How to make a foldable cardboard box car with free printables is a paid collaboration with Halfords #ImaginationStation. One of my best ever gifts was a bike and this is the same for lots of children, but also kids LOVE cardboard boxes. So why not reuse the cardboard box that comes with your child’s bike from Halfords and make a brilliant cardboard car, even better this car folds flat for storage.
Growing up my boys loved playing in cardboard boxes. I remember turning one into a train and carriage and they played with ut for months. The only downside was the fact that I had a couple of big cardboard boxes in my dining room which inspired me to make sure that this fabulous cardboard box car was foldable for storage and longevity.
The boxes that kids bikes from Halfords come in are fantastic thick cardboard perfect for transformation.
How to make a car out of a cardboard box
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- Halfords Kids Bike Box
- Cutting mat or large chopping board
- Tape measure
- Masking tape
- Stick on velcro (our secret magical ingredient)
- Split Pin
- Our Cardboard car printables
- Paper plates
Lots of cardboard cars are made from square boxes, but I wanted to show that with a little creativity you can turn a long box into a great cardboard car, plus the bonus is this is made with much stronger cardboard and it is foldable too. Yes it take a little planning, however, once you have the basics you can make any vehicles like our fabulous cardboard tractor that folds for storage.
Start by measuring your box – I have found that most of the children’s bike boxes were about 140cm folded, which gives you in excess of 280cm to play with.
Then cut off the top and the bottom of the box – the main reason for this is there are really large staples in the box, and this removes them and gives you a nice rectangle to work with. Also, cut one of the ends so you end up with a long rectangle of cardboard.
Plan out your car – or just use my plan and start drawing it out on the cardboard.
The cut out. Make sure your blade is sharp, it is much easier and safer to cut the cardboard with a sharp knife.
A toop tip for making sure both sides of your car are the siame is to take the cut out from the first side and turn it over and use it as a template.
Look it is starting to look like a car!
Cut out your windows and again you can use the cut outs as templates for the other side. Plus you can use it to cut our any bits that are not quite perfect!
If your cardboard box has bends where you don’t want them, then you can reinforce it by using cardboard perpendicular to it and this is where the masking tape comes in. It is perfect for using inside or outside as you can paint and draw over it.
Once you have your car cut out you can paint it (or leave it for the kids to decorate). I painted ours with ready mixed Tempura on the side with no writing and it only took one coat.
Now for the fun bit – the decorating.
You can make this as easy or complicated as you want and to make it easier we have created some car printables you can download including number plates to personalise, headlamps, brake lights, steering wheel and speedometer. If you want to make it even easier then print them onto sticker paper!
You also need to turn your straight cardboard car into a box and the way to do this is using stickable velcro. It means that you can take it apart to store.
You can also use the velco to stick on a dashboard like we did and make your steering wheel turn by using a split pin.
Look – All you need to do is undo the velco and then you can store your car.