DIY Maui Fish Hook

Sometimes a small, light-up kids’ weapon is just not enough to convincingly turn your hubby into the demigod Maui… at least, not according to him. And *poof* you have been manipulated into thinking there is somehow this essential, blatant, positively DIRE NEED to sculpt a massive fish hook from insulation sheathing, construction glue, and rope. You aren’t an artist, you’ve never sculpted a single thing on this planet, and yet you find yourself at Home Depot with your kiddos, having said sheeting cut into a size you can ‘reasonably’ fit into your vehicle, …and for under $35, the adventure begins.

For real, though, this fish hook is legit. You know you want to make this! Once seen, it simply cannot be unseen, and that plastic $20 toy just aint gonna cut it. We found this inspiring kid-size DIY Maui fish hook, but our egos demanded a life-sized mammajamma. Don’t worry if yours does too, read on to get step-by-step instructions for this beginner-friendly project! Trust me, if we can do this – you can do it better.



1 sheet of this purple insulation sheathing
2 tubes of Liquid Nails for interior projects (we learned the hard way that stronger glue reacts with the foam board and is no bueno)
some rope
-large paper (wrapping paper, butcher paper, craft paper, etc.)
-sample size jar of paint in an ivory-ish color
-cheap brush
-brown sharpie
-hot glue gun and glue sticks
-sanding tools, see below

Step 1: Draw & Cut

Acquire materials, have staff cut the board once – exactly in half, making two pieces of 4×4 – and safely drive home with your ecstatic crew.

Tape the paper to the board. Looking at photos online, freehand the hook as largely as possible onto the paper. Prepare to use an eraser.

Cut each of your foam boards in half again to create a total of 4 equal pieces (each 2×4). Cut out your new stencil and tape it onto one of the foam boards. You may need to cut the handle short and tape it back in another area. You will glue it back again later.

Cut out the shape using a jigsaw, then use this newly cut piece to trace onto the next piece of foam board. Repeat until you have 4 fish hooks & 4 handles cut out from the 4 foam boards. Glue them together in a stack using the project glue. Place weights on top of them and leave to sit until completely dry (roughly a day).

Step 2: Shape

Hubby, I mean Maui, used multiple tools to sculpt the hook. He said he cut the major pieces with an oscillating multi-tool, but by far his favorite tools were a simple rasp and file and some sand paper. The rasp (rough side) was easily able to take large chunks out of the foam and the file was able to prepare it for its final sanding. Continue to sand your 4-layer-sandwich into the desired shape. Draw a line down the center of the hook to help guide you where the high points should be. Forewarning to choose your location wisely: purple dust. everywhere.

He watched some YouTube videos on shaping Maui’s hook which helped give him just the pep-talk he needed to do a fantastic job! He said he learned a lot from this guy right here.

At this point the hook was very top heavy. So, in addition to gluing the handle on, we drilled holes and added two 6″ dowel rods for stability. Let it sit again until solid.

Step 3: Paint

We learned a very important science lesson which I will now pass on to you, dearest reader. Do not spray paint the purple board!!!!! It will dissolve the board. It will make your husband cry. It will ruin lives.

Instead, coat the hook with regular brush & paint. I sprayed, cried, waited until it dried, then used some white Behr paint leftover from another project. If I had that jar in the right color from the start, I never would have had that extra step. Or the horrors. A sample size jar of ivory colored paint and a cheap brush will complete the job and leave your masterpiece in tact.

Step 4: Sharpie and Rope

Once the paint is dry, you’re ready to add brown sharpie designs. There are roughly zero decent internet pics of the hook with all of its details and markings, plus they all look like they’ve been drawn by a 3-year-old. So, just pull up a picture of the fish hook toy (for real, that’s the best pic I could find) and mark away. The more imperfect the better.

Hot glue the rope to the handle.


Add the hair, the bod, and you’ve got yourself a demigod.

Add a couple of Kakamora coconut kiddos and a Moana, and you’re ready to take on Halloween like WHATTTTT???????

Read about our DIY Family Moana Movie Costumes here!
See us as Dinosaur Trainers in one of the internet’s top family costumes here!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. […] –Click here to learn how to make the DIY Maui Fish Hook […]

  2. […] It is hulking and enviable. Kids want it, dads gotta have it. Did I mention we aren’t artists? If we can do it, so can you! Find out how to build a DIY Maui fish hook here. […]

  3. […] made the bone hat from a stray piece of insulation foam board leftover from another project (aka Maui’s Fish Hook – see that here). I painted it, then hot glued on some rope (again, leftover from the Maui […]

  4. Justus Soriano says:

    The result of the effort is reflected in your smile. Love it! I’m fond of doing like this too. Using styro boards, polishing the sides with water based putty, lastly painting by water-based acrylic paint. I will make one for myself in time for the 7th birthday celebration of my grand daughter. Thanks for sharing!

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