- Get in one last summer family project and use of some of those excess cardboard boxes in the process. bImages: Lisa Tate

DIY: Cardboard Car Hoods

Summer is winding down fast, so try this easy all-age craft recrating famous car hoods on upcycled cardboard.

22w ago
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Four years ago, I did a project for the site GeekMom inspired by the pin-striping legacy of Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard.

The project made use of upcycled cardboard to recreate car hoods, which could be used as a painting or drawing surface for fanart in Von Dutch style designs.

With summer winding down, and fall learning upon most of us, now is a good time to clean out old cardboard boxes in the garage for a similar short and easy car-inspired project all ages can do: famous car paint job recreations.

First, find some cardboard. Easy enough for most, as the summer of social distancing has made mail order a bigger part of much of our lives.

Cut cardboard pieces resembling car hoods.

Cut cardboard pieces resembling car hoods.

Next, think of a favorite paint detail on a “famous” car. It could be a real car (NASCAR hoods are always interesting), or a fictional one (live action or animated is fine) that has a distinct marking. Once you’ve found your car (or cars), look at the part that features the best design element, and cut out the cardboard in a similar shape. It could be a hood, door, roof, license plate, trailer side (in semi trucks), or even a motorcycle gas tank. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it resembles it.

Give pieces and easy basic paint job before adding details.

Give pieces and easy basic paint job before adding details.

Depending on how much time you want to take, how young or experienced the “painter” doing the project is, or what car you’ve chosen, these designs can be simple and or detailed as you want. You can use felt tip or other markers with younger crafters, but acrylic or similar paints will look best.

Designs inspired by a variety of famous hoods and doors: Ken Miles’ Ford GT40, "Transformer" Optimus Prime's semi door, and the Kurt Russell's 1971 Chevrolet Nova from Death Proof (movie not kid-friendly, but car certainly is cool).

Designs inspired by a variety of famous hoods and doors: Ken Miles’ Ford GT40, "Transformer" Optimus Prime's semi door, and the Kurt Russell's 1971 Chevrolet Nova from Death Proof (movie not kid-friendly, but car certainly is cool).

Once done, these can be displayed on a small frame stand, on the wall, slipped in the liners of school binders, or how ever you think of it. You can one small enough to be a jewelry charm with simpler designs.

As the summer closes up, take advantage of the time to do something crafty with your kids before things get busy. Like a high-powered vehicle, time races by faster than we know.

Optimus Prime gets a shoutout on the television stand.

Optimus Prime gets a shoutout on the television stand.

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