Playhouses can be expensive, but with this simple hack and a few supplies, you can create a DIY Collapsible Cardboard Car. Make a basic play car or get fancy with car accessories, such as a license plate and steering wheel that actually moves! Add velcro so they’re removable and easy for storing under your kids’ bed or in a closet once playtime is over. It’s especially great for small rooms and avoiding clutter!
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Collapsible Cardboard Car
Car Body Supplies
- Large, square cardboard box, around 34 inches
- Craft knife or box cutter
- Yard stick
- Round velcro stickers (like these from Amazon)
- Extra cardboard
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Paper clip
Car Accessory Supplies
- Extra cardboard
- Red bottle cap
- Plastic plate
- Velcro strips (like these from Amazon)
- Red, yellow, white, and black paint
- Large paintbrushes
- 4 mason jar lids
- Letter stickers (like these from Amazon)
- Silver duct tape (like this from Amazon)
- 4 paper plates
- To create the car body, cut all flaps off of the cardboard box. Cut fold on one side, then open up the entire box and lay flat.
- Create your car template, following the images below to trace — with the yard stick and marker — and cut — with the craft knife — the back of the car.
- Then follow the images below to trace and cut or fold the left side of the car.
- Do the same for the front.
- Then follow the images for the right side.
- Assemble the box back up into a 3-D shape.
- To shape the front of the car and hood, fold along the fold lines you traced out, then add velcro discs to keep upright.
- To close the side you previously cut, cut three small rectangle pieces of cardboard and fold in half. Then glue one side to the corner and add velcro discs to the other.
- To create a movable steering wheel, start by cutting a circle of cardboard and connecting it to the dashboard by pushing a paperclip through and flatten it. Then fold up your dashboard and glue one side of a folded 8″ x 5″ piece of cardboard to the car body. Then add velcro discs to the other side to keep the dashboard propped up.
- Build your steering wheel by gluing a bottle cap to the center of a plastic plate. Glue a velcro strip to the other side of the plate. Then glue a second velcro strip onto the cardboard circle you previously made.
- For the taillights, use the inside of the mason jar lid to trace a circle from extra cardboard. Cut it out and paint it red then glue it to the frame of the lid. Glue filler cardboard pieces to the back and stick on velcro discs so the taillight can connect to the car body. Repeat for the headlights, but with yellow paint.
- Create a front license plate by cutting out a rectangle from cardboard and painting it white. Stick on letters to spell out the word “VROOM.” Let dry and glue to the front of the car. Repeat for the back license plate.
- For the front grill, cut 11 thin rectangle cardboard strips. Cover each with duct tape. Cut 2 more for the door handles, then fold both sides of the strips over. Glue the grills and handles to the car body.
- Make wheels by cutting a cardboard circle that can be glued inside of the paper plate. Paint circle and plate black. Add rims by cutting thin rectangle cardboard strips and covering with duct tape. Cut them to fit the tire and glue to secure. Repeat for the three other wheels, then add velcro and secure.