© Hellenic Museum Argonauts Club

CREATE YOUR OWN ANCIENT GREEK SHIP

In creating your model Argo your a limited only by your imagination! It can be as elaborate or simple as you like, but don't forget to make it seaworthy!

What kind of ship is it? What is your ship designed to do? For example, does your ship:

  • Sail long or short distances

  • Explore and discover new places

  • Sail at high speed

  • Protect costal territories

  • Trade or carry heavy loads 

Consider how the design and features of your ship will reflect its purpose. Also, don’t forget to give your ship a name! 

THINGS TO CONSIDER
DECORATING YOUR SHIP

The ancient Greeks often decorated the bows of their ships with eyes to protect the sailors against evil and to help guide the ship through perilous seas. Ships were also ornamented with intricate figureheads (akrostolia), paintings of sea creatures, and mythical beasts. Flags flew from the ships stern showing the emblem of the tribe or patron deity. Sometimes ships were inlaid with marble!

 

Decide how you would like to decorate your ship, - go out into the wilds of nature and find unusual natural materials with interesting textures and colours, decorate it with beads, glitter or gold, just make sure it a glory to the gods!

BUILDING YOUR SHIP

Materials

Scissors

Milk carton (for the ship body)

Any decorative materials (Paint, textas, coloured paper, crayons, glitter or natural martials such as leaves and shells).

4 x Skewers (For the ship mast and yard)

4 x Pipe cleaners

1 x sheet/piece of plain or coloured paper (for a small flag)

Spare fabric cut into an 18cm length x 10cm width rectangle (for the sail)

Blutack

A pen

You can use any materials you like to build your ship. Wood, plastic bottles, waxed cardboard anything that is light and waterproof is ideal. Below is an outline of how to make a ship from a milk carton, but you can adapt the method to your own ship. 

Directions

1.    To make the ship's mast bunch 3 skewers together in your hand with the pointy ends facing down.

2.    Twirl a pipe cleaner all the way down the sticks to secure them into one thick stick.  Be careful not to prick yourself with the sharp ends of the skewers.

3.    Get another pipe cleaner and twirl it tightly at the very tip of this mast stick. Twirl the whole pipe cleaner around and leave only 5cm sticking out behind the mast stick like a tail. Take this little tail and turn it upwards like a snorkel.

4.    Cut a small triangular shape out of paper (plain or coloured) and set it aside. This triangle will become a little flag that you will attach to the tail at the top of the mast. However, you need to finish the rest of the mast before you attach the flag.

5.     A yard is the horizontal pole connected to the ship mast. The yard holds the top of a square shaped sail. To make the yard you need to get 1 skewer and ask an adult to cut it to 21 cm. Twirl 1 pipe cleaner half way down the skewer. When you get half way, connect the yard to the mast. Do this by interweaving the pipe cleaner to join the yard horizontally to the mast.

6. Cut a plain piece of spare fabric into a 18cm length x 10 cm width rectangle. This is your sail.

7. Decorate the fabric by colouring it in with stripes or drawing a symbol like a sun on it. Use texters or paint (acrylic or watercolour). If you decorate the sail with paint let it dry before you move onto the next step.

8. To attach the sail to the yard, get 1 pipe cleaner and cut into two 3cm lengths.

9. Lie the mast with the attached yard on the table. Place the fabric sail horizontally along the yard. Take one of the 3cm pipe cleaners and clamp it down on the top left edge of the sail. The pipe cleaner should now hold the left edge of the sail to the yard. Repeat this step on the right side of the sail.

10.The Sheet is a rope attached to the two bottom corners of the sail. The Sheet controls the sail’s angle to the wind. To make a Sheet cut two 13-cm pieces of twine, string or thread. Cut a small hole in the bottom right and bottom left hand corners of the sail. Thread the string through and tie a small knot on both sides.

11. Get the triangular flag (that you cut out earlier) and decorate it. Attach it to the pipe cleaner tail at the top of the mast with blu-tack.

 

 Your mast, complete with yard, sail, sheet and flag is now finished.

 

12. Ask an adult to help you with this step. To finish your ship, get a pen and make a hole in the centre of the milk carton. Then push the mast in. You may want to secure the base of your mast with blu-tack.

13. Place 1 small blob of blue tack on the left end/corner of your ship. Do the same on the right end.  Attach the loose ends of your sheet to the blu-tack.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE YOUR VERY OWN SAILING SHIP!

Why not send us a picture of your finished masterpiece and we will post it in our gallery!

 

Make sure to send Jason your name, the name of your ship and a short description explaining what your ship is designed for (is it a war galley, merchant ship, built for a quest?) to crew@argonautsclub.org

Ship

GALLERY