Print it: Tippy cardboard tractor
While nighttime fun in Radiator Springs may pale to that in the big cities, it is not completely void of entertainment...

In Cars, when Mater is told to watch Lightning McQueen after dark, the mischievous tow truck introduces his race car friend to the art of tractor tipping. Just like the ones in Radiator Springs, this cardboard tractor is fun to set on end!

  • Template for Tippy Cardboard Tractor
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Cardstock or scrapbooking paper (orange, black, gray, and white)
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Glue stick
  • Glue sealer that dries clear
  • Small foam brush for applying the glue
  • Buttons (2 large, 2 medium, and 2 small)
  • Brown pipe cleaner, cut in half
  • Toothpick
  • Black marker
  • Glue dots


1. Print out the template and use the pieces to cut out the shapes from cardboard and coloured paper as specified.

2. Glue a paper tractor body to each side of the cardboard body.

3. Glue a front window piece to each of the front window frame pieces, as shown. Then glue a front and a side window onto each side of the tractor body.

4. Assemble the large back tires by first gluing a black paper cutout to the face of each cardboard tire. Then glue a hub to the centre of each tire.

5. Assemble the exhaust stack by gluing the two pieces together with a toothpick sandwiched between them, as shown.

6. Use the marker to draw on lines for the cab roof, the radiator grill, and the eye on the windshield.

7. Brush a coat of glue sealer on all of the assemble pieces and set them aside to dry (this won't take long).

8. Meanwhile, assemble the tractor's front tires. For each wheel, set a small button atop a medium button and thread the ends of a pipe cleaner half through the holes, as shown. Then twist the pipe cleaner ends together.

9. Use glue dots to attach the large buttons to the hubs of the back tires. Then attach the back tires to the tractor (one per side), using a small cardboard square as a spacer for each, as shown.

10. Now attach the front wheels by first twisting together the pipe cleaner tops and then inserting them into one of the corrugation channels, as shown. (You can use a wooden kitchen skewer to make the channel bigger, if necessary.) Use a piece of a glue dot to hold the inserted pipe cleaners in place.

11. Likewise, attach the exhaust stack by inserting the toothpick end into a corrugation channel at the top of the tractor.

12. Now your child can stand his new tractor upright or tip it on end.

Click the image below to download the playset template in PDF format

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Will you be watching Cars 2?

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