Aug 11, 2009

Toy cars and trucks from recycling

Last month I came across a really great tutorial on Origami Mommy, that showed how to make toy vehicles using straws, bamboo skewers and bottle tops to make perfect little axles with turning wheels. So very very cool! I have wanted to do this with the kids ever since reading that tutorial. I needed to find a spare evening to turn the contents of my recycling bin inside out and glue it back together again first though.

We don't ever have those cute little cardboard milk cartons that Origami Mommy uses in her tutorial because my kids chug milk by the gallon, and all the plastic bottles have been comandeered for another craft project, so I used any and all smallish boxes that I could find. There were butter packets, crayon packets, shoe boxes, candy boxes from last halloween, even some random boxes that I'd asked the lady stocking the shelves at Michaels if I could take home.

Lots of random bottle lids that we've collected too.

The bigger trucks worked nicely using a couple of Epson ink cartridge boxes as the front section.

For a couple of the cars I cut out triangles from the top corners of rectangular boxes and then folded down the sides and glued them to make a more carlike shape from the one box.

I had six kids over and it worked out that we had enough for them to make two vehicles each. They got decorating with sharpies and stickers and paint...

Gradually as the kids finished their cars and trucks I sorted out the wheels for them using a hot glue gun. You should go check out Origami Mommy's tutorial to see how the working wheels fit together. We used beads to make sure the bottle tops didn't come off. Here are a couple of underneath pics (please excuse the tea stained grout! I clearly have a drinking problem)

Some of the 12 finished vehicles. I love that they all wanted to make the trucks have faces like Mac from the movie Cars. As you can tell from the last two, I was running out of things to use for wheels!

Then they took them outside to draw chalk roads and race them.
So, thank you Origami Mommy, for sharing a top craft all the way from Japan, that rocked my kid's afternoon!
Next thing I want to do, probably when I have fewer kids over, is to help them to make some vehicles like these that have rubber band mechanisms to power them. My two are into the whole rubber band propulsion idea, after we made the wooden "power boats" at Lowes.


Jamie said...

I want to come and play!

Ariana Rose said...

You are so flippin' creative!
Those turned out so cute I really am going to have to start saving pieces to make them!! SO CUTE!

debbie koenig said...

Those are SO GREAT! I loved Origami Mommy's post when I first saw it, but yours take it to a whole new level. I can't wait until my boy's old enough to do this with me--assuming his truck obsession doesn't wear out before then, that is.

Christine at Origami Mommy said...

These are wonderful! I just love seeing all the variations on these. And definitely - using other containers really helps you expand your horizons.

I'm hoping to post a boat tutorial soon, but we have the same problem you did - our milk cartons are being used up in kids' projects too quickly for me to save to photograph for a tutorial. Soon, I hope!

Debbie - what if you made a few wheels and axles in advance and then assembled the rest with your little guy?

Elise said...

I love all the different styles you came up with. What fun to create your own truck and then race it.

The trucks look awesome - all of them!

LiEr said...

I bookmarked the same milk carton truck tutorial, too! But summer is so insanely busy that I am saving it for winter, which we have too much of. What you did for your trucks is wonderful! I like how big they turned out - I'm going to save your ideas for the winter, too, not that we'll be able to race anything outdoors anywhere. Oh the fun the girls will have making something like this! I miss playing with cardboard. I've been sewing too much. I feel imbalanced somehow.

Alona (Little People Learn) said...

Thank you! I feel inspired by you!