Cardboard Cars for a Homemade Drive-In Theater

When I posted about these cardboard cars originally it was for a giveaway. I had not planned on doing a tutorial. But when I saw how many times it had been pinned and when I was getting emails asking how I made them, I decided to take a second and show you :)

We made these cars back in May and they are still in mint condition. THAT is saying something when I have 4 little boys and they have been in the play room this whole time.  It is all because instead of just painting them, I covered them in
colorful duct tape.

I figured if I was going to go to all the effort of making them, I wanted them to hold up longer than one movie.

They were flattened so I folded and taped them together.

The I just started going around and around with the 
Scotch Duct Tape

I made sure to start and stop at the same place so I had one seam. This way it looked much cleaner.

The yellow car (or should I say bus) has a shoe box that has been covered in tape on the front. It ended up being a great place for my 2 year old to set his popcorn and I am thinking of added them to the other cars as well.

I was amazed at how much more durable the duct tape made them!

Using black party plates would have been easier and they would have been smaller and probably looked better. But I believe in using what you have on hand so I happened to have regular paper plates and black spray paint.

I attached the wheels using regular brass brads. That way they could really turn.

Here is the projector we have and love:

(affiliate link)

It is funny to me that the simple things and sometimes the things you do on a whim, become so popular with your kids and create such awesome memories.

This post is a collaboration with Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape.  Take the Style that Sticks quiz to find your personal style and for the chance to win free samples.

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  1. says

    Those are so much fun! I wish I had seen this last week. We borrowed a projector to have a movie night and my son would have loved this!

  2. says

    This is such a fun idea! There’s one other thing you could do to make those boxes even sturdier. Buy lots of Elmers School Glue while it’s on sale at Walmart during back to school sales coming up. Spread glue all over the inside of each flap and glue it to the inside of the box. I usually do it one side at a time: glue one flap, lay that side against the floor & put some heavy cans inside on the flap for a half hour or so, then move on to the next flap. After they’re all done, let dry overnight before using. And if you can still pull the bottom flaps up enough – spread some glue there, too. You’ll be amazed how strong that makes those boxes.

    And here’s one more use for all that white glue you’re going to get, that your boys will LOVE:

  3. says

    Those cars are by far the CUTEST things I have seen in a long time! I got such a kick out of this post. I wish I had small kids to make them for. Wonderfully creative!

  4. Peg Odenthal says

    Not sure what i like better .. picture of 4 boys sitting quietly together or those great vehicles they are in!

  5. MaryAnn says

    What a darling idea. . . I am a pre-school teacher and this would be so fun to do with the kids and then have a movie day. . . So going to use this. Thanks.

  6. Pam the Goatherd says

    This is definitely going in my “stuff to do with my future grandkids” file! And I want ALL the colors of duct tape! Such fun!

  7. says

    I’m seeing your images on Pinterest and Facebook with the watermark cut off :-( Trying to link people back to your page when I can, this is fabulous!

  8. Teresa says

    Why is there no Pinterest link at the end of your post? You mentioned Pinterest and I would like to pin it to my board.

  9. says

    Is there some other blog posts associated with this particular one?
    We would prefer to research more info on this particular article!
    !!! I really really like the blogposts, nevertheless I would like a
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  10. says

    My brother recommended I might like this blog.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day.
    You can not imagine just how much time I had spent ffor this info!

  11. says

    Thanks for this post! I found you on pinterest and did this with my little 3 year old boy yesterday and then we watched the Disney Movie ” Cars” from his car! ha He loved it!

  12. says

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.

    I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on
    as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my
    very own website now ;)

  13. Kerry says

    I love love love this idea. Just think..How much did all that duct tape cost for one car let alone 4 cars for my grandkids.?


  1. […] Seating: Forget the couches; show your kids how much fun movie night at home can be by pulling out sleeping bags and pillows or create a homemade drive-in. Collect ticket stubs, get out your flashlight and usher them to their sleeping seats for a real movie theater experience. While they’re camping out with their favorite movie and stuffed animal, you’ll be able to enjoy prime real estate on your favorite couch. […]