Drink Local Florida Blog

Upcycling a Craft Beer Box to Make a Toy Car Parking Garage

Huge Local Craft Beer HaulDuring the COVID-19 crisis I've been buying beer in large quantities directly from local, craft microbreweries. One weekend I decided to turn these packaging materials into something my kids could play with: a parking garage for toy Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. Here are the steps and materials needed to do this yourself.  

Step 1: Buy a ton of Florida craft beer. Please buy it directly from your favorite local breweries, as distribution contracts don't yield as high of margins. This parking garage was made from an open-top cardboard box that holds a case (four 6-packs) of beer. If you buy a lot of crowlers the brewery will likely provide this size and style of box. Pictured first is my haul from four breweries in Manatee county. This box came from Darwin Brewing Co., but I also picked up beer from Motorworks, 3 Keys and Corporate Ladder. I hit up Big Top Brewing and Naughty Monk Brewery plus two of these four breweries the week before. (See that beer haul here.)

Materials for upcycling beer box to toy car parking garage  Box Cutter Step 
Step 2: Gather the need materials. This included:
  • Open-top cardboard box
  • Box cutter
  • Yellow felt-tip permanent marker
  • Black felt-tip permanent marker
  • Fine-tip black permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Business card and/or Ruler
Step 3: Using the ruler or business card, outline the entrance/exit gate opening. This should be to one side of the garage rather than the middle. Leave a small portion of cardboard at the top of the open-face box. Use the box cutter to cut the opening, cutting three sides of the rectangle and leaving the bottom intact. Leaving the cardboard connected at the bottom creates a hinge for closing the garage. With the cardboard opening down, use the yellow marker to draw a thick line in the center of the cardboard flap. Use the fine-tip black permanent marker to identify the entrance and exit lanes and the felt-tip permanent market to draw directional arrows.

Box with business card for drawing parking space lines  Finished product without cars inside 
Step 5: Using a business card or ruler, draw and properly distance the medians and parking spaces inside the garage. First do this with a pencil as you may make changes to your design. Pictured above, you'll see I designed a one-way flow of traffic with a median or barrier (thicker black marker drawing) for seperation. I used a business card because I thought this width would provide a comfortable distance between cars, but you could go smaller and fit in more parking spots. Fold or cut the business card removing approximately one-quarter of the business card as full length is more than needed for each Hot Wheels sized car. Matchbox cars are slightly smaller than Hot Wheels.

Finished Product with Cars Step 6: When happy with the parking garage design in terms of traffic flow, parking space size and number of spaces, trace over your pencil drawings with permanent marker. I used the fine-tip marker to draw the parking spaces and the thicker, felt-tip market for the roadway barriers. Lastly, draw directional arrows to help your cars properly find their way through and out of the garage.

Step 7: Playtime! My garage design fit 14 cars, I grabbed this number of toy cars and a roadway mat to set-up a fun, guided play session. We lined the entrance/exit ramp to the garage with the roadway on the mat on an edge by a circus tent. All the cars were driving to the see the clowns and animals at the circus and had to park at this garage.

Posted: March 29, 2020