DIY Cruise Ship Portholes

This post is brought to us by guest editor Carrie Anne from


For many families March brings a desire to getaway, perhaps a tropical vacation. I may not be heading on a family cruise, like EverythingMom Michelle’s Disney Dream inaugural launch, but I can try to recreate Disney’s interactive portholes with this personal porthole craft idea.

All the supplies you need you more than likely have on hand:

  • porthole (paper plate, takeaway container, microwave tray, basically any disposable plate with a lip)
  • a sheet of paper for your sea scene (we used white and colored the water but you could start with blue construction paper)
  • scissors
  • crayons, pencil crayons, or whatever coloring tool you love
  • plastic wrap
  • double sided tape
  • thread

The kids can do all of this craft except for cutting out the paper plate. I found this a little tricky for small hands. Using a sharp knife or penknife, cut out the flat center area of the plate so all you have left is the rim. This is your porthole. I did this part before bringing the kids to the table.


Taking the plate, lay it with the lip flat on your background paper and trace the outside. This will give the kids a guide for their background creation. I did discover that depending on how big the porthole lip is on your plate, you might have to draw your background image bigger. With the plate on the paper you can see how much of the image is visible and adjust accordingly. My daughter had to make her rocky bottom a little bigger to avoid it being hidden by the edge of her porthole.

The kids can get as creative as they like, adding seaweed and rocks, anchors and boat wreckage. Perhaps even a treasure chest.


We decided to mimic the look of a glass window by using plastic wrap. Lining the inside edge of your porthole window with double-sided tape, place the plastic wrap down on one side and slowly stretch out to cover all the tape spots around the edge. Try to keep any big folds out of the plastic wrap but don’t worry if it doesn’t look as smooth as glass. Using scissors just trim off any extra plastic wrap and discard.

On a separate piece of paper draw the sea creatures you want to see out your personal portal. Will it be an octopus or perhaps a clown fish? Maybe it will be a diver or a mermaid? We used colored construction paper but you could just draw and color on white paper. Once they are drawn, cut them out to put within your personal porthole scene.









I originally hung my fish from the inside edge of my porthole with tread and tape, giving the fish a little movement, but my oldest daughter just taped hers down to her background (round the tape to give some depth). Both options work at providing a three-dimensional feel.

When your scene is done, now it’s time to bring the porthole window and background together. Using your double-sided tape, outline the flat lip of your porthole and stick the cutout background circle to match it. Press the tape to secure.

Flip it over and enjoy your peek into the sea. The kids love sticking these on their walls or bed or even the window, pretending they were on a cruise or an undersea adventure.


These personal portholes are a great way to countdown the days to a family cruise or just to let the imagination swim. If you are planning a trip, don’t forget to bring along a few distractions like Melissa & Doug’s Water WOW! Fairy Tale – On the Go Travel Activity or the Flip -to-Win Hangman Game. Bring along a Trunki for packing the kids’ gear (and getting through the airport terminal quickly).

What are your March travel plans? Heading somewhere with the family or hanging out at home?

Carrie Ann