Jaye’s First Birthday: Steamboat Centerpiece

Sticking with the theme of the food table (see the Jute Wrapped Cake Stand here), the centerpiece is an important (you could even say central) part of a party food table. From the beginning, I’d really had this vision of an awesome steamboat ¬†centerpiece. When I first created the party mood board, I had no clue how I’d accomplish this. Phil and Laura admitted later, that they couldn’t see my vision and were impressed by how awesome it turned out!

So prepare to be impressed. I started with this. A boring old cardboard box from one of our shipments of wipes.

I started by mod podging strips of paper onto the box to represent the white wooden siding. I originally had planned to paint the box, but the evening I wanted to start working on it, I hadn’t bought white spray paint yet. So I used the paper, which actually turned out way better and more authentic than spray paint. Though it was pretty time consuming.

Next, I used a linoleum cutter to cut a slit in the box to help support the deck I planned to add.

The deck was made out of thin strips of balsa wood, covered with a wood designed scrapbook paper. I stuck the wood into my slit, and taped along the bottom where you can’t see it.

For deck railings, I intended to use these thin balsa wood sticks, but the wood glue holding them together was really visible and terrible looking. And I couldn’t figure out how I was going to attach them to the boat.

So I decided to scrap that, and made railings out of cardstock instead. Then I added two black painted paper towel rolls to the top for smokestacks. I mod podged a smaller box for the cabin on top. (Secret: I intended to glue the cabin on, but never got around to it. So it just sat there in place. Hey, it worked!)

I added a paddle wheel made from a toilet paper tube and more red-painted cardstock, cutting a piece out of the back deck for the wheel to fit in. Then I printed out the name of the ship and mod podged it on. Now she’s ready to sail!

Check out all the other Mississippi River Party projects!


  1. Found you via the MMM link-up! This looks great and is impressive–go you for doing this!