My son is obsessed with the Disney Cars movie. In fact, half of his exclamations throughout the day involve some reference to the Cars movies – “I am fast like Lightening McQueen”, “I am speed” (while closing his eyes and channeling Lightening McQueen), “Mater eats pistachio ice cream”, “Sally is Lightening McQueen’s friend”, etc. The other day, as I was putting him to bed and gazed lovingly into his eyes, I said “I love you so much, do you love mommy?” and he paused for a moment and responded, “I love Cars”.
For his recent birthday, I told myself I was going to keep his party super simple. I had just returned from a week of camping and a road trip. I didn’t have the energy, nor time, to put together a detailed party. But my mom guilt kicked in and I really wanted to make something special for him. I recalled that a very talented friend of mine created these amazing cardboard cars for her son several years ago. She was kind enough to share her tips on how to construct each of the cars out of standard document boxes.
A word of warning, these Cars took a lot of time to put together. After several nights of crafting, into the wee hours of the morning, I had 4 brightly coloured cardboard Cars. I searched Pinterest and various websites for Cars logos and photos so that I could incorporate the little details that would make the Cars really pop. My daughter suggested applying blue paint to the brown Mater truck to better match the details of the animated character. Clearly the kids know the details better than I do!
If you want to save time, I would suggest skipping some of the logo details and making the shape of each car the same so that you can replicate the template from one car to the next. The wheels can be made simply by cutting large black circles (by tracing a CD or small dish) out of cardstock or construction paper. To ensure that the cars sit upright on the wheels, you can glue a straw to the inside of each wheel as shown in the instruction photos further down in this post.
If you’re feeling crafty, here are the steps. As I mentioned, many of the logo details were found through Pinterest and the internet and printed in colour. I drew the eyes and mouths with markers on white cardstock. I also used Photoshop to personalize the license plates to include the names of each of the children. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can print blank license plate templates from the internet and write the names on the templates in block letters or print the names through Word and cut and paste them onto the templates.