Tuesday, 18 August 2015

How To Make A Pirate Ship Row Boat Photography Prop

When I was shopping for brick wallpaper for my Christmas Chimney prop tutorial, I spotted the most amazing wood plank effect wallpaper too and the minute I saw it, I could picture it as a Pirate Boat!  (Hey, you wonder whether you could fit a baby inside things, I wonder what I can do with wallpaper!!)

I did make a few mistakes when I was making it, which I've highlighted so you won't make the same ones

You will need

(1) big pieces of cardboard - I asked in some of my local shops the day before cardboard recycling, but you could always keep cardboard from your big 30x20 canvas orders
(2) a smaller box - this is what your child will sit in, so it needs to be big enough for that
(3) black fabric or black paper
(4) I happened to see these gold curtain tassle tiebacks in a pound shop - for decorative use on the outside of your boat only, not essential
(5) I got this pool noodle for a pound in a pound shop - but you could use a cardboard tube, from the inside of wrapping paper for example
(6) something to cover your noodle/tube with - I bought a rush-mat (from the pound shop!) and some brown paper (pound shop again!) as I didn't know until I started what I would use. I actually ended up using the brown paper
(7) scissors that can cut through cardboard
(8) double sided tape
(9) spray adhesive - an absolute must
(10) planks of wood wallpaper - this roll cost me £5 from a big DIY shop
(11) glue gun

Step 1

I cut my big sheets of cardboard for the sides of the boat.
I folded them in half lengthways to make them rigid and to help them stand up.
However, what I didn't do was make sure I had enough to fully construct the boat!  I assumed what I had cut would be enough.  It wasn't and I ended up having to cover extra cardboard and couldn't get the planks of wood to line up.  So build your boat first, before covering it.

Step 2

Use your spray adhesive to cover both sides of your folded cardboard.
Spray adhesive makes it so quick and easy to stick the wallpaper on, but it is fairly messy, so I recommend doing this outdoors.

Step 3

Now you're going to make the seat for your child to sit in inside the boat.
It is actually there to have something to glue your flagpole to and to offer a bit of stability to the sides of your boat.
Cut down this box to slightly lower than the sides of the boat.
I also removed one side of the box so the child would be able to sit with stretched legs, rather than having to sit scrunched up

Cover all of the edges of the seat box that will be seen by your camera with your wood wallpaper.

Step 4

Now cut your flagpole (pool noodle / tube) to height required.
Please choose something that is not too heavy in case it falls on your client.

Step 5

Using your spray adhesive, cover with your brown paper if needed.
(If you are using a cardboard tube, you can probably skip this step)

Glue your flagpole to the seat box.

Step 6

Now to make your flag.  Here is where I would have done things a bit differently.
I totally covered a piece of cardboard in a rectangle shape in my black fabric, but then the glue wouldn't stick the fabric to my flag pole.
So I had to cut away some of the fabric to expose the cardboard and glue that to the tube.

Fabric does not adhere well to paper covered pool noodles!
Be sure to leave some cardboard on the back of your flag to place glue on to.

Step 7 

Print out my Jolly Roger design (download here) and stick to your flag.  I used the double sided tape to do this.

Step 8

Decide where your seat box is going to be and glue to both insides of your boat

Step 9

Decorate the outside of your boat using the life belts in my download and anything else suitable (how great do those cheap curtain tiebacks look?!)

Don't, whatever you do, let your husband catch you photographing your dog in the boat ...

(she got a big biscuit afterwards!)

This pirate boat would look fantastic used with one of my split backdrops, such as the pirate island!

View more of my backdrop designs here

You could even apply the water reflection technique to your images!

I hope you enjoy this Pirate Boat tutorial and can see where I made a few mistakes along the way so that you know not to!

Please do let me see any boats you make!!

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