How to Make a Paper Car

Paper cars are popular in Japan and the United States. You can find thousands of patterns online to print out and assemble, or you can follow these instructions and make the pattern yourself.



  • Thick paper -- card stock or construction paper are good choices
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

What you do:

  • Place your paper on the table horizontally.
  • Draw the profile of a car. The car's height should be roughly one-third the height of the paper. The more straight lines the profile has, the easier it will be to make it.
  • Cut out the profile.
  • Trace the profile along the bottom edge of a new sheet of paper.
  • Draw the roof of the car. The roof should be drawn as if viewed from the top. It should be less than one-third the height of the paper, and should extend up from the roof of the profile.
  • Trace the profile pattern again, this time upside down. The roof of the profile should connect to the overhead view of the roof. Later you will fold your design along the two edges of the roof, making your car three-dimensional [source: Shizuoka].
  • Draw the top view of the front windshield coming off the side of the top view of the roof. Measure the length of your windshield from the profile. Make sure your top view is the same length. Do the same thing for the rear windshield, trunk, hood and bumpers. The middle of your paper should be a continuous drawing of the top view of the car. The top view should only touch each side view at the roof. There should be some space between the other sections.
  • Add small tabs for gluing the model together. The tabs should extend slightly from the top-view sections of the drawing into the empty space between the top and side views, and should span the length of the empty space.
  • Detail and color your drawing. Leave the tabs white.
  • Cut away the empty space around your design, carefully. Don't accidentally remove the glue tabs.
  • Fold your design along each section's edge. Putting together your model is like putting together a puzzle [source: Papercraftmuseum].
  • Fold all the glue tabs down and glue them to the inside of the car.