Introduction: DIY Wooden Police Vehicle Toy With Led Lights

About: XDIY with Itzik

This project started when I had some wood leftovers from other projects.

My son asked: "Dad, can you build us a wooden plane"?

Well, this was my intention, until... I found some party led lights accessories (which I wanted to throw away) and another idea came up.

I decided to make a police car, with a shape of SUV (Sport utility vehicle), and combine the idea with my kids favourite TV program - Paw Patrol. In this program, there is a dog character "Chase" which has a police car vehicle.

13-03-19 Update - I Lately built this Jigsaw Table that you can see at the next step. If I had it while building the car, it would be much easier. You can see in this link as well -

Besides the led lights recycling, the project contains additional parts I recycled from broken toys (e.g. wheels etc.)

In the middle of the work, I decided to extend the build by adding a trailer, to the back of the vehicle, so my kids can put all of their PAW Patrol dogs in the vehicle and in the trailer.

My smaller son also participated on the project, helping me to paint the car (See later steps)

Although I captured and added many pictures from the video to this instructable steps, I recommend you to watch the video on the next step.

The video demonstrates the usage of the flickering led lights, which looks like police car lights.

If you like the project and the video, don't forget to subscribe to my channel, and share the video :)

Thank you. Enjoy.

*** Credit for PAW Patrol logo

Step 1: Required Materials & Tools

General List of tools I'm using -

Basic required tools:

  • Kids
  • A3 Printer for the shapes pages (depending on the planned vehicle size)
  • Jigsaw
  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill / Screwdriver
  • 10mm, 12mm drill
  • Circular hole saw drills
  • Measuring tape
  • Sand paper
  • Paint brush
  • Hot glue gun and sticks (Thermoplastic adhesive)

I used the following specific tools:

Required Materials:

  • 18mm width pine wood board
  • 28mm width pine wood board (For the wheels, depending on the required width)
  • 10mm round wood stick
  • Some additional small wood pieces, described at each step
  • Screws in different sizes
  • Small metal rings.
  • Paint
  • Color Spray
  • Party led lights
  • A transparent cover for the leds - I used Soft Elastic PVC (transparent corner protector for furnitures)
  • Rubber / plastic wheels (if you would like to cover the wooden wheels)

Step 2: Planning the 3D Model

You can see the 3D model attached pictures.

The vehicle is built out of 5 layers of wood boards.

I took the inspiration of the vehicle shape from SUVs.

The final cutting wan't exactly as the model, since I decided to give up of some very small cutting of the front car grill. Since that I used a Jigsaw, it's too complicated to cut such small slots without breaking the wood.

Note that I left special places to put the led lights, according to the leds I had.

As I wrote at the introduction, I initially planed to make only the SUV, so I didn't create a 3D model for the trailer which I decided to add only at the middle of the work.

Step 3: Preparing the Pages With the Shapes for Layers

After planning the 3D model, I prepared 3 2D shapes and printed them. It required A3 pages since the vehicle size is bigger than A4 size. It's about 35cm long.

I needed only 3 prints, since some of the car layers are similar as described below:

  1. Outer layer
  2. Inner layer
  3. Middle layer
  4. Inner layer
  5. Outer layer

One print for layers #1+#5, one print for layers #2+#4 and one for layer #3.

On later steps, you will see that I connected 2 wood boards for 2 similar layers, using screws, in order to cut them together.

Step 4: Preparing the Led Lights

I used these party led lights accessories.

According to the types of leds I had, I planned the position of the holes in the wood.

You should plan and prepare the holes according to the ones you have. It depends on the position of the button to operate the leds and the leds' structure.

On later step I'll be using these lights and and cover them to shape the light and emphasize the light appearance.

On the video, the usage step starts at 2:55 minutes. Worth taking a look.

*** A secret (don't tell anyone) - Originally the led lights I had, included 3 lights colors: Red, Green and Blue.

Since I needed only the red & blue, for the police car, I disconnected the green lights before. You won't not see it on the movie. :)

Step 5: Preparing the Wood Boards for Cutting

After I printed the shapes of the vehicle layers (On A3 pages), I cut some boards, a little bigger than the final shapes. The boards are 18mm width.

Then, I put each relevant page on the relevant wood board using a glue stick, and after that, connected 2 wood boards for shapes which requires 2 layers, using screws.

Step 6: Cutting the Wood Shapes for All Layers

I cut the shapes on the boards using a jigsaw.

I think that this part should be usualy done using a band saw or more accurate saw for cutting curves... but this is what I have. It was definitely a challenge to make all the parts with similar accurate shape :)

After cutting, I sanded each shape a bit using a sand paper.

Step 7: Connecting the Layers

After cutting all layers of the shapes, I connected each of them, using a wood glue.

I didn't use any screws.

After connecting all of the layers, I pressed them using 2 wood clamps until it dried and sanded the full model using a sand paper.

Step 8: Preparing the Holes for the Wheels

I had a round 10mm wood stick which I used as an axis for the wheels.

I drilled a hole of 12mm width, so the axis could move smoothly inside.

Step 9: Removing the Clamps

I removed the clamps, after the glue was dried.

Step 10: Making the Wheels

I had 4 rubber wheels of a broken plastic remote car, with a diameter of about 6cm.

According to them, I planed the size of the car, so it will be proportional to the wheels.

I prepared 4 wooden wheels using a circular hole saw drill. It was made from 28mm board, in order to be bigger from the width of the wheel.

Then, I drilled a 10mm hole in each wheel to increase the hole size, in order to fit the round stick of the axis.

Step 11: Cutting the Axis for Each Pair of Wheels

I cut the round wood stick using a hand saw.

The length of each axis should be about 1cm longer than the width of the model + the length going into the wheels, so it could move freely (0.5cm for each side).

Step 12: Making the Steering Wheel

I cut the steering wheel from a 5mm width board, using a circular hole saw drill.

I found a screw which had a small space at the top (its screwing didn't get to the top), so after strengthen it, the wheel can move freely.

After that, I drilled in the required position for the steering wheel, in the vehicle. I'll connect it later after painting.

Step 13: Making the Connector for the Trailer

I cut a small piece of wood to fit the back lower slot that I prepared on the middle layer of the vehicle. This would be the base for the trailer connector.

Then, I drilled using a 10mm drill and inserted a small round stick which should be the connector to the trailer.

After that, I connected the complete part to the vehicle in the slot, using one screw.

Step 14: The Kid Is Painting

I let my smaller kid (3 years old) to participate in the project, helping me to paint the vehicle...

He really enjoyed it. ;)

Step 15: Connecting the Steering Wheel & the Wheels

I connected the steering wheel screw to the hole I drilled before.

Then, I connected each pair of wood wheels using a wood glue on the axis, in order to hold it well. After that, I put the rubber wheels.

Step 16: Placing the Rear Led Light

I connected the led light part, using a hot glue gun.

I though how to cover the led light, to shape it and emphasize the light appearance.

I found an old transparent corner protector for furnitures, which I had since my kids were born and decided to use it.

I cut piece of it using an utility knife and connected it using the hot glue gun.

On the video, this step starts at 2:55 minutes. Worth taking a look.

Step 17: Placing the Front Led Light

The steps here are similar to the previous step, of the rear led lights.

I assume that you wonder how do I plan to replace the batteries when they will drain...

Well, in the way I put the leds, it will be problematic to replace the batteries. Still, it's easy to remove the leds and glue them again.

A possible solution you can make, is to extend the wires of each led and drill holes to the bottom of the vehicle and connect to one battery pack.

I decided not to implement this step, but there is enough space in the bottom of the car for that.

Step 18: Building the Rear SUV Trailer

I took a small wood board for the bottom of the trailer.

For the surrouding railings of the trailer -

I used 2 squared stickes for the front and the back and connected them with screwes from the bottom of the board.

For the sides, I cut some small round sticks and connected them to the drilled holes using wood glue and a hammer, so it would be like a 'fence'.

Step 19: Connecting the Trailer to the SUV

I drilled a 12mm hole in the bottom of the trailer, so it can move smoothly on the 10mm stick I prepared on the rear of the vehicle.

Step 20: Connecting the Trailer Wheels

I connected a squared stick on the bottom of the trailer's board, around the 2/3 of its length, to be the base for the wheels.

I had some additional rubber wheels from old toys. I connected them to a round wood wheels I prepared using wood glue.

Then, I drilled on the sides of the wheels base and put 2 small rings of metal to be between the base and the wheels. (see the arrow on the picture).

After that, I connected the wheels to the base using screws.

Step 21: Painting the Trailer

I painted the trailer using a color spray.

Step 22: Preparing Shapes for Decoration

In order to add some decoration to the SUV, I printed some shapes I prepared.

Then, I cut them using scissors and utility knife.

I added decorations such as front grille, side police sign, rear lamps and some side curved lines.

Step 23: Painting the Decorations

I painted over the paper shapes decorarions I cut on the last step, using a color sprays.

Step 24: The Best Step - Playing

That's it. It's time to play.

My kids waited impatiently to the result and it was my pleasure to make something that they would really like, and watch them play with it.

If you like the project and the video, don't forget to subscribe to my channel, and share the video :)

Your comments about the project are welcome. What did you like? What would you improve or do differently?

Thank you. Enjoy.

Itzik DIY.

Step 25:

Plastics Contest

Participated in the
Plastics Contest