How to Make a Semitruck Out of Cardboard

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Things You'll Need

  • 6-by-6-by-18-inch cardboard box, such as a 12-pack soda carton
  • Clear packing tape
  • 6-inch-square cardboard box
  • Construction paper
  • White glue
  • Markers
  • Hot glue gun
  • 10 plastic milk bottle caps, black
  • Black permanent marker (optional)

Reuse your old cardboard boxes to make a miniature version of a semitruck, which is also known as an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer or big rig. Construct a model of a semitruck for an inexpensive toy for your child. Or, provide your child with the materials to make his own semitruck. Make more than one truck for a fleet. Design each truck with a customized logo for a collection of personalized cardboard models built for hours of entertainment.

Place a 6-by-6-by-18-inch cardboard box, such as a 12-pack soda carton, lengthwise on the work surface. Close any openings, if necessary, using clear packing tape. Wrap clear packing tape around the box for added strength if the box seems flimsy.

Cover all sides of the cardboard box with construction paper using white glue; this part of the box is the trailer and motor compartment. Draw a logo or name with markers to the construction paper that will be on the long sides of the trailer portion of the semi before attaching the paper to the box.

Glue construction paper to each side of a 6-inch-square cardboard box, which is the cab of the semi. Place the square box on top of the long box so that the smaller box is 4 inches from one end of the long box; the sides of the two boxes should be flush. Attach the boxes together with hot glue.

Cut two 2-inch squares out of black or white construction paper -- the color depends on the time of day inside of the truck cab. Affix a square on the right and left sides of the smaller box with white glue, 1/2 inch from the top, for the door windows.

Cut a 5-by-3-inch rectangle from the same color construction paper as you used for the side windows. Glue the rectangle across the front of the cab 1 inch from the top for the windshield.

Hot glue five black plastic caps from milk bottles to each side of the truck; the bottom of the caps should be level with the base. Space the caps apart so there is one cap on the front end of the truck, two caps near the front end of the trailer and two caps on the back end.

Cut two 1-inch circles from yellow construction paper. Glue these to the front end of the truck, in the center and spaced 4 inches apart, for headlights. Cut two 1-inch squares out of red construction paper. Attach these to the backside of the trailer, near the bottom and spaced 4 inches apart.


  • If you do not have black milk caps, you can color them using a black permanent marker.


About the Author

Miranda Brumbaugh enjoys covering travel, social issues, foster care, environmental topics, crafting and interior decorating. She has written for various websites, including National Geographic Green Living and Dremel. Brumbaugh studied in Mexico before graduating with a Master of Science in sociology from Valdosta State University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images