Float your boat

  • Now that you’ve been on the planet awhile, you know that troubles never stick around for long. Difficult times come and go…and come again… and go again.

    It’s a bit like sailing on the sea. There are days when the water is calm, and other days when you find yourself caught up in a storm of worry.

    On those days when the water is rough, it’s good to have a strong ship and a few tools on board to help you navigate the storm.


  • STEP 1 OF 8

    Gather your supplies:

    8 1/2 x 11 paper, plain or fancy. Lightweight paper is easiest to fold, but you can experiment with heavier papers. (Construction paper is not recommended because it tears too easily.)

    Additional paper for writing notes to tuck inside your boat



    Glue or Mod Podge (Nothing sticky in the house? Try this super simple glue recipe)

    Your choice of materials for decorating your boat: paints, collaging supplies, stickers, colorful tape, etc.

  • STEP 2 OF 8

    Place your piece of paper on a flat hard surface. This will make the folding much easier.

    If you want a smaller boat, you can trim your piece of paper — just be sure to trim it evenly on both sides, using either a ruler or paper cutter. For example, you could trim an inch off the top and side of your sheet of paper so your paper is 7 ½ x 10…. or you could trim an inch and a half, or two inches, so your sheet is 7 x 9.5 or 6.5 x 9.


  • STEP 3 OF 8

    There are many videos on how to fold a paper boat. Here is one that we like, but you can choose another style boat if you prefer.

    To make your boat’s edges nice and neat, run your thumbnail or the side of a pencil along each fold.

    Sometimes it takes a little practice to make a boat, so don’t worry if your first boat isn’t quite ready for the sea — just grab another piece of paper and try again.

  • STEP 4 OF 8

    Now that your boat is folded, it’s time to fancy it up a bit. You can decorate your boat using any materials you’d like — pens, paint, stickers, pictures and words cut from magazines, colorful tapes, etc.

    If you happen to have some Mod Podge around, brushing a layer over your boat will give it a nice shine. Mod Podge looks white when you first brush it on, but don’t worry, it will dry clear.

  • STEP 5 OF 8

    When you are finished decorating your boat, it’s time to add your cargo. What words of wisdom and encouragement would be helpful to have along on your journey?

    First, cut out some small pieces of paper, in any shape you want. Then write a few notes to yourself. Here are some ideas:

    Reminders to yourself of your strengths, your courage, your ability to get through tough times.

    Words of advice to yourself.

    Your favorite inspiring quotes or song lyrics.

  • STEP 6 OF 8

    What else do you want to add to your boat? Here are some ideas:

    Magazine clippings that remind you of your calm, strong, joyful self.

    Meaningful trinkets. A heart, for example, can remind you to be loving to yourself when you are having a hard time. See what trinkets you can find around your house — or, if you have clay around, you can make your own.

  • STEP 7 OF 8

    Here’s a nice relaxing exercise to try after you’ve finished your boat:

    First, get into a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor. When you’re ready, set a timer for a couple of minutes — or longer, if you’d like.

    Now close your eyes, and as you take deep slow breaths, imagine yourself in a boat, floating on the sea. The sun is out, the water is calm, it’s a beautiful day for sailing. Keep floating along on your peaceful sea until your timer goes off, and when you are feeling ready, open our eyes.

  • STEP 8 OF 8

    If you enjoyed that exercise, try it again sometime. You can also try relaxing on the beach, or floating through the air on a magic carpet — there’s no limit to where your imagination can take you.

    Want to add your boat to our gallery? We’d love to see it.