A cardboard race car doesn’t have to just be for kids. A small child may fit more easily into most cardboard boxes, but if you have a big auto racing fan in the family, a cardboard race car can serve as a unique touch to that auto racing fan’s upcoming birthday party or as a prop for an Indy 500 viewing party. With a sturdy cardboard box, making a race car doesn’t take much effort.
Things You'll Need
- Box cutter
- Duct tape
- Construction paper
- Paint (optional)
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Make the body of the race car. If you want a person to be able to sit in the race car, you’ll need a box big enough to accommodate them. Any large box will do for small children. For an adult, you may need something as large as a refrigerator box. On each end, cut one of the longer flaps off of the box with a box cutter, then tape the other flaps down. The box should now be completely closed up and you should have two long flaps leftover. Lay the box so that the longest, widest side is facing up and cut a hole in the top with a box cutter. This hole should stretch from one side to the other and be about a foot to a foot and a half wide. You may need more space depending on the size of the person who will be sitting in it. Cut the hole toward one end. You will need to leave space for the person’s legs.
Make the windshield. Fold over approximately 2 inches of the long side of one cardboard flap and press down until it stays folded. Now attach the flap to the top of the box right in front of the hole you cut out. Tape the 2-inch flap down with duct tape. Keep the fold pointed toward the hole. The rest of the flap should lean backward slightly, just like a windshield.
Cut a door or two. If you want doors that open and close, simply cut down each side of the box with a box cutter. Your cuts should be even with the back of the hole in the top. Then cut along the bottom of the side where it meets the bottom of the box until you are even with the front of the hole on top. This will free a flap on either side. Just fold the flap outward from the box and you will have doors that can be pushed open or closed.
Make a steering wheel. Cut the remaining flap from the box in half so you have two long strips. Cut one of the strips in half so that you have two shorter strips. Cross the two shorter strips like an ‘X’ and tape them together with duct tape. Fold one end of the longer strip back two inches and hold until it stays folded. Duct tape the ‘X’ you made onto the 2-inch fold. Attach the long part of the flap to the car by duct taping it inside the box, up underneath where the windshield is attached. The piece with the ‘X’ should stick out slightly into the hole. Complete the steering wheel by cutting out a circle of construction paper. Attach to the ‘X’ with duct tape.
Decorate your car. You can paint the car with water-based paint or you can use construction paper to give the car color. Just cover every surface and tape the paper on with duct tape on the bottom. You can add lights, paper wheels, and don’t forget the racing decals and a big number on the hood.