Of all my Pinterest pins and boards, this party takes the cake for being the most popular. My son was turning 3 years old and he wanted a Lightning McQueen birthday party. Fortunately, we have a finished garage which we opened up and was able to host the party there. We had Lightning McQueen, Finn McMissle, Luigi, Mater and Flo. It worked! I thought that I could share with you a few sample details of what I did an offer a tools so that you can pull this off.
This is the most popular project on my Pinterest board, the boxed Cars. I wanted to have some of the main characters from the movie at our party. There weren’t a lot of inexpensive items out there available so I decided to make my own boxed cars. The kids were able to get inside of the cars and move around with their friends. It was really cute.
I purchased a few moving boxes from Lowes and sat down to try to figure out how to strategically cut with a sharp razor and fold each side so that the entire box could be used. I wished that I would have taken a photo of this diagram, sorry! 🙁
Once I had figured out the body and had it taped up, it was time to prime. Yes, just like Ramone’s body shop. For the painting step, I would suggest taking a can of primer and doing a light coat over the entire outside of the box. Make sure to do this outside in a well ventilated area! Once it dries, you will need to use one can of semi-pain spray paint to coat the color, let it dry, and then do a second application. You will need to use the entire can and highly suggest that you use a quality brand.
Once the paint has fully dried, it was time for the finishing touches. I designed faces and accessories for the cars that you see, and happy to share these with you to download. I would suggest that you print these out on Avery white shipping labels with TrueBlock so that the paint from the car colors do not bleed through. If you use an inkjet printer, I would also suggest using a light matte clear coat of spray paint to set the colors and images. If you use a laser printer, you should be ok. Once printed, cut the images out and apply to the cars by referencing the photo sample. Here is the pdf download which I created and sharing with you to use for personal use. Printable faces for the boxed cars: Cars faces
On the menu, I tried to incorporate themed and pit-stop type foods. Here is what I had on the menu.
– mini sandwiches
– Lunchables for the smaller kids
– Oreos (since they look like wheels)
– Hostess chocolate donuts (since those look like wheels, too)
– red and yellow candy to match Lightning McQueen
– individually bagged potato chips which were placed inside of oil pans which I purchased at the Dollar Tree and also served as centerpieces
– cupcakes with Cars toppers purchased on eBay
– and of course, plenty of fun pit stop refreshments
Since we hosted the party in our garage, we didn’t have to decorate too much since we had existing old gas signs hanging. We just had to clean! In addition to the boxed cars I added a few more elements to make it fun.
Inflatable tires – I found these at the Dollar Tree! These were supposed to be used as pool inflatables, but I purchased about a dozen so that I could stack to make it look like a pit stop.
Checkered flags – You cannot have too many of these. I purchased some of these banners, flags and pennants at a local party store. In addition, I also created and printed out my own checked flag table runner on 11″ x 7″ paper and just taped them together. You can download my creation here: Checkerboard Runner
Decorative signs – As you can see in one of my photos, I customized a copy of “The Daily Exhaust” which is the newspaper that was featured in Cars. In my version, I took a photo of my son and inserted him into the over sized paper and customized the caption. I have a generic version of the paper that you can use by printing it out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Such a fun and inexpensive decorative item to add to your party which you can download here: The Daily Exhaust
Along with the fun inflatable tires and boxed cars, we also hired a temporary tattoo artist. We recycled an old thick posterboard and put out a sign for the kids. We called it, “Ramone’s House of Body Art.” Perfect!!
I hope that you enjoy the photos and get inspired to create your own FUN party!