Introduction: Toddler Flintstone Car

Picture of Toddler Flintstone Car

I have a 20 month old grandaughter and a 14 month old grandson who are dressing up as Pebbles and Bambam for Halloween. I decided they needed a Flintstone Car to complete the look. This is how I made it...

Step 1: Log Sides

Picture of Log Sides

Using a cartoon picture of the Flintstone's Car I drew out the sides on 1/2" plywood making them the same width as a large swim noodle and scaled the length to match. Once cut these plywood pieces would provide the shape of the log sides and determine the scale of the rest of the car.

Next I cut a large 4" swim noodle in half using a table saw. After doing some basic shaping of the swim noodle with a large bread knife my daughter coated both the noodle and plywood with contact cement. I then bonded the two pieces together which provided the contour of the log sides.

After the glue was completely dry I did a little more shaping and trimming with the bread knife. I then coated the entire noodle side with Bondo-Glass (available at any auto parts store, large hardware store, or Wal-Mart) putting it on in one direction but a little sloppy so it would look like tree bark when I finished. Bondo-Glass hardens in about 15 minutes, which keeps the project moving quickly.

After both sides were cured I sanded them to remove any sharp edges. We gave the sides a thorough base coat of gloss black and then brown. This gave the sides a realistic log look.

Step 2: Frame, Seat, and Wheels

Picture of Frame, Seat, and Wheels

I next built a simple frame that would be strong enough to hold the entire assembly together. My original plan was to leave the floor open so the kids could push with their feet. However, my grandkids were too small to move the car so I later installed a floorboard to protect their little feet while being pushed.

The seat was constructed from scrap wood and I used a band saw to shape it to look as though it was chiseled from rock. I cut three small slits to accommodate safety restraints. I found straps with clips in the camping section of Wal-Mart for about $1 that became the seatbelts.

The rock wheels are made from concrete forms I found at Home Depot. I started with 8" forms and cut 3/4" plywood circles to cap the ends. I attached the plywood caps using Gorilla glue and brad nails. We then set the parts together to check the scale and I decided to change from 8" wheels to 12" wheels.

Step 3: Rock Wheels and Dashboard

Picture of Rock Wheels and Dashboard

After making the 12" wheels I coated them very unevenly with Bondo-Filler to add imperfections so they would look more like rock instead of a smooth tube.

My daughter then sanded them to remove any rough edges and painted them the same rock pattern she used on the seat. Once completed they were held in place with woodscrews between the fiberglass sides. The holes in the fiberglass were repaired and painted.

I cut a dashboard from 3/4" plywood and a steering wheel from 1/2" plywood. I also carved a bone shaped piece from wood to use as a lever.

Once sanded the dash and steering wheel received the rock paintjob and the bone handle was painted white. I then covered the steering wheel with a piece of water pipe insulation so it would be soft and safe and installed both parts onto the dash.

Step 4: Car Top

Picture of Car Top

To make the top I ran a 2x4 through a table saw several times turning it slightly each time. This produced poles that looked like they were whittled from wood. I then cut them to length.

Once the cutting was complete Pebbles and Bambam tested the car to ensure it was the right size and then decided they wanted to help.

After the kids were safely inside I used a hole saw and electric drill to cut openings through the sides. I then mounted the upright poles to the plywood using Gorilla Glue and screws. I took care to mount them securely since they would also serve as the handles to push the car.

I found that any time I needed to screw a part to the sides I could simply drill a hole through the fiberglass coating and re-bondo it once the screws were in place. Due to the roughness of the sides you couldn't tell that I ever touched it.

Once the uprights were in place I added the rest of the pieces using 3" screws and glue. I always drilled pilot holes to ensure the wood would not split. After painting the top wooden parts I lashed them with natural fiber twine. I then glued all knots and other cross joints so the twine could not loosen or unravel.

The cover is cut from white vinyl canvas and is held in place with heavy-duty Velcro strips. The Velcro strips are attached to the vinyl and crossbeams using contact cement giving a seamless look. The Velcro holds the cover tight but it can be easily removed if needed.

Step 5: Castors

Picture of Castors

The original castors were attached to the frame but I soon found that the rock wheels had a tendency to scrape when the car went across uneven ground.

To fix this I cut openings in the bottom of the rock wheels and installed a 2x4 flush with the bottom. This provides a strong mount for the castors. I then attached the castors using 2" lag bolts.

Step 6: Project Complete!

Picture of Project Complete!

The last step was to add detail to the car. I painted the ends of the log sides to simulate wood grain and touched up any imperfections on the car.

The entire project took me about three weeks with most of the work accomplished on Saturdays when my oldest daughter was in town. Most of the materials used were from scrap wood I had laying around. Since I fabricated this car from my imagination I ended up spending extra money experimenting with different materials and parts that did not work. Even with this I probably spent under $100 for the entire project.

This was nothing compared to the priceless expressions on my grandkids faces when they saw the car.

My next step is to make it electric and remote controlled...

Comments

PatrickSr88 made it! (author)2016-10-25

Gave it a go. Didnt have as much time as you so i cut some corners. Had a blast making it and i can't wait to push the kids around.

lemaster63 (author)PatrickSr882016-10-26

Looks fantastic!

Angelmissy83 (author)2015-10-06

Hello. So I bought most of the pieces to build this incredible car. However I do have a question, on the 3/4" plywood you used to cap the tubes, did you use those to attach the 2x4 for the casters. Or was the 2x4 attached to the frame? I'm asking because I can't find any 12" circle caps for the tubes so I may have to just use cardboard. But I did buy the 2x4 for the casters. Any help would be great. Hope you're still on here since this was done a few years ago. Thanks in advance. :)

lemaster63 (author)Angelmissy832015-10-14

The caps are cut with a jigsaw out of the plywood. I placed the tubes on the plywood and traced around them. The 2X4s are attached the plywood end caps and the frame. All screwed together for strength. I actually added the 2X4s after I built the car because when I tried to attach the wheels any where else the frame of the car rubbed the road. I basically had to get the wheels as far out to each corner as possible to prevent this.

Angelmissy83 (author)lemaster632015-10-14

Perfect. That's what I thought you might've done. :). We are debating whether to cut the cylinder to add the 2x4 or just put the 2x4 inside the cylinder and drill through it.

Seguro de Hogar (author)2015-09-19

That´s great! My kids will love this! Thank u so much.

jbarrington made it! (author)2015-09-09

Thank you SO much for posting your fabulous step-by-step instructions! My husband and I incorporated a lot of your ideas when constructing our little car for my Pug's Halloween costume last year. I have been asked to do a write up of my process to post on Pinterest on behalf of the Dallas-Fort Worth Pug Rescue group and their annual Pug-O-Ween costume contest -- which usually draws about 1,000 people and about 300 Pugs annually. It's a hoot! I am delighted to report that Kiwi was Grand Champion last year at the event and you need to receive a lot of credit for that win! Anyway, I would like to include a link to your Instructable site if you would grant me permission to do so. Thanks for your consideration and thanks again for taking the time to chronicle your process.

Janet

SherrickE (author)2015-07-14

Hey, My Sister Is Trying to Get One of These Built For Her Daughter 1st Birthday. How Much Will You Charge To Build One Just Like the One You Built???

lemaster63 (author)SherrickE2015-07-15

I really don't have the time to do this. Sorry. Perhaps you could find someone to do it for you.

starwarsgeek1 (author)2015-05-06

this is ridiculously awesome! and $100 isn't to bad for this entire thing I guess especially for how much fun can be had in it?

srbglover (author)2015-04-17

GENIUS!!! Pure genius!!

Anna.lopes44 (author)2015-04-10

This is amazing. My husband is wondering if you would be able to let him know the measurements you used to make the car. He wants to build one for our 2 yr old niece for her upcoming birthday party.

you can reach me at: annacanales047@gmail.com

lemaster63 (author)Anna.lopes442015-04-13

I can't remember the exact measurments. Usually when I create such things I simply do what looks right to me. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

vmuro (author)2011-12-01

Is there any way you can make one and ill buy it from you (:

GpaSteve (author)2011-11-18

Awesome job

proudmomof3 (author)2011-08-23

for some reason it wont let me see your instructions past the realistic log look. could you please tell me what you used for the rollers? this looks amazing

larryman (author)2011-02-18

this is wonderful work
please contact me at
lawrenceamancini@gmail.com
thank you
Larry

lemaster63 (author)larryman2011-02-18

I would love to help if I can. What do you need?

Bill

larryman (author)lemaster632011-02-22

ok back on the job
can you give me a quick call and I'll try to explain
Thanks Bill

321 436 8191
larry

sandrualex (author)2010-01-24

...unbelievable 

chrisbonheur (author)2008-09-26

very cool! Think I'll scale up for my older children. thanks.

Merlynswolf (author)chrisbonheur2009-03-10

bugger the older kids im 30.. ill up scale it for me :D

zombiehottie0900 (author)2009-02-24

i love it

Fasteners (author)2009-01-19

LOLz, im so glad this exists.

shevekm (author)2008-12-11

kudos

farmerben (author)shevekm2009-01-02

??????

shevekm (author)farmerben2009-01-02

Uh, it means "nice work".

farmerben (author)shevekm2009-01-14

thanks kudos

miketherdaintx (author)2009-01-10

I was inspired and made a low budget copy of your design. I could not believe the amount of fuss and stopped traffic we had on or street on Halloween Day.People pulled over to take photos of us. Thanks for the inspiration.

gahrere (author)2008-11-16

Hi, I really am amazed by the way you take all the trouble just to make your grandchildren happy. I guess you are but one of the best grand dads the new generation has, nowonder the name GRAND is given to such people as you. By the way you ought to be the overall winner not only for your design but also for your affection. I wish I had ! like you or a parent like you. Guys VOTE for Granddad. Thank you.

SuperCoPilot (author)2008-11-03

i really hope this is foot powered but curious how is it powered?

It says below that an adult pushed it =D<br/>Soon to be electric tho<br/>

InventMe (author)2008-11-03

Yabba Dabba Do!

sc6chuck9 (author)2008-10-17

Hey this is a really GREAT Project. You have done a fantastic job also. Please get your wife to pat you on the back many many times. I own and operate a machine shop and I'm an ole'fart also, however I have a lot of trouble making ANYTHING that I don't have a blue print for. Job well done sir.

kaptaink_cg (author)2008-10-04

Wow, That is a VERY cool project!

copycatfilms (author)2008-09-25

wow, that is so awesome!! what a memory for those little ones! But one question...how do they push? Their feet don't touch the ground?

lemaster63 (author)copycatfilms2008-09-27

Future filmaker is correct...an adult pushes it. The car is not hard to push but a bit heavy for the kids since there is not a lot of foot traction when your sitting down.

dontodamax (author)lemaster632008-10-03

how much do you think that thing weighed? I'm thinking about making one to,but I'm thinking about making it solar and wind powered

copycatfilms (author)lemaster632008-09-27

Cool. That makes sense...Fred must've been stronger than we all give him credit for ;-) --best of luck making it motorized or remote, etc. It looks like fun! You deserve Gpa of the year!

the adult pushes... I think

litteratuer (author)2008-10-03

You are a good man..and a good grandfather.. :-)

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-10-02

Very nice! looks like the real thing!

nokindofsupastar (author)2008-07-05

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! My boss decided this year that for the towns annual parade (which is a cartoon theme this year) that we were going to build a float for "the Jetsons meet the Flintstones" .... I am building one of these Flintstones cars to trail along behind the actual flat bed that will have the Flintstones house atop it. The car I'm building is a little bit bigger with 2 bench (one in the front and one in the back) because we have full grown adults dressing up as the Flintstones and Jetsons characters. But I seriously wouldn't have been able to even conceive the idea of the car! Thank goodness I ran across your page! You did a magnificent job! Thanks again!

canida (author)nokindofsupastar2008-10-01

How did it go?

I'd love to see a picture when your finished.

NachoMahma (author)2008-10-01

. Wow! That is soooooooo cool. Fantastic job.

zomfibame (author)2008-09-30

that thing is out of sight , it's great; thanks for putting it on here for the rest of us to see it.

tracidraw (author)2008-09-30

Yay! Brings me back to eighties cartoons and sugary cereal!

Dragon Maze (author)2008-09-30

It's magical submissions like your's that make this site blow my mind. Talk about contributing to make a pure and giving community. Anyone outside this site would be looking to SELL plans for such a lavish creation. :P

Moonfae (author)2008-09-27

Wow, that's pretty incredible. those are some very lucky kids. I wonder if i could get my father in law to make that for my daughter.

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