One of the most popular posts on our website is Jen’s balloon car tutorial. Seriously, it’s one of the (cool)est crafts out there. 

This Earth Day, we challenged ourselves to revisit the balloon car idea — but to see if we could make it out of recyclable materials. The result? A juice box derby car.

make a juice box balloon derby car! - (cool) progeny

Chances are you have all of the materials you need lying around the house. We used a juice box for the body of the car, plastic bottle caps for wheels, and created axles out of straws and wooden skewers. Sponges cover the tip of the skewers to keep them from accidentally poking anyone. Kept the kiddos busy all afternoon.

How fast can your car go?

make a juice box balloon derby car! - (cool) progeny

juice box balloon car


  • Juice Box
  • 2 Straight Straws
  • 1 Flexible Straw
  • 2 Wooden Skewers
  • Four Plastic Bottle Caps
  • Four small pieces of sponge
  • Tacky Glue
  • Packing or Duct Tape
  • 1 Balloon
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Ruler
  • Marker


Start by assembling your materials. Using a hammer and nail, make a hole in the center of all four bottle caps.

Using a ruler, place an X on the juice box where you’ll insert the axle. You’ll want them to be directly across from one another. Use a scissors to make the holes large enough to fit the straight straws through.


Poke straws through and cut them about 2 cm’ from the sides of the juice box. Insert wooden skewers into straw. You may want to cut the skewers, but make sure there is enough space for the wheels to be inserted on the end.

make a juice box balloon derby car! - (cool) progeny

Push wheels onto skewer. Cut a small piece of sponge and glue it onto the tip of the skewer to prevent anyone from injuring themselves.

Insert the short end of the straw into the balloon. Secure it (tightly!) with duct tape or packing tape. Tape the long end of the straw to the juice box.

Blow up the balloon and watch it go!