prepare in advance because it will take a couple of hours to put together. The surfboard will be easily recognisable owing to its unique shape and large size. If you fancy, complete the surfer dude look by wearing board shorts and rash vest.

Flatten the sturdy cardboard boxes and lay them side-by-side in a line. You need to create at least 1.5 m (5 feet) of length to create your surfboard, so use two or three big boxes to do this.

Overlap the boxes slightly, and then put PVA glue between the two layers to stick them together. The surfboard is a homemade accessory, so it does not matter that these ridges are present because they will be painted over.

Draw a large elliptical shape across the surface of the rectangle of cardboard using a marker pen. Fill the space to create a life-size surfboard. It should be approximately 87.5 cm (35 inches) wide and 187.5 cm (75 inches) long. However, this can vary according to how much cardboard you have and your preferred surfboard size.

Cut out the surfboard by following the line you drew in Step 3. Do this outside on a flat surface -- a lawn or patio is ideal. Cut the shape using a craft knife. Yo might need to make a couple of incisions along the line to cut through the thickness of cardboard.

Cover the flat workspace in scrap newspaper. You are spray painting, so do this outside or in a well-ventilated garage space to avoid breathing in the fumes.

Spray the white base coat of paint first. Shake the spray paint can thoroughly for two minutes, hold it 30 cm (12 inches) from the surface of the cardboard and then press down on the nozzle. Cover the surface in white paint.

Build up at least two layers of white paint to cover the brown of the cardboard boxes. Allow each layer to dry before adding the next.

Decorate your cardboard surfboard with coloured spray paint. Add a funky graffitti design by tagging the board with your signature. Or, spray the shape of a wave with blue paint in the centre of the board. Use your imagination to personalise the surfboard.

Wait for the paint to dry, and get ready to hit the surf.


Instead of using cardboard boxes, buy thick, white cardboard from a craft shop. Do not take your surfboard into the sea or the rain; it is designed for entertainment only and will crumple if wet.


Wear a face mask when using spray paint to avoid inhaling the fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • PVA Glue
  • Black marker pen
  • Craft Knife
  • Newspaper
  • Spray paints
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About the Author

Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.