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Notes from the Writing Life

How to Make A Bathtub Friendly Antlered Ship

How to Make A Bathtub Friendly Antlered Ship

Yesterday, at the launch party for my new picture book, The Antlered Ship, I taught folks how to make their very own bathtub-friendly antlered ship. It's the perfect bookstore, library or classroom craft -- no glue, no tools, no paint, no mess. All the materials are easy to find, around-the-house things -- perfect for upcyclers. Want to make your own? Watch the video demo or scroll down for written instructions. (I'll have a PDF of these instructions available for download soon. -- visit the Speaking section of this site and look under Resources and Learning Materials.)

Materials You'll Need:

·       1 or more pipe cleaners

·       2 rubber bands

·       3 corks

·       1 bamboo skewer trimmed to roughly 6 inches, or 6 inch knitting needle, or sharpened chop stick, or similar item to use as a mast

·       scrap card stock or acetate for sails (old folders or binder dividers work well)

·       clear or colored tape

·       scissors

·       hole punch 

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Step One: Make Your Antlered Figure Head

·      Cut one pipe cleaner in half

·      Take one half, make a loop, and shape the ends into antler shapes. The loop is your deer head – you can twist into a solid shape or keep it as a loop – your choice.

·      Twist the other half around the antlers to create more antler branches.

·      If you want, you can continue to add more pipe cleaners.

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Step Two: Make A Ship and Attach Your Figurehead

·      Loop a rubber band around each end of the antlers.

·      Gather three corks. Make sure the center one is made of actual cork so that it’s easily pierced. If you have plastic corks, you will need to make a hole in the side of the center one with a nail or other implement. (Grown-ups should do this for small kids; older kids can do it themselves with supervision.)

·      Wrap the rubber bands around three corks so that the corks are held together like a raft and the figure head is at the bow.

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Step Three: Add Sails

·      Cut sails out of card stock or acetate. I find that two rectangle shapes work well, with one smaller than the other.

·      Fold the smaller sail in half and pierce down the center line with whatever you’re using as a mast. (You can use a hole punch to make holes, or just poke it through)

·      Slide the sail towards the top and do the same with the larger sail.

·      Add a pennant to the top of your mast. You might use a piece of colored tape folded over the top and trimmed into a penant shape. Or you might cut a pennant shape from colored paper or acetate and tape it to the top of the mast with clear tape.

·      When all your sails are on the mast, poke the mast into the center cork.

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Step Four: Sail Away in Search of Answers . . . or More Questions

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What An Honor!
The Story Behind The Antlered Ship

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