DIY,  Make

Paper Cup Rocket Inspired by Stellarphant

Are you looking for a fun craft to make with your children for Book Week? These fun jumping paper cup rockets were inspired by one of this year’s CBCA shortlisted Picture Books, “Stellarphant,” written and illustrated by James Foley.

“Stella wants to be an astronaut. There is only one problem- Stella is an elephant. Every time she applies to Space Command, they come with a new reason she can’t join. But where there’s a will, there’s a way and Stella is determined to reach for the stars.”

“Stellaphant” is a fun, bright story, with a comic book feel, about one of my favourite subjects, outer space. The main character Stella, shows us that with a can do attitude your dreams can become reality, you just have to be prepared to work for them. This book is also a great conversation starter for little kids about the importance of inclusion. I also loved the final end papers with all the animals who have travelled into space. Today we are going to make our own jumping rocket ships using paper cups and rubber bands.

To make your paper cup rocket, you will need the following craft supplies:


  • 2 paper cups
  • Colour paper
  • 2 rubberbands
  • Gluestick
  • Scissors
  • Grey lead pencil

Step 1

To make our paper cup rockets, take 1 paper cup and make 4 evenly spaced little cuts around the rim of the cup. The cuts should be approximately 2 cm deep.

Once the cuts have been made, your cup should look like the image below.

Step 2

Now let’s add the rubber bands. Thread 1 rubber band, through 2 of the cuts that are opposite each other. Then thread the other rubber band through the 2 remaining cuts. They should make a cross in the centre. The rubber bands should also be a little loose in the centre of the cup, to allow the cup to be pulled down over the top of the other cup. Here is what the rubber bands will look like when finished:

Step 3

Make your paper cup look like a rocket by adding some wings and a nose cone. To make the wings I used a small piece of orange paper folded in half and drew the design of my wings on top. I made sure to leave a little extra paper for attaching the wings to the cup. I marked the extra width using dotted lines. I then cut out the wings

Fold the wings along the dotted line to create a small flap. Glue along the flap and attach to the sides of the cup.

Step 4

Now let’s make our nose cone. To make a symetrical looking nose cone, I again folded a piece of orange paper in half and this time drew half of the nose cone along the folded edge of the paper.

Cut out your nose cone and unfold the paper. Fold the nose cone along the bottom flat edge to create a flap. Glue along the flap and attach to the top of your paper cup.

Step 5

Decorate your rocket using colour paper, stickers, felt tip pens or pencils.

Paper Cup Rockets | A Few Small Adventures

You might even like to decorate your 2nd paper cup. This paper cup will be used as the launcher for your rocket.

Our paper cup rockets are now complete! To make your rocket jump, place your rocket cup over the top of the launcher cup. Pull the rocket cup down to the bottom of the launcher cup, keeping your hands/fingers out of the way and let go! Have fun blasting off!

Paper Cup Rockets | A Few Small Adventures

My daughter Zoë had lots of fun making her own rocket. It’s such a fun and simple craft to make. We hope you have fun making jumping paper cup rockets too!

Paper Cup Rockets | A Few Small Adventures
Paper Cup Rockets | A Few Small Adventures

Take a look at Zoë’s rocket blasting off!

Looking for some more crafts inspired by this year’s shortlisted books? Take a look here:  | Paper Plate Whale inspired by “Walk of the Whales” | Cat Collage inspired by “Winston and the Indoor Cat”

Looking for Book Week display inspiration? Take a look at my “Wizard of Oz” display here: Dreaming with Eyes Open Book Week Display 2022

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