Frugal Summer Fun: Juice Box and Sponge Boats

Bug loves boats….well, he loves pirate ships, so anything that floats in the water is a pirate ship.  So we had quite a fleet of “pirate ships” to play with the afternoon that we made these.

Check out 30 Frugal Summer Fun Ideas.

Here’s what you need:

  • empty, clean juice boxes
  • popsicle sticks or staws
    the ones in the picture were made with straws but the second time around we used popsicle sticks and those did better!  Straws make taller sails but they’re too flimsy.
  • craft foam
    if you can get the kind with the self adhesive backing it helps a lot!
  • Stickers
  • something to poke a small hole in the juice box
    an Xacto knife works well.



  • Cut triangles for sails.  I cut them just slightly shorter than the stick (about 1  inch)
  • Decorate sails.
  • If you have the self-adhesive foam, remove a popsicle stick size section of backing off the edge and adhere stick.  (If you don’t have the adhesive kind you’ll have to use glue which (a) I don’t know if it will work and (b) you’ll have to wait for it to dry before you can assemble the boats.  I also let the tip of the sail stick above the top of the stick a little.
  • Cut a hole in the center of the juice box just big enough for the stick and insert it.
  • You’re sailboat…or pirate ship…is ready to sail!

We made a couple of these too.  They don’t hold up for long in the water but Bug loved them.

I cut a cheap sponge (pack of 3 for $1 at Dollar Tree) in half and we used toothpicks and some of these sail and flag printables left over from Bug’s birthday party to give them a real pirate look. We took all our boats outside and floated them around the kiddie pool for an afternoon.


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