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  • Writer's picturemommynjammies

Fun and Easy DIY Cardboard Box Car for Kids: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

When it comes to imaginative play, kids are experts at turning everyday objects into extraordinary adventures. If you're looking for a simple and creative project to engage your little ones, a DIY cardboard box car is a perfect choice.

Transforming a humble cardboard box into a fantastic automobile will not only provide hours of entertainment but also encourage their creativity and problem-solving skills.

In this step-by-step guide, I'll show how we created our DIY cardboard box car for her school's movie "night".

cardboard box car

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Materials Needed to create an awesome cardboard car. Before you get started, gather the following materials:

  1. Large cardboard box

  2. Scissors or utility knife

  3. Duct tape or hot glue gun

  4. Acrylic or washable paint or markers

  5. Paint Set and Paintbrushes

  6. Paper plates or plastic lids and bottoms (for wheels)

  7. String or rope (for pulling the car) if desired

Step 1: Prepare the Cardboard Box

Begin by selecting a large cardboard box that your child can comfortably sit in. Remove any flaps or unnecessary parts of the box using utility knife.

This will serve as the main structure of the car. Ensure that the box is clean and free from any sharp edges or staples that could cause harm. I'd highly suggest for you to turn the box inside out to remove any box labels and so that the paint looks better and even.

Step 2: Design the Cardboard Box Car

Let your child's imagination run wild! Using markers or acrylic paint, decorate the exterior of the cardboard box to resemble a car. Encourage your little one to come up with a unique design and color scheme.

They can draw windows, headlights, a license plate, or any other details they desire. This step adds a personal touch and enhances their creativity.

cardboard box car

Here at home, we have the Early Learning Kids Paint Set Washable Finger Paint with Assorted Paint Brushes, it is one of the best investments I've ever done for my daughter.

It keeps her entertained for hours since she likes to try and feel the structure of every single brush and see what it does. We use some of the stencils to actually decorate her card box car.

cardboard box car

Step 3: Create Openings if Desired to your Cardboard Box Card

Using scissors or a utility knife, carefully cut out openings for the windshield and side windows. Remember to leave a solid frame around the openings to maintain the structural integrity of the box. This step allows your child to have a clear view while driving their cardboard box car.

cardboard box car

Step 4: Attach the Wheels

To create the wheels, trace and cut out circles from paper plates or use plastic lids and container which is what we did since we had left over container in the trash.

Depending on the size of the box, you may need four to six wheels. Attach the wheels to the sides of the car using either duct tape or hot glue gun. Make sure they are securely fastened, allowing the car to roll or slide smoothly.

cardboard box car

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches

Encourage your child to personalize their cardboard car further. They can add details like headlights, taillights, a steering wheel, or even a personalized license plate. Use markers or paint to bring these details to life. This step allows your child to exercise their fine motor skills and attention to detail.

cardboard box car

Step 6: Safety First

Before your child takes their new cardboard box car for a spin, ensure their safety. Check that all edges are secure and free of sharp points. If necessary, cover any exposed areas with duct tape to prevent injuries.

Step 7: Go for a Ride on your new Cardboard Box Car

Now it's time for the ultimate test drive! Find a safe and spacious area where your child can enjoy their cardboard box car adventure.

If the car is too heavy to be pushed, attach a string or rope to the front and have your child pull it while sitting inside. Encourage imaginative play by creating a racetrack or a pretend road for added excitement.


Building a DIY cardboard box car is a fantastic way to engage your child's creativity and provide them with hours of imaginative play. By following these simple steps, you can transform an ordinary cardboard box into an extraordinary vehicle.

Not only will your child have a blast riding around in their customized car, but they will also develop problem-solving skills, unleash their creativity, and enjoy the satisfaction of building something with their own hands.

So, gather your materials and get ready for a fun-filled adventure with your little one!

cardboard box car


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