How to Make a Cardboard Van

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Cardboard vehicles can be built as small as toys or as large as full-scale props for a play. The basic shape of a van lends itself to this type of craft. A full-size van is basically a block rectangle, which means that a rectangular box of almost any size can be made into a van. The box should be square on the ends and the length should be twice as long as the width of the sides.

Things You'll Need

  • Rectangular box (general dimensions of 1 x 1 x 2)
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Additional sheet of cardboard
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint or markers
  • Select a box that is square on one end and twice as long as it is wide.

  • Lay the box long-ways on a flat surface. Determine which end will be the front.

  • Mark a horizontal line across the front of the van approximately one-third from the top.

  • Mark a horizontal line across the top of the van approximately the same distance from the front, which should be approximately one-sixth its length from the front.

  • Mark a diagonal line on either side of the box, connecting the end of the line on the front with the end of the line on the top.

  • Cut along the four lines to remove the top edge from the van's front.

  • Cut out a piece of cardboard that is slightly larger than the hole in the front of the box. Cut two large, square holes in this piece to represent the windshield. Tape plastic wrap on the back side of the windows to represent the glass of the windshield.

  • Tape the windshield piece of cardboard over the hole in the front of the box to complete the windshield. Trim any excess cardboard.

  • Cut four wheels from a separate sheet of cardboard, making each one approximately the diameter of the height of the windshield.

  • Glue two wheels to each side of the van, letting the wheels hand half-way over the bottom.

  • Paint or draw doors, windows, lights, a license plate, decals and logos to the van. Also color the wheels black and draw hubcaps on them.

Tips & Warnings

  • When making a full-scale van, use a larger box of corrugated cardboard, such as a refrigerator box. Consider reinforcing the sides with an inside frame of wooden slats or PVC pipe.
  • For additional cardboard van projects, search the internet for foldable paper patterns, which can be printed out, glued to cardboard, and then cut, folded and taped together.

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  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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