Good Morning Friends! I wanted to share a full tutorial on how I made the DIY cardboard box cars for our drive in movie night. Below are all of the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble your own cardboard car.
Step 1: To assemble the DIY cardboard box cars you will need cardboard boxes; I used these 18 x 24 ones from Lowes that I already had sitting in the garage. You will also need packing tape, hot glue, a box cutter, scissors, and a ruler.
Step 2: Fold and tape the box into the standard box shape, leaving it open at the top.
Step 3: Measure 12 inches up from the bottom of the box all the way around. Then at each of the four open corners of the box, cut between the flaps down to that 12 inch mark to lengthen your box flaps.
Step 4: Using a round object of your choice (I used a coaster, included in the printable), draw two semi-circles on the front of the box (on the new fold line, where the flaps will fold down).
Step 5: With a box cutter, carefully cut along the semi-circle line that you just drew.
Step 6: When you fold the flap downward. The two semi-circles of the headlights should remain standing up. These are your headlights.
Step 7: Measure 6 inches down from the top of all 4 box flaps and trim off that 6 inches, so that your box flaps are now all 8.5 inches.
Step 8: Measure 8.5 inches in horizontally in from the front on the side flaps of the box fold (on the left and right of the headlights). Next, with the box cutter, cut vertically from the top of the flap down to the 8.5 inch mark on the flap fold. Repeat for both left and right sides.
Step 9: Fold both the left and right 8.5 inch panels down and tape together with packing tape. Then fold the front flap down onto it and glue. This creates the dashboard.
Step 10: Place hot glue on the inside back flap of your car and then fold over to attach to the inside back of box. This will act as reinforcement as well as create a more sturdy back of your car.
Step 11: Now it’s time for windows! Draw a curved window shape with pencil on the remaining left or right side panel. Then use that cut out as your stencil to cut out the same piece on the opposite side.
Step 12: For the Bumpers I took foam pool noodles from dollar tree and cut them into 18 inch lengths. Then I cut them length wise to create the front and back bumper with flat sides to be able to glue onto the car. I covered the bumpers in the silver foil card stock with my hot glue gun. Now you can get to painting and decorating.
I used Krylon spray paints from Lowes that were less than $5 each. It took me less than 2 cans to the coral and mint green car. The aqua blue was a bit more tricky. I really don’t suggest that color since it took me 3 cans and it still didn’t fully cover.
The printable attached for you to download has everything you need in order to cut out the pieces to decorate the car, including the Ford license plate. We used foil card stock in red, gold, and silver to make everything on the car.
This was one of the most fun projects I have done in a long time. I will say that this is a weekend project that took two people, a lot of spray paint, and a whole lot of patience. If your kids are under 52″ tall, then these cardboard box cars will be perfect for them. You could use these for a drive in movie night at home, or just for your kids to play make believe.
**This post is in partnership with Southern Ford, but all opinions are my own.