Monday, September 10, 2012

Cardboard Fire Truck

Is this what this blog has turned into? Short answer - "Yes". Look at what I spend my time doing these days.Here are some step-by-step instructions:
1. Find someone who just bought a fridge and ask for the box.
2. Find a picture of a fire truck on the internet.
3. Buy some supplies - like paint (from the dollar store - silver, gold, red, white, black - they say it's non-toxic - but I'm a little skeptical of anything from the dollar store... Paint foreman in factory in China - "Is lead in paint toxic? Nope, don't think so..."), I used dollar store foam board for the ladder on the side, and the little crest on the side. The valve thing on the side was from Canadian Tire, and the "hose" was pipe insulation. Basically, I wandered around Canadian Tire looking for things that were less than $2 that looked like they might go on a fire truck. The number 3 was from Home Depot - I think it cost $1.00.
4. Make the box into the shape of a fire truck by cutting and/or folding the box. I reinforced some of the joints with some scrap wood, and I screwed it together (making sure that no sharp ends were sticking out to cut the little kiddies - and making sure that the screw didn't go right through the cardboard) At this point, it might be a good idea to make sure that your truck will fit wherever you plan on putting it. Don't get it all together and finished before finding out that it's 3 inches bigger than the doorway to the basement.
5. I made a steering wheel and dashboard out of cardboard. I have a friend who's into radios, so he got me a defective CB radio that I stuck on the side of the dash. Lastly, the lights are made out of shiny dollar store wrapping paper wrapped around a foam board 'box' to give it stability. Hot glue holds it all together. I had plans to make the sides more detailed, and to look more like a real fire truck, but I was spending a ton of time on it, and I figured that the kids wouldn't really care what it looked like, so I just threw a ladder on the side and called it done.
That's really about it. The kiddies all seemed to like it (but they would probably have been just as happy if I'd just thrown the box in the family room - keep that in mind before you spend 15 hours making your box into a fire truck.) They broke the valve off the side pretty quickly by tugging on the hose - which prompted my reaction "My Fire Truck!" When I remembered that I'd built it for them, I kind of got over the fact that they broke it. Now, it's still sitting in the family room, partly because the kids like it, but mostly because it took me hours and hours to make it and I don't want to throw it away.