How to Make a Paper Car

Written by andy kirmayer
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How to Make a Paper Car
(scissors cutting a paper image by Oleg Guryanov from

Making a paper car is an engaging craft for children and adults. As with all 3-D paper modelling projects, it can be done with inexpensive materials and allows you to use your creativity. Many car models can be downloaded off the Internet, printed out and put together. It is also easy enough to design one yourself. If you've done a 3-D paper model before, a simple model is not difficult to make. When you're starting out, then keep your design as simple as possible.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Construction paper or 30.4kg. cover stock
  • Coloured pencils
  • Scissors
  • Water-based glue
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Draw the profile of the car on the paper, using a pencil and ruler. A basic car is easy enough, but if you have a certain kind in mind, such as a Jeep or a Hummer, then you can find photos in books or on the Internet to use as a guide.

  2. 2

    Cut out the shape with the scissors. This is the template to be used for designing the parts of the car.

  3. 3

    Place this car-shaped template on top of another piece of sturdy paper. Trace around the shape using a black or dark pencil. Any colour paper can be used to represent the colour of the car, or you can colour the model with colour pencils.

  4. 4

    Draw a horizontal rectangle just above the car outline. Make sure it is connected to the top of the car, because this is the roof of the vehicle.

  5. 5

    Turn the precut template upside-down and place the top against the other side of the rectangle. Trace it with the pencil once again. If your car is small enough, then all of this can fit onto one page. You should have mirror images of your car template, with the rectangle joining them at the centre.

  6. 6

    Draw two rectangles, one on either side of the roof (the middle rectangle). These rectangles are vertical in shape and should have sides that angle slightly in toward the roof. These will be the front and back windows.

  7. 7

    Add a square for the hood as well as a vertical rectangle next to it for the very front of the car. Do the same for the back section.

  8. 8

    Draw tabs in places where the car will be taped or glued together. The best places are on each side of the front and on the hood, windshield, rear window, boot section and back. Once this is done, add in the detail you want and colour the car.

  9. 9

    Cut around the shape of the car, as well as the tabs.

  10. 10

    Fold along the lines dividing the different parts of the car. This includes both sides of the car, the windows and the front and back sections. Also fold the tabs. Once this is done, place a little glue on the tabs and place the pieces together. The tabs will be underneath, so they will not be seen. Once this is done, your paper model car is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • It is easier to colour the car before it is cut out.
  • The windows and bonnet should not be joined to the car pattern as it is drawn on the paper, but should be attached to the roof section. Think about the final shape of the car when it is cut and glued.
  • Wheels will not turn.
  • For display, rather than serious play.

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