Make: Projects

Fast Toy Wood Car

Zip along with this easy to build toy car.

Fast Toy Wood Car

Lots of my friends have kids, and that means lots of birthdays. I wanted to have a custom present that’s easy to make and has lots of room to play, in terms of design.

A toy car fits perfectly. So I can build cars and make kids happy? Win-win!

Download the templates.



Step #1: Build the car.

Fast Toy Wood CarFast Toy Wood CarFast Toy Wood Car
  • Download the templates and use them to cut the plywood body. Use a laser cutter, or cut with hand or power tools. Sand edges.
  • Run each bolt through a wheel, a spacer, the car body, another spacer, another wheel, and a locknut to cap it off. (Remove the wheel's internal spacer if necessary.)
  • The car is ready to roll! If you want, change a layer or two, or even redesign the whole thing.
  • Take the car body apart and apply wood glue between the layers. Reassemble, clamp, and let dry.
  • You now have a toy car that's ready for tons of abuse. It can go very, very fast. Little kids will have no problem moving it around, and bigger kids will enjoy whipping it off ramps to see how it performs.
  • There's lots of room for customization. Make the body profile realistic or more abstract. Give the car a front and back, or make it symmetrical. Play with the wheel size and the distance between the front and back wheels. Stain or paint can liven your car up, as well as extra details such as names or stickers. Make your car what you want it to be!


This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 32, page 147.

  • Laura Cochrane

    Thanks for writing. I can see how this wasn’t clear. The templates are there to give you different options. The author used pieces #1, 3, and 5. He printed a quantity of two #1 pieces, two #3 pieces, and one #5 piece. I just made a note of that in the instructions above.

  • tsugua

    All the marks for the measurements are incorrect. A single apostrophe ‘ is feet and the quotation mark is for inches. All the measurements in this article refer to feet when they should be inches. I had to think for a moment about buying an 11’0″ x 14’0″ piece of plywood! Definitely a special order…


  • dan

    Where did you purchase the in line wheels?! Thanks.

  • Marcia Brzezinski

    You can make it. look for woodprix website! I think it’s the best way to learn how to make it in the better way.