Today Denise Bertacchi of stlMotherhood.com is here to share a fun tutorial on how to make a Cardboard Parking Garage.

If you have little boys you’re likely to have tons of little cars. It seems like every time my son went to the store with me he managed to add a new Hot Wheel to his growing collection! So what do you do with all these toy cars?

Sure, you can buy a boring storage box…but it’s so much more fun to build a custom parking garage for the cars. It will keep the cars off the floor (maybe) but also keep them ready for play.

garage-rectangle

We’ve made several parking garages out of cardboard boxes. It’s simple, cheap and when you get tired of it…just toss it in the recycling and make a new one!

To make a Cardboard Parking Garage you’ll need the following:

  • A cardboard box
  • 2 paper tubes
  • 1 popsicle stick
  • Tissue paper
  • Hot glue or packing tape
  • Razor knife (for the parent doing the cutting)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Start with any size cardboard box. Today we’ve used one that a large gift was shipped it. It’s a odd size, but perfect for a high-rise parking garage.

Let your kid do the planning—we sketched out a design on our kitchen wipe board. We decided that today’s project should have a car wash, a ramp and an elevator. Design your parking garage to fit the size box you have on hand. Maybe yours will only have two floors and a ramp—but that’s the fun, every project can be different!

First, cut off the flaps of the box. These will become floors of the garage and the ramp.

Trim the flaps down to fit the width of the box for the floors. Save one flap for the ramp.

For the elevator, cut a hole in one side of the floor pieces so the car can pass between floors. Save one of these scraps to become the floor of the elevator and trim it down—it needs to be a little bigger than the car and little smaller than the hole. Glue a popsicle stick handle to the elevator floor, then cut a long thin slot cut into the side of the box. The slot should be just bigger than the popsicle stick. A strip of cardboard in the shape of a triangle and glued to the stick provides stability. After the glue is dry, insert the “elevator” into the groove sidewise, then straighten out. (See photos.)

How to make a cardboard parking garage with working elevator

Hot glue or tape the floors in place.

The ramp is much simpler. Just cut a door in one side of the box and tape a piece of cardboard to the side. We used one whole flap removed from the original box as a ramp.

Our car wash was made by gluing strips of fringed tissue paper to a toilet paper tube. We glued milk bottle caps to the floor of the garage and inserted the tubes on top.

Cardboard parking garageDenise is a stay at home mom with two boys, 8 and 16. She spends most of her time at scout meetings, playing Minecraft with the boys and finding fun things to share with her readers at StlMotherhood.com. See what she’s up to on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest!