How to Make Wheels That Roll Out of Cardboard

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Cardboard wheels can be made from a box you no longer need.
Cardboard wheels can be made from a box you no longer need. (Image: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Some science classes require students to create a car out of household items. This car is then used in class to study concepts in physics and other areas of science. Parents can also make these cars at home to entertain younger kids. Cardboard is something that can be found in most homes, especially in the form of discarded boxes from purchasing household items. One of the most important aspects of making one of these cars is to create wheels that can roll. If the wheels cannot roll, the car is useless.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Cardboard
  • Math compass
  • Box cutter or hobby knife
  • White glue
  • 1/8-inch wooden dowels
  • Scissors

Use a math compass to mark the circles for your wheels. A compass ensures that all of the wheels are the same size and are perfectly round.

Cut out the circles with a box cutter or hobby knife. Keep the wheels as round as possible to ensure they roll evenly.

Poke a hole through the center of each of the cardboard circles where the point of the compass rested.

Punch holes into the cardboard box you are using for your car -- two holes on each side. The holes on each side should line up with the holes on the other side.

Slide a wooden dowel through each of the sets of holes so they pass through the center of the box and stick out on each side. Enlarge the holes through which you place the dowels so they can turn freely.

Insert each end of the wooden dowels through the center hole on each of the cardboard wheels. Cut off any excess dowel that sticks out beyond the wheels. The wheels should be located close to the car without touching it.

Add a dab of glue onto the center of the circle where the wooden dowel pokes through to secure it into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use corrugated cardboard to provide additional traction and stability. Thinner cardboard may bend under the weight of the car.
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