Walnut Boats

When I was a boy, I remember making walnut boats like this with my Grandma.  My sisters and I would play with them in the bathtub.  They were so simple and fun.  This morning we had some walnuts in the kitchen, so I made some boats with the kids!

Just melt some candle wax into a walnut shell.  When the wax gets a little firm, stick a toothpick in it for the mast of the boat.  Let the wax cool. (We stuck ours in the fridge for a couple minutes.) Then attach a paper sail by poking it onto the toothpick.  Ahoy!


  1. Mammagiramondo.
    April 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Last winter we've made candles with walnut shell but I've never thought about making a boat of it. Really a simple and fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

  2. ruimtevisser
    April 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    OOOh thanx, we tried this with playdo but it didn't work well!


  3. Paulina
    April 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    So großartig!Viele, liebe Grüße, Petra

  4. Tanya
    April 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    we've been making walnut boats and paying in the puddles, so much fun! love your sails!

  5. se7en
    April 13, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Oh we have always tried to make these and never knew how to keep those pesky masts up... I love the wax, its a brilliant idea!!! Thanks again for another great idea!!!

  6. Lu
    April 13, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    They are awesome!!!

  7. Karumen
    April 14, 2010 at 5:27 am

    cute idea!! luv the boats :))

  8. BabyT24
    April 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Good idea. I will try this with the daughter of my neighbors at the weekend.

  9. patricia
    April 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    lovely idea! i will try it for sure with my son, thanks!

  10. Jolayne
    April 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    someone mentioned a book.... do you have a book coming out?? I do hope it is true :)

  11. Joel Henriques
    April 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks everybody! Yeah, this craft really takes me back. I love it.

    Jolayne - Yes, I'm writing a craft/toy book. It will be out fall 2011. You can read more about it here:


  12. The Telfords
    April 14, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Your ideas totally inspire me. Especially for a simpler, but easily just as enrichening, childhood for my three boys. I cannot wait for your craft/toy book to come out. And please keep up the wonderful photography. Simply charming.

  13. Holly
    April 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

    I made something like this as a child with milkweed pods--it was in first grade and we made one to represent Columbus' ship. Cool.

  14. AG Ambroult
    April 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    We made walnut boats over the holidays! The kids love these and were playing with them just this week still. in the mud puddles, of course :)

  15. Minna
    April 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Super idea. That´s something I should try to make with my boys.

  16. caroline
    April 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I've just discovered your site. It's brilliant ! thanks for all these little creations.

  17. Neslihan Durmusoglu
    April 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Gr8 idea:)Have u got a twitter account? I want to follow u ıf u have. My account @neslidrmsgl

  18. Joel Henriques
    April 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks everybody!

    Neslihan - Nope, sorry I don't have a twitter account. Maybe someday.

  19. Alison
    April 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    What's the best way to crack the walnuts so you end up with two nice halves like that?

    Love this idea. Thanks.

  20. Joel Henriques
    April 17, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I cracked these nuts by gently pounding them over the seam with a wooden muddler I had in the kitchen. When the seam started to come apart then I pried it open the rest of the way.

  21. Romero
    April 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    super idea!!!!!

  22. conversation.compiler
    April 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Your blog is superb. Am very inspired by it. I teach a weekly art class at a community school in Mumbai and am planning to teach something inspired by your walnut boats. Here's a link http://bit.ly/96FKTr

  23. Pia
    May 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Mine sank... wish I had the Joel-touch =)
    Absolutely love your blog!

  24. Diana
    May 20, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Those walnut boats are so great, I had to post them too! Thanks for the tutorial!

  25. Mammagiramondo.
    May 29, 2010 at 9:14 am
  26. Joel Henriques
    May 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks everybody. Your boats are fantastic!

    Mammagiramondo - What a great experience you made! Nice!

  27. deepikadutta
    July 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Awesome walnut boat!! Great idea, I never thought about it:)

  28. Florence
    August 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    These are wonderful - I made these with my children yesterday and they loved them - thank you! (blogged here: http://flossieteacakes.blogspot.com/2010/08/three-ways-with-walnuts.html)

    Your blog is amazing - a complete inspiration - and I was delighted to read that you are already working on a book - do you have a release date for it?

    Best wishes,

  29. Julie
    August 26, 2010 at 4:32 am

    These are awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  30. Jo
    September 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I also did it :)you cas see it here:

    I used it for my son's birthday party, to decorate a table :)
    thank you :)

  31. Ana
    November 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Tienes unas ideas estupendas, Gracias.
    Espero que alga el libro, será interesante
    un abrazo

  32. gabi
    February 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Nagyon tetszik! Most rögtön kipróbáljuk:)

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    How do you get the walnut shell to separate so perfectly? This looks very fun. Would love to make some for our little one to take to the creek. Thank you.

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