How to make long distance rubber band cars

Updated July 20, 2017

Crafters can create toy cars powered by rubber bands. The project provides a creative opportunity for your child by allowing them to learn about kinetic energy and to take the basic design and decorate it or modify it. Allowing your child to experiment with various rubber band sizes will allow your child to determine the best length for a long-distance rubber band car launch.

Cut a notch into a 5 inch by 6 inch piece of corrugated cardboard. The notch should be in the centre of the shorter side. The notch is 2 inches wide and 1-1/2 inch deep. The notch should be a rectangular cut out.

Insert a wooden skewer to form an axle. The skewer should go through the outer edge of the cardboard, come out in the centre of the notch and go through to the other side. You should have equal overhang on both sides of the cardboard.

Add a catch to the axle. In the centre of where the axle crossed the notch, wrap masking tape and leave some sticking up. Twist the part that sticks up so that it will catch the rubber band.

Add CDs to make the wheels. Insert one CD through the skewer. Wrap a very thin layer of poster putty to the outside centre edge of the CD. Slide the washer onto the skewer and attach it to the CD. Apply poster putty to the outside of the washer and to the inside of the CD. The poster putty needs to be applied very tightly around the skewer so that the skewer and the CD move together. Do not put the CD too close to the cardboard. The wheel and axle need to move freely. Follow the same steps for the other side. Leave the same amount of space on both sides.

Tape a rubber band to the cardboard. The rubber band must be attached on the opposite end of the cardboard from the axle and notch.

Test the car's functionality. Wrap the end of the rubber band that is not attached with tape to your "catch" and turn the axle to wrap the rubber band around the axle. Holding the axle still, place the car on a level surface. Release the axle to allow the car to go.


The longer the rubber band and the tighter you wind it, the farther your car will travel. To add a personal touch, decorate your car with paint, markers, and stickers.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 inch by 6 inch corrugated cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wooden skewer
  • Masking tape
  • 2 faucet washers
  • 2 CDs
  • Poster putty
  • Rubber band
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About the Author

Britni Dial began freelance writing in 2010. Her articles appear on various websites, where she specializes in education, grants and literacy. She also wrote for the "Aggie Conservative Journal" at her alma mater. Dial earned a Master of Arts in rhetoric at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.