Do your kids love playing with cars? If so, they’ll love this fun and easy DIY upcycled box race car. Made from an upcycled box, this race car is eco-friendly and perfect for hours of imaginative play. Plus, it’s a great activity to do together as a family.
Upcycled Box Race Car
This upcycled box race car craft is perfect for kids of all ages! It’s easy to make, and your little one will love racing it around. Not only is this a fun craft project, but it also teaches kids how to reuse materials and recycle old boxes into something new. They’ll love feeling like they’re helping the environment while having fun too.
If they like this project, then they might also like our cute little egg carton car project. These are such good ideas for using things you might normally through away. A great teaching moment for your kids!
Can This Really Move?
The way I made this race car, using the bottle caps as wheels, it does not move. It could move if you choose to make the wheels differently. My wheels are in place statically, but if you were to create a dowel that ran through the car that allowed the wheels to move, this car could roll. Another idea is to use wheels on a spindle from an old car or truck.
Should I Paint or Cover the Box?
You can leave the race car craft as it is, using just the colors of the box that you used. You can also paint the car if you want to put more time into the craft. It is easy to paint.
I like to use thicker paint, like acrylic, but since this is a craft that kids can do for themselves, finger paint or poster paint will also work. These kid-friendly paints won’t cover as well but you won’t have to worry about staining.
You can also simply wrap the box in craft paper if you prefer an easier option when working with little ones. This is a great way to help them practice cutting and pasting, and less messy than painting.
Ways to Customize a Kids Race Car Craft
There are many ways to customize this race car. As always, this is just an idea for inspiration. You don’t have to use the exact style or methods shown. Below are some other fun ideas to make it unique for you.
- You can use different colored boxes, add paper over the box, or paint the car whatever color you like.
- Use a larger box or even make your own box from scrap cardboard pieces.
- Add in extra details while painting such as windows, or even a little person peaking out of the window.
- Add stickers or logos for favorite race car drivers from Nascar or Formula 1.
- Cut out part of the top to stick a tiny action figure into the car, or even use pipe cleaners and beads to make your own people go into your race car craft.
- Use something different for the wheels on the car. Buttons, bottle caps, or even just cardboard all work.
- Add buttons or beads to give the car a steering wheel or antenna.
The goal it to have fun with this and teach kids about how they can reuse items instead of just throwing everything away when they are done with its original purpose.
- Empty toothpaste box
- 4 bottle lids
- Green craft paper
- Green straw
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue stick
How to Make a Box Race Car
For this project, I am using an empty toothpaste box. You can use any smaller box that is longer than it is wide. If you prefer to paint the box or cover it with paper, you will want to do that to begin and let it dry completely before continuing with the project.
Begin by tracing a triangle shape so that one edge is at the seam and the other is about 1/2″ upwards onto the box. This creates a right angle at the end of the box.
Repeat this process on the other side so they match. This will be where you cut and trim to create the front sloped part of the car.
Now, trim off the excess on both sides of the box leaving just the triangles on the sides. Then, trim off the ends of the box where the flaps are so you have straight edges.
Now it is time to start creating the car look. I used green paper for this step, but you can use any color you want. Match the colors of the logo on the box, or something totally different. Trace a rectangle slightly wider than the end of the car on a piece of green paper.
Cut out the rectangle, then cut a small strip out of both sides so both ends are intact to create a super wide “I” shape. Repeat this and make 2 identical pieces.
Now, glue one of these to the bottom of the open end of the box so it hangs over the sides and front. Then, fold the top down onto the bottom, and glue it into place holding it down into a curved nose that is thinner at the front.
Now, glue the second rectangle onto the top back of the box above the closed end.
The last step is to add the wheels. Glue two pieces of straw onto the bottom of the box, one near the front and one near the back. Leave these with about 1/8″ hanging out on both sides.
Now, glue the bottle caps to the straws creating 2 wheels per side of the box car.
Add additional decorations to the car if desired.
More Easy Crafts for Kids
Kids’ crafts are a must in our house and I love having a variety of options so we never get bored. Below are some of my favorites and some lists of ideas that are always popular. Get started upcycling items you have on hand to create fun new crafts with the kids. Make sure you bookmark your favorite ideas, print out their tutorials, or pin them to a craft board on Pinterest so they are handy when you are ready to make them.
- Easy Painted Paper Roll Butterfly Craft for Kids
- Fun Painted Egg Carton Dragon Kids Craft
- 30 Insanely Adorable Toilet Paper Roll Crafts for Kids
- Colorful Craft Stick Dragonfly Kids Craft
- Adorable Paper Fan Hedgehog Kids Craft
- On the side of the box, trace a triangle shape with one of the edges at the seam, and the other about 1/2" into the box so you have a right-angle triangle.
- Repeat this on the other side of the box.
- Now, trim off the excess on both sides of the box leaving just the triangles on the sides. Then, trim off the ends of the box where the flaps are so you have straight edges.
- Trace a rectangle slightly wider than the end of the car on a piece of green paper.
- Cut out the rectangle, then cut a small strip out of both sides so both ends are intact to create a super wide "I" shape.
- Repeat this and make 2 identical pieces.
- Now, glue one of these to the bottom of the open end of the box so it hangs over the sides and front.
- Then, fold the top down onto the bottom, and glue it into place holding it down into a curved nose that is thinner at the front.
- Now, glue the second rectangle onto the top back of the box above the closed end.
- Glue two pieces of straw onto the bottom of the box, one near the front and one near the back. Leave these with about 1/8" hanging out on both sides.
- Now, glue the bottle caps to the straws creating 2 wheels per side of the box car.
Add stickers or a logo to the side to create a "team" for them to root for.
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