How to Make a Ship Centerpiece for Thanksgiving

Kids will love helping to make this large sailing ship centerpiece, which is reminiscent of the vessels that brought colonists to the new world. It's a cinch to make and will definitely bring a boat-load of fun to any Thanksgiving table.
DIY Red and White Ship Thanksgiving Centerpiece

DIY Red and White Ship Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Kids will love helping to make this large sailing ship centerpiece, which is reminiscent of the vessels that brought colonists to the new world. It's a cinch to make and will definitely bring a boat-load of fun to any Thanksgiving table.

Materials Needed:

  • long, deep rectangular or oval-shaped serving container
  • scissors
  • 2 large light-colored pieces of patterned paper
  • small piece of solid-colored paper that coordinates with the serving container
  • 3-foot-long 3/8" wooden dowel
  • 2-1/2" round wooden tread wheel with a center hole that fits a 3/8" wooden dowel
  • pencil or marker
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • miter box and saw
  • tape measure
  • food to fill container (such as nuts, wrapped candies, or breadsticks and rolls)

Create Ship's Mast

Use a miter saw to cut wooden dowel so it measures 4 times taller than the height of the serving container (Image 1). Insert the dowel into the center hole of the wooden tread wheel (Image 2).

Measure Container's Width and Height

Place the tread wheel and dowel in the center of the serving container and measure the container's width (Image 1). Next, measure the distance from the top of the container to the top of the dowel (Image 2). Note: These measurements will be used to determine the size of the ship's sails.

Create Paper Sails

Use scissors to cut two rectangles out of light-colored patterned paper (Image 1). They should both be one inch wider than the width of the container, and two inches shorter than the distance from the container's rim to the top of the dowel. Use a marker to draw an arched line on each side of one of the paper pieces (Image 2). Align the two pieces of paper (both patterned sides facing out) and use painter's tape to secure the papers' tops and bottoms (Image 3). Cut along the arched lines with scissors, then remove tape and hot-glue the paper "sails" (patterned sides facing out) to the wooden dowel, leaving two inches of dowel visible above the sails (Image 4).

Create Flag and Finish Centerpiece

Use a coordinating solid piece of paper to create two small triangular flags and hot-glue them (back-to-back) to the top of the dowel (Image 1). Place dowel "mast" in the center of the serving container and fill with snacks of your choice (Images 2 and 3).

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Magnolia Leaf Wreath

Wreaths don't have to be full and fluffy to be beautiful. Try making this simple, modern take on the traditional holiday wreath with preserved or freshly cut magnolia leaves.

How to Make a Rectangular Rustic Fall Wreath

This simple and sophisticated wreath brings a natural element to holiday decor. Its versatility allows you to hang it on a door or use it flat on a table as a centerpiece.

How to Make Homemade Tomato Juice

Make tomato juice at home without separation anxiety.

How to Make Foam Halloween Tombstones

These hand carved and painted tombstones are an inexpensive and easy way to create a personalized and creative outdoor Halloween display.

How to Make Glittered Pumpkins

Shake up your Halloween decor with these colorful glittered pumpkins. A great project for kids, creating these sparkling pumpkins is quick, easy and fun. Plus, since the pumpkins remain whole, they'll last much longer than carved ones.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make Peekaboo Pumpkins

Create a spooktacular vignette of peeking pumpkins using miniature gourds and a variety of inexpensive bowls and lidded dishes.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.
More from:

Thanksgiving Ideas

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.