Are you looking for a tutorial to make an awesome DIY cardboard firetruck? Look no further!
When my son turned 3, he was obsessed with all things firefighting so we decided to throw him a firefighting birthday party. The highlight of our party was by far this cardboard truck. Read on to find out how to make your own!
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How to Make a Cardboard Firetruck
This cardboard firetruck is perfect for parties and sturdy enough to fit 3 to 4 small and very excited kids. You can keep it simple by just creating the body of the truck for casual play, or do it up with full decoration for a special occasion.
Cardboard Firetruck Supplies:
- 2 extra-large rectangular shaped moving boxes (we got ours from Home Depot)
- Red and Silver duct tape
- White, red and black acrylic paint
- Gold and/or silver fun foam
- Yellow construction paper
- A rounded plastic see-through container (often used with deli foods)
- Optional: red tissue paper
- Optional: electric candle for light
How to Make the Truck
- To make the body of the truck, first assemble the two boxes together into 3 dimensions. One box will be placed vertically as the cab and the other will be placed horizontally to create the body of the truck.
- Leave the front cab box with one end closed and one open. Place the open end on the floor and the closed end will become the roof of the cab.
- For the box that will be the back of the truck, leave both ends open and extended. Attach the two boxes using red duct tape.
- Next, starting at the back of the truck, cut the top of the horizontal box right down the middle (heading towards the cab) and fold the sides down to reinforce the sides of the truck. Then add extra tape on the inside of the truck bed to attach it to the cab box. Also add tape to keep the sides down.
- To finish the truck body, cut out a swinging door on either side of the front cab, windows in the doors and front, and a door leading from the back of the truck to the cab.
Decorating the Truck
After the truck is built, you can paint it using acrylic paints. First, I recommend doing a coat of white to cover all the words/logos on the boxes and then a couple coats of red acrylic paint.
Use silver duct tape to make the stripe along the side, and cut out black construction paper circles for the wheels. We made the lights with circles of gold glitter fun foam and put a silver glitter fun foam license plate on the back.
For the light on top, we took an empty rounded see-through plastic container and covered it with pieces of red tissue paper using glue. Inside, we placed one of those little electric candles that you get around Halloween for putting inside pumpkins.
Onetime helped me make the truck and he had a great time decorating the inside with a marker to draw all the dials, steering wheel, buttons etc.
If you didn’t want to go to all the work of painting, it would be easy enough to cover the truck with large pieces of red construction paper instead. I don’t think kids really need all the glitz to enjoy the truck.
Firefighting Party Favours
To encourage some good old-fashioned pretend play at our party, each guest was given a firefighting hat, hose and firefighter badges when they arrived. As you can see, our hoses were just balloon pumps. We found red ones at the dollar store and they were perfect!
At the party, the firetruck was a huge success!
All the kids piled in and drove themselves to emergency after emergency! It was LOUD and fun! And they didn’t stop moving – as you can see from my pictures!
It was SO worth it to make this truck for the party. It was the highlight of our celebration, and Onetime played with the truck for weeks before his party and after (until I finally reluctantly put it out to recycle!)
That’s it for today. Hope I’ve inspired you to create your own firetruck at home for hours of fun fire fighting pretend play!
More Firefighter Birthday Ideas
Click here to find other awesome hands-on play activities we did at our party including a fire fighting felt board, firefighter themed playdough, and a firefighting themed rice sensory bin.
Click here to find instructions for the arts and crafts projects that we did: open-ended firefighting-inspired painting, and a gorgeous fire-themed lantern.
Lastly, check out our special firefighting cookie and cupcake recipes, along with ideas for favours.
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