How to Make a Cardboard Box Car Project for School

    by C. M. Fletcher

    About the Author

    Christine Fletcher is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington earning a Bachelor's of Art in English in 1998. Having spent eight years in the field of education as a middle school language arts teacher, Fletcher is now a freelance writer and English tutor.


    Help your child transform an ordinary cardboard box into a brand new car for imaginary play all by himself or with a group of peers. The teacher will be so impressed. You can even use the homework activity to engage him in a little lesson, such as discussing the first cars in a history class or reading a novel or short story involving a particular car.

    Things You'll Need

    • Paper plate
    • 7 paper fasteners
    • 4 aluminum pie trays
    • Glue
    • Markers
    • Polystyrene tray

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    Cut three of the four flaps off of the top of the box. Remove the two side flaps (longer flaps) and the front flap. Cut two doors into both sides of the box (the longer sides of the box). You can do this by cutting an “L” shape into the box so that the flaps open and close.

    Color the paper plate black to serve as a steering wheel. Poke one fastener into the center of the plate. Then attach the plate to the inside front of the box (the side of the box that still has the flap) by poking the paper fastener into the cardboard and fastening the plate to the cardboard.

    Use markers to paint headlights onto the outside front of the box. Use the red marker to make taillights on the back of the box, too.

    Attach each of the pie trays to the bottom of the box for the wheels. Attach them to the box the same way you attached the steering wheel; use the paper fasteners and poke them into the pie tray and then into the box.

    Decorate the polystyrene plate like a license plate. The kids can personalize the plate however they want. Glue the plate to the front of the car. If you don't have a clean polystyrene plate, you can make the license plate from construction paper or card stock instead.

    Cut a window out of the front flap of the car. Simply cut out the middle of the flap.

    • Use paint to turn the cardboard car into any color car you want.
    • Color a silver bumper onto the front and back of the car.
    • Use the markers to draw interior details such as a radio or air vents onto the box.
    • Be creative and have fun decorating your car.


    • Unplugged Play: No Batteries. No Plugs. Pure Fun.; Bobbi Conner