Making cardboard cars is a fun activity. Large cardboard cars, made from movable boxes, can keep kids entertained for hours. Toy cars in small sizes are also fun. You must prepare a pencil, cutter, and glue to make cardboard cars, both large and small.
Method 1 of 2: Making a Large Cardboard Car
Step 1. Get a large cardboard box that can fit you or a small child
Before choosing the box you want to use, make sure the child you want to build a car for can fit in it. If the car is made for small children or toddlers, you can use an old television box.
You can buy large boxes at a flea or thrift store
Step 2. Apply duct tape to the bottom of the cardboard
It's a good idea to use clear duct tape, but any other duct tape will work as well. Apply duct tape along the bottom two or three times.
Step 3. Cover the top of the cardboard but leave one of the side flaps short
Bend one of the short lids onto the inside of the cardboard, but leave the other lid on the outside of the box. Next, use duct tape to glue the two long flaps of the flap so that the top of the cardboard is covered.
The short cover left outside the box will serve as the back of the car
Step 4. Measure and mark the long side of the cardboard into 3 parts
Measure the length of the cardboard using a tape measure, then divide the length into 3. After that, draw 2 lines using a pencil that will divide the cardboard into three.
The car door will be placed in the center of the cardboard
Step 5. Cut the top side of the cardboard using a cutter to make a lid
Start at the back of the cardboard, cutting off 1 side at the top of the box to separate it from the sides of the cardboard. Stop cutting when you reach the front third of the cardboard. Next, do the same on the other side of the cardboard.
- At the end of the step, the back two-thirds will separate from the sides of the cardboard.
- Make sure that the process of cutting cardboard with a cutter is carried out by an adult. If you are not an adult, ask another adult for help.
Step 6. Fold the top cover in half, then glue it with duct tape
Measure the length of the cover and draw a horizontal line in the middle so that the folds are even and even. Bend the top cover inward so that the folds are inside the cardboard box. Glue the folds of this top cover with duct tape horizontally.
Step 7. Do the same on the back cover
Fold the back cover in half as you did the top cover. Use duct tape to glue the back flaps together.
Step 8. Color the cardboard if you want
You can paint the car any color you like (eg blue, red, black, or something else), or leave the car as is. Use acrylic paint and apply with a brush or spray. Apply the paint evenly to cover the entire surface of the cardboard. Let the paint coat dry, and apply a new coat of paint to make the color stronger.
- Place the cardboard on top of a sheet of newspaper or plastic so the paint doesn't hit the floor.
- Let the paint dry for about 1 hour before moving on to the next step.
Step 9. Make the door by cutting or drawing the sides of the cardboard
If you want a door that opens and closes, cut the cardboard along vertical lines near the back of the car, and at the bottom of the box. If you want to make a door that can be opened, don't cut the vertical line near the front of the car.
Step 10. Make the windshield and windows of the car
You can make windows and windshields by cutting out cardboard or drawing them. Make the front and back glass measuring about 3–8 cm from the sides of the front and back covers, then draw a rectangle. Draw box shapes on both car doors to serve as windows.
Step 11. Attach the wheels to the car with Velcro (adhesive buttons) or glue
Car wheels can be made of paper, plastic plates, or cardboard. Paint the wheel with black paint before you stick it or leave it as is. Place the wheels on the car at a distance of about 15 centimeters from the front and back of the car.
You can make a rim by covering a strip of cardboard with duct tape and attaching it to the wheel with glue
Step 12. Finish building the car by adding a license plate, lights, and spokes on the front
You can build a simple or detailed car. Use paint, cardboard scraps, and other craft items to give it the look you want.
- For example, you can add headlights by making small circles out of cardboard, coloring them with yellow paint, and attaching them to the front of the car with glue. You can also use the bottom of a paper cup as a lamp.
- To make the bars on the front of your car, you can use a few long, small strips of cardboard covered with duct tape, or some silver-painted ice cream sticks.
- You can also use colored markers to create lights and other details.
Method 2 of 2: Making a Small Cardboard Car
Step 1. Make 2 identical car pictures on 2 pieces of cardboard
Select the desired car shape. The size of the car is up to you. If you are still confused about the size, try making a car with a length of 15-25 cm.
- In practice, the height of the car should be 1/3 of the length.
- Don't forget to draw a semicircle as a place to put the wheel.
Step 2. Cut the 2 images you made with the cutter
Place the cardboard on a cutting board or other hard surface, then carefully cut the outline of the image.
Use strong scissors if you don't have a cutter
Step 3. Glue the two pieces of the car image onto another cardboard using hot glue
Measure and cut a rectangular piece of cardboard that is the same length as the side of the car image. The width must also be equal to the height of the car. Next, apply glue along the bottom of the car image. After that, carefully glue the two cardboard car pictures onto the rectangular cardboard sheet and hold it until the glue dries.
Step 4. Use another sheet of cardboard to make the roof of the car
First measure the top of the car. Next, cut a piece of cardboard using a cutter to the size you have got. Apply glue to the top of the car image, then glue it and gently press the top of the car over it. Hold the cardboard sheet until the glue dries.
- To get an accurate length of the top of the car (since cars have curves), use string/thread to trace the top of the car, then measure the length of the rope with a ruler.
- If you're making an arch at the top of the car, bend the cardboard with your fingers to follow the shape of the curve.
Step 5. Make room for the wheels by cutting out the bottom of the car in a small rectangle
After the car frame is attached to the base, turn it over. After that, make a small rectangle at the bottom (where the frame meets the bottom cardboard sheet) for the wheels.
Step 6. Make the wheel by tracing the bottle cap
Place the bottle cap on the cardboard sheet and make a circle by tracing the bottle cap, then cut out the circle. Do this 7 more times so you will have 8 circles. Glue 2 cardboard circles to make 1 wheel.
Step 7. Insert the skewer into the wheel
Make a small hole in the wheel using a cutter. Once the hole is made, fill the hole with glue and insert a skewer into it. Repeat this step on the other 1 wheel.
Before inserting it into the wheel, first remove the pointed end of the skewer
Step 8. Attach plastic straws to cover 2 skewers
Cut a plastic straw to a length equal to the width between the two wheels. Next, attach the straw to the skewer attached to the wheel. Repeat this step on the other skewer.
Step 9. Attach the other 2 wheels to the ends of the skewers to complete the axle of the car
Make a hole in the wheel that has not been attached to the skewer using a cutter. Fill the holes with glue, then attach the wheels to the skewers. Cut the skewers sticking out of the wheel.
Leave about 1 to 2 centimeters between the wheel and the plastic straw to allow the wheel to spin
Step 10. Glue a cardboard rectangle between the 2 wheels
Measure the width of the wheel hole and the distance between the two wheels. Next, cut 2 cardboard rectangles according to the size you get. Glue this piece of cardboard using hot glue between the two front and rear wheel holes.
Step 11. Use glue to attach the axle to the cardboard rectangle
Apply glue along the center of the rectangular piece of cardboard. After that, press the axle on the cardboard rectangle and hold it until the glue dries.
Step 12. Add the desired details
You can paint it or draw a design on the car. Give the headlights, windows, license plates, and windshield to make the car look more realistic.