The original plan for a ‘play’ Fire Truck for Big Brother’s 3rd birthday party, was to make something similar to the cardboard train we made for his 2nd birthday party. However, my husband’s brother offered to have some of the guys at his shop build the frame for fire truck. This sounded like a great way to save some time, however, as he unloaded the skeleton off of his truck I began to realize that this little project had turned much larger! The frame was awesome, and fact that he couldn’t close the tailgate on his truck made me realize just how large it really was! My husband and I decided that cardboard wouldn’t do for the sides, and that since we had such a sturdy frame, we needed to use something that the boys could continue to play in well after the party.
(The amount of materials will vary based on your dimensions. Make sure you read through directions prior to getting materials.)
- Spray paint- Red, White, Black
- Nails, screws,
- Hammer (or nail gun)
- Circular Saw (handsaw will work)
- Jigsaw (hacksaw will work, but I don’t recommend trying this)
- Cut the pieces of wood to the lengths needed.
- The skeleton can be made to any dimensions that you like, I will give you what we used. (Be warned, it is HUGE!!)
- Build the horizontal sections of the skeleton first (green on the diagram). Attach them with the four vertical pieces in the corners and the two vertical pieces that go in the middle (red on the diagram).
- Put together the vertical sections and attach them on the inside of the frame (blue on the diagram).
- Finally, attach the seats onto the skeleton (black on the diagram). The first seat I put a little lower than the back one, this allows for the kids to climb in and sit.
- If you are placing a floor on the truck, use 2x4s to connect the two bottom pieces of the skeleton and attach a plywood flooring.
- Spray paint the truck skeleton with a flat black spray paint.
- Make sure that you measure from the ends of the truck (front and back) to the middle vertical pieces. This will allow you to secure the middle sections of the triply to the skeleton.
- Cut six pieces of 2×4 to place on the vertical pieces of the skeleton. This will make the vertical pieces flush with the horizontal skeleton pieces and allow for the pieces of triply to be nailed flush to the skeleton.
- Measure the distance between the bottom of the bottom horizontal piece and the part of vertical piece that rests on the ground. This gives you radius (half of the diameter) of the wheels. If you have placed caster wheels on the bottom of the skeleton then measure down to about an inch above bottom of the wheel (this will allow you to move the truck around if you have it on wheels).
- Using a large circular object, draw out your wheel.
- Cut out your side pieces.
- Label each piece as you measure and cut. Each piece will fit specifically to where you measure it.
- Spray paint the wheels and siding as desired.
- Using screws (thin screws are best, or drill pilot holes) or nails (as I did with a nail gun). Attach the side pieces.
Add accessories as you feel are needed. Have fun!