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Cardboard Car DIY For Kids!

Author Laura Gummerman


  • cardboard box
  • X-Acto knife, ruler, and cutting mat
  • hot glue gun
  • tape
  • paint
  • ribbon or rope for straps
  • paper, glitter, stickers, and other craft supplies to make things like a license plate, etc. (optional but fun!)


  1. First, I took a cardboard box that was basically a square and drew this shape above on the box. Your box will probably be a different size so I won’t give you the exact dimensions of mine, but you want to have that angled “nose” area on the front that makes the front of the car and the hood area, and then the flap will contain the window like mine does. You don’t have to be an expert copier to draw this, just a general shape like that will work fine!

  2. Next, you’ll want to cut out your shape with scissors or an X-Acto knife (I found an X-Acto knife and a ruler with a cutting mat underneath to be much easier). Make sure that you keep the tip of the car’s “nose” connected to the cardboard panel, don’t fully cut that tip away from the rest of the box.

  3. Go to the opposite side of your box to create the other side of your car and use the scrap pieces you just cut away to trace the same design onto the other side of the car (you’ll want to reverse them though, so don’t forget to do that). Cut those lines as well remembering to keep the “nose” connected again. Now you’ll have the two sides of your car cut out!

  4. Lay your box on its back (on the rear bumper) and score a shallow cut between the two points where the nose connects so you can bend the front panel at that line like you see above. Cut off the flap above your rear bumper as well so that’s not sticking up anymore.

  5. Trim your “hood” section so it stops where the windows begin and fold down the front panel of your car where the headlights will go. You can use tape on the inside of your cardboard to secure your flaps in place or you can use some hot glue where the flaps meet the sides.

  6. Once you have your general car body shape, you can paint it or decorate it with the color of your choosing! You don’t have to paint the whole thing like I did, but I had some leftover pink paint, so I just decided to go for it to make it extra cute.

  7. Now we get to decorate a bit! You can use some of your leftover cardboard flaps and scraps to make some car decorations and I thought it would be fun to make a 3D bumper for the back. To make a 3D rectangle, I took a flap piece the length of the back of my car and cut a rectangle that was 9″ wide. Then I scored a line 3″ in from the left side, then another line 1.5″ in, then another line 3″ in, and that left me with a final section that was 1.5″. So, once the three scored lines were bent (like you see in the photo on the left) I could fold them all to make a rectangle (like you see on the right) and just glue gun the two ends to touch.

  8. To make a little license plate, I took a scrap piece of cardboard and cut it into a rounded rectangle. Then I cut a smaller piece of white paper and glued that on and added some gold chipboard letters for her plate letters. I also cut some circles out for the lights on the car and some windows out of white paper.

  9. What’s a car door without handles? I also cut an 8″ rectangle of cardboard to be a handle and scored and bent it 1″ in and 2″ in from each side to make a handle I could attach with hot glue.

  10. My cardboard box was a little thinner so I also glued a piece at the top of the windshield for some extra stability.