Monday, 7 October 2013

Cardboard Craft: Toy Car Garage

This Busy Mom has had a crafty weekend. Since my crafting skills are no match for most of the craft bloggers out there, I don't generally share them here. But making toys out of cereal boxes? THIS I can do. Especially since its more about having fun with my kids than turning out professional looking projects.

Here's this weekend's project, made with lots of love and plenty of help from my 9-year old daughter:

Not the best picture, I know, but considering its made entirely from my recycling stash and leftovers from other craft projects, it's not too shabby. My four-year old son woke up from his nap just as we were finishing up, and was so delighted with it he could barely wait for the paint to dry.

If you'd like to try something similar, this is how we made it:


  • Cereal, tea and/or wine boxes
  • Craft glue
  • Masking tape
  • Craft acrylic paint
  • Newspaper or plastic drop sheets (to protect your work surface)


  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes

Step 1: Cut doors and windows

Cut flaps and/or openings for doors and windows. If it makes sense, you can use the open/close flaps of the boxes for this (as we did for the "second storey" of our garage). Make sure that you cut the openings i n such a way that you don't weaken the overall structure of the boxes too much - rather cut a few smaller doors and windows than one large one, and cut the openings nearer to the edges of the box rather than in the middle, as the corners are structurally stronger.

Step 2: Assemble

Glue to boxes together with craft glue, and the reinforce the edges, and existing openings with masking tape. We also stuck masking tape over the joins and edges, as this adds strength and gives a nicer, more continuous finish when painted.

By the way, masking tape is the best choice for a project like this, as you can paint over it, and its really sticky and strong.

To make the ramp...

To make the ramp (and lets face it, what's a garage without a ramp?), cut along the sides of a cereal box, a few centimeters in from the fold, so that you end up with a u-shaped ramp with sides. Leave the closing flaps on, as this makes it easy to attach the ramp to the overall structure, and stops it from buckling under the weight of the cars zooming up and down.

Next, cut several strips, about 2cm wide, from the cereal box, and tape them to the "sides" of the ramp. These will hold up the sides of the ramp, and add a fun detail.

Attach the ramp to the roof.

Step 4: Reinforce weak spots

If you need to, glue and tape scraps of cardboard to any weak spots for added strength. For instance, we added another layer of cardboard to the roof of the top floor of our garage.

Step 5: Decorate

This step is entirely optional, but it's the really fun part where the kids can have a creative field day. We painted our garage with red and blue craft paint, but poster paint will work too. I find craft paint a bit better for projects like this, as it doesn't wet the carboard, and you need fewer coats, but feel free to improvise here.

And super-fun toy car garage!

What kinds of crafting activities do you do with your kids? What are their favourites?