Home » Character Costumes » Animated Character Costumes » Cars (Disney) Costumes » Coolest Lightning McQueen Costume

Coolest Lightning McQueen Costume

I have to say that the process to make this Lightning McQueen Costume was pretty time-consuming. I’m not even sure how long we spent on it. A full week, for sure – probably at least 4 hours a day. Yeah, we could have just bought the costume for all of the effort we put into it, but we’re crazy like that, we like to give things our personal touch. If I had to do it differently, I’d have made the car significantly shorter AND I’d have used a lighter cardboard, although as my husband points out, it wouldn’t have held up like it has. It’s been a year and the costume is still in perfect condition, despite being played with all the time by a number of kids when in our house. So that’s a bonus.

We made this by taking a printout of a paper version of the car – like a fold it into McQueen kind of deal. We blew it up to the size we figured was good for the costume, then traced it onto cardboard and cut it out. Gee, that sounds so simple – in reality it took a LONG time – and you need a LOT of floor space.

Once the car was cut out, we folded and taped it together with red duct tape. We drew the designs on in pencil, then painted them with acrylic. I managed to find images of McQueen’s endorsement stickers on the internet, so I enlarged those to the proper size and printed them out, then decoupaged them to the cardboard car. We also braced the car at the axles with cardboard tubes, then taped on large ribbon to hold the car on the child – as straps.

Like I said, in a do-over I’d have made the car shorter and more proportionate to the actual McQueen – I didn’t realize that the paper craft we originally used was so disproportionate, and by the time I did, it was too late, so we went ahead with it anyway as it was. It was heavy, but our son managed to carry it and was quite delighted with all of the responses. Since Halloween, he has worn it lots and plays in it like a car he is driving, too, which makes me wish we’d come up with a way to make the wheels actually work, and maybe even get a little seat in there – the cardboard would definitely be strong enough, since we used double thick.

We get LOTS of compliments on it – everyone who has seen it is really impressed with our attention to detail and all of the time we obviously put into it. We’re all about the labours of love around here when it comes to kid-centered events.

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

10 thoughts on “Coolest Lightning McQueen Costume”

  1. I just wanted to say that you did a great job! My son has asked to be Lightning McQueen this year so your pictures are VERY helpful! I do have a question about the stickers – do you still have the website where you found them?

  2. Great Job!! I’m glad I have month and little bit to try and make this for our son.. First he wanted to be a soccer player which would be so easy now it’s McQueen.
    Wish me luck

  3. This is awesome! You all did a GREAT job on it! My son loves Lightning McQueen and would absolutely love this! Thanks so much for sharing all the pics and info!

  4. I know that a few others have asked about where you got the cutout pattern for the costume. Can you PLEASE let us know. I am going to start the costume for my son on the 15th and would LOVE to know where you got the pattern.


  5. Hello
    I love your car idea I was just wondering where you got those stickers if you could help me out that would be great!!
    If you have a site where you can print them off I would do that too.

  6. I don’t think my costume would have been done in time without your post. Duct tape is a brilliant idea that saved so much time, I was originally planning on making tabs that fit into each other. And the ribbon and your comment about making the car shorter helped me make my car easy for my 4 year old to get around in. Thank you so much for sharing, you helped my son become a blue nascar just like he wanted.

  7. i wish i could make costume
    what a costume your mother has made
    i will like to see the next costume of mater and of guido or luigo.


Leave a Comment