How to make a foldable tractor out of a cardboard box 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 bike and make a brilliant cardboard tractor, even better this cardboard box tractor 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 it 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 tractor was foldable for storage and longevity. A tractor is a great make if you have more than one child as you can add another box at the rear as a trailer, so they can take turns in driving. If you like this then also take a look at our cardboard box car that folds too.
The boxes that kids bikes from Halfords come in are fantastic thick cardboard perfect for transformation, way too good to just send for recycling.
How to make a tractor 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)
- Our tractor printables
- Paper plates
Lots of cardboard vehicles 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 tractor. 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 vehicle like our fabulous cardboard car 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 tractor – or just use my plan and start drawing it out on the cardboard. A tractor is super easy to draw as it is all straight lines.
Then cut out. Make sure your blade is sharp, it is much easier and safer to cut the cardboard with a sharp knife. Also if you have a metal rule you can use that to cut against.
A top tip for making sure both sides of your tractor are the same is to take the cut out from the first side and turn it over and use it as a template.
Cut out your windows and again you can use the cutouts as templates for the other side.
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 – I learned with the tractor to paint on the side with no writing as then it only takes one coat. I had to go over the writing a couple of times.
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 tractor 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!
Our Cardboard tractor has a bonnet which lifts up and holds the steering wheel. I fixed it with stick on velcro as I did the rear door too.
Before adding on a number plate and break lights.
Then when the children have enough time playing, you can fold it and pop it away until next time.