- Acrylic paint
- Larg popsicle sticks
- Glue. I used wood glue
- Scissors, laser printer, or other tool to cut popsicle sticks
- My truck design cut out in wood or another sturdy material. My truck design can be found in my shop for $2.
- Pumpkins, trees, reindeer moss, straw, or other items to put in the back of the truck
- two yellow and two red beads to glue on as lights in the front and back.
- Some tape to help keep your lines straight.
You will want to start out by getting a wood, or other sturdy material to cut out your truck pattern/design. I have an SVG file you can purchase from my shop, but other designs would work as well. If you use another design, then your popsicle sticks may lay differently than mine. In my design I added a head light. This is for those that want to keep the truck two dimensional. So, for the 3D truck I did not cut this piece out. The 2D truck would look very nice on a sign with the pumpkins in my fall package SVG file. I plan to make a winter package as well that will include pine trees to fit in the back of the 2D truck. Once you have your truck pieces cut out and ready to go, you will need a total of two of each piece, then it is time to start painting.
I decided to paint my truck a bluish color. See the picture below for the name of the color I used. You could also add rustic touches to your truck by dry brushing a dark brown, dark gray or black to the edges. I painted my tiers black, and mixed together white and black acrylic paint to make a nice light gray color for the hubcaps and the piece that goes above the wheel. Then I dry brushed the fence like rail a dark brown. I find it is best to use a paint brush with rougher bristles. Add more details where you want. It was easier to paint everything in pieces before it got glued together. I also only painted one side of everything except for the fence like pieces, which all sides needed to be painted. I also painted the edges/sides of all my pieces. I waited to paint my popsicle sticks till after I built my truck.
For the wheels I needed to paint more black than I expected. So, for the tiers I would recommend placing the piece that goes around the tiers down and using a pencil to mark around it. This will let you know how much black to paint on the truck for the tiers. I recommend going a little beyond the mark you make.
Once everything is painted and dry you can glue the piece in place. I recommend placing things in their correct spot first to insure you have the right pieces and to see how they fit, no extra painting is needed. Also be sure your second truck is going to be facing the correct way when it is assembled. The two trucks should be opposite of each other. The fence piece connects to the side with the windows as well as at the bottom of the fence. The piece above the tires line up with the shape of the truck. Then the hubcaps go in the center of the wheels. I used wood glue to attach all these pieces. If you use another material besides wood, then another type of glue may be better.
Now, for the big popsicle sticks. I was able to get two out of one popsicle stick. Feel free to make your truck wider, but I cut my popsicle sticks down to 7 cm each. I used center meters because it worked out perfectly even, no fractions to worry about. You will need to cut off the rounded edges as well. I used scissors to cut my popsicle sticks, but my laser printer would have made things so much easier. The reason I did not use my laser printer to cut my popsicle sticks is because I was feeling lazy and did not want to turn it on, which actually caused more work for me later on. The laser printer would have insured all my cuts were straight and the exact size. I measured every popsicle stick before cutting them, but my cuts were not straight and thus some were longer than others. I also needed to sand down the edges of my popsicle sticks after cutting them, which I would not have needed to do with the laser. In the end a fancy laser printer is not needed, it just would make it a bit cleaner and easier. If some of your popsicle sticks are a little short, you can fill in the gap with some glue.
I used a total of 21 seven center meter long popsicle stick pieces. You could use other materials or wood pieces if you wish. So, in total I used 11 big popsicle sticks. I waited to paint these pieces because I was unsure exactly how many I would need. I started out by laying one truck on its side, nice painted side facing the ground. I then decided to start attaching my popsicle sticks starting with the top of the truck, just above the windows. I started here first, just because I thought the curves might be a bit tricky. I then worked my way to the front of the truck. Then I worked to the back of the truck.
To place a popsicle stick I applied a small amount of wood glue to one side and the bottom of the popsicle stick. I then lined it up to my liking and moved on to the next popsicle stick making sure they lined up well with each other. I used two popsicle stick pieces for the top of the truck, just above the windows. I used another 2 popsicle stick pieces for the windshield, but one popsicle stick piece hangs just a little lower. The hood of the truck required 3 popsicle stick pieces, and I lined these up with the wood frame rather than making them lower to match where the popsicle sticks for the windshield ended. The front of the truck also required 3 popsicle stick pieces, but one needs to be slightly over lapped.
Now it was time to work towards the back of the truck. Two popsicle stick pieces were needed going down into the bed of the truck. If you would like to make the bed of your truck deeper to fit bigger items, then you could use more popsicle sticks going down into the bed of the truck. Six popsicle stick pieces were needed for the bed of the truck, with one piece being over lapped. If you do not like the overlap look, then you could cut your popsicle sticks long wise down to the correct side. I did not mind the overlap especially in the bed of the truck because it would be covered up with whatever I decided to put in my truck. To finish the back of the truck I glued one popsicle stick above and 2 below the last popsicle stick making up the bed of the truck.
Once these popsicle sticks were in place, I laid the other truck cut out on top of them. This is when I realized how crocked I was in my cutting, and regrated not turning on my laser printer to cut these popsicle sticks. So, I went back with my scissors and sand paper and trimmed a few pieces down. I applied glue to the ends of all my popsicle sticks and laid the other truck cut out on top of them. For the shorted popsicle stick pieces, I then went in and applied my wood glue to fill in the gaps.
I let everything dry. Once it was dry, and very sturdy I started to paint the rest of the truck. I painted everything the bluish color first, even the glue spots I used to fill the gaps. I also painted some of the inside/underside of the truck as well becuae it showed through the windows.
I free handed the windshield. I attempted to free hand the black grill lines on the front as well, but I did not have a steady hand. So, I then took some scotch tape and taped off where I wanted my grill lines and repainted them black. When I peeled off the tape a nice straight line was left. The grill lines where not perfect, but they were okay. I was not sure what else to do to make them better. I then glued these little beads I found lying around my craft space. I used two yellow ones for head lights and two red ones in the back to tail lights. My boyfriend was not a fan of these, but I thought they were cute. If you do not like them, then you could just paint them on or use a small sequence instead. The truck was still missing something. So, I decided to get my tape back out to make a straight line for a bumper in the front and in the back of the truck. I decided to just paint half the popsicle stick in the back of the truck brown to match the fence look. I ended up free handing this, but you could use the tape method here as well. I thought about printing off another fence piece, but did not want to turn on my laser printer just for this small piece. If you do decide to add this piece, then you will just need to resize one of the fence like piece in the SVG file to the width of the truck you decide to make. Feel free to add your own touches and make this truck your own.
If you would like to add a sign to your truck, then I recommend backing the print out with a thin cardboard to make it sturdier. Then glue a magnet to the back of your sign. Then take another magnet and place it inside the truck, no glue. The two magnets will hold each other in place so you only need glue to attack one of the magnets to your sign. This will allow you to easily change out your signs with the different seasons.
Now it is time to fill the bed of your truck with some fun pumpkins or other pieces depending on the season or décor you are going for. It is even cute left empty. I was happy with how well this turned out. I was a little worried about attaching the popsicle sticks to make it 3D, but that actually was not bad at all. Although I think I will have to cut out another truck to make a sign, because the 2D truck was also very cute. Please share your picture of both your 2D and 3D trucks you make. I would love to see how you trucks change with each holiday or season.