DIY Life Size Lightning McQueen





Introduction: DIY Life Size Lightning McQueen

About: Designer of things, Maker of weirdness and Baker of the macabre.

So my son is obsessed with Lightning Mcqueen! And I decided to think outside the box, and turn our little vintage car into the life size red racer to surprise him for his birthday! I love stepping out of my comfort zone, and trying new things, sometimes it backfires, but hey, why not try? I'm a baker and costume girl, but I decided to try my hand at a fake car remodel.

Step 1: You Will Need

You will need:

  • Red Car (borrow from a friend or family member for the day if you need to)
  • Poster Board, 5 red/ 4 white
  • Small blue paper plates or blue poster board cut into 2 circles
  • Paint and brushes (Blue, white, black, green)
  • Clear packing tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Tape measure
  • Glue stick

Step 2: Measure Measure Measure

First you need to measure the size of your windshield and grill.

This is where you'll be adding your poster board.

Once you've measured everything, connect as many pieces of poster-board as you need with packing tape, and trace your outline.

Step 3: Cut It Out

Cut out the outline of both the smile and eyes.

The eyes background is white.

The smile background is red.

Step 4: Layer


cut out the red eyebrows layer for the eyes, the black layer for the smile, and the white teeth layer.

Layer them with your glue stick as shown.

Step 5: Eyeballs!

I actually used plastic blue lids for this project, but small blue paper plates will work perfectly as well.

Paint your eyes using different shades of blue and even a little green to add dimension.

Remember the more detail, the more realistic it will look.

Add a little sparkle with a drop of white in the corner of each eye.

Let dry, then glue them to you eye background as shown.

Step 6: Add Pieces to Car

Place your Eyes and smile on the car, using duct tape to secure them.

Be sure the paint on your car will be okay with duct tape.

If any stickiness remains, you can use goof off to get rid of it.

You can also use scotch tape if the wind permits.

Step 7: Make Your Child's Day!!!!

We surprised our son with Lightning Mcqueen parked out front of our house, and he went bananas!

All the kids in the neighborhood loved it! They took pictures, and played inside, it was a huge hit! It cost less the 10 dollars to create, and the memory will last a lifetime! Best birthday ever!

I'm so glad I stepped out of my kitchen-comfort-zone and tried something new. Now you go do the same!

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    13 Discussions

    That looks great! Such a fun idea! What is that... a 1972 MG Midget?

    5 replies

    Great eye! Yes, it's a 71. We love it so much, it mkaes eveyone smile :)

    Great eye! Yes, it's a 71. We love it so much, it mkaes eveyone smile :)

    LOL! I have a '75 myself! It is so much fun! Your "conversion" for your son's birthday is absolutely creative and fantastic!

    Aren't they the best little cars??? Love it! Thank you so much! The 75 is an awesome one!

    Very cute. Very clever. Although in the origional he didn't have real headlights.

    1 reply

    I definitely recognized the headlights right away, and the vent windows are distinct. We have a 72 MGB, very kool idea, I think the only thing that could be added would be some rust eze logos :)

    2 replies

    Great idea! Thanks! MGs are the bees knees ;)

    We also have a 68 Midget, but it's been "In process" for 15 years, currently with the engine out, and just structural body work done. :)