Stick Raft

Ahoy Mateys! Ever been stuck on a deserted island? Well…er…us neither, but stranger things have happened! We want to prepare ourselves for every eventuality by practising making a raft.

This raft will be majestic, made from sturdy wood and able to withstand the stormiest of seas…it’ll just be…well… a little smaller!

PS. Before you get started… you may like to check out the video at the bottom of the page by clicking here

Difficulty Level:

2.5 paintbrushes

What you need:

Here’s an idea! – You can use as many or as few sticks as you like, it might be good to experiment making a smaller one, then a bigger one – you never know how many logs you will be able to find on an island!


  1. Arrange the raft base into how you want it to end up looking. Place two sticks on the bottom about a hand length apart. Balance the rest on top in the other direction next to each other. Remember what this looks like for later. You can remove the top layer of sticks before step 2.
  2. Tie a very long piece of string around the end of one of your two ‘base’ sticks, about 1 cm from the end. Tie it tightly until secure. Repeat with the other base stick.
  3. Attach the first stick for the top platform on top of these base sticks. Place it at right angles about 1 cm from the end of both base sticks. Now twist the string attached to one bottom twig up and over the top stick. Keep twisting below the base stick and up and over the top stick, switching from left to right.

    Then, repeat on the other side with the string attached to the second base stick.
  1. Attach the next top platform stick using the same method of using string to go up and over and then below the base stick, on both sides.
  2. Repeat this with each stick, until you have attached your whole platform to the base sticks.
  3. Now it is time to add the sail! First attach a long stick to the platform by carefully jamming it into the middle of the platform, in between two sticks. Use some string to attach it to the platform by threading the string through the platform and round the stick, up and over several times.
  1. For the sail use a square piece of felt or fabric roughly 15cm on all sides. Fold it into a triangle shape and use either glue or sewing to secure it.

    If you use glue, you must do step 8 before adding your glue, then attach it to your stick before it dries so that it will stay on.

    If you are sewing, make sure to leave a gap of about 2cm in the middle at the bottom so you can put the stick through.
  2. Using more fabric/felt or even pens, create a design or two designs for your sail.

    We’ve done a classic pirate skull and bones on one side and a fantastical unicorn on the other. Remember, your sail is the first thing other sailors will see so get creative and put a bit of purrsonality into it!
  1. Once the sail is up, you might want to add some ‘rigging’ to secure it even more like we have. Tie some string to the top of the stick and then tie that to the platform, repeat on both sides making sure they are both quite tight.

Need a little extra help...

Why not watch the video?

Hint: You can also find more videos on our Video page here.

Further Activities

Why not try making mini people for your mini raft? We made one using a cork and googly eyes to make a mini person for the mini stick raft!

Avast! Don’t try to ride this boat. It may be mighty, but it also be small!