Tutorial: How to Make a Vintage Ice Cream Van


In case your part of the world is also still quite frosty, why not make a fun and summery ice cream van? You don’t need to be an expert in paper illustration, you just need a bit of patience and paper! I created this little paper sculpture last year as a test model for my new jewellery range. In the end I didn’t really use it, but I had tons of fun making it.


With this simple tutorial, your colourful home entertainment is guarantied. So why not get out your scalpel, hunt for a bit of foamboard (3mm thick) and a treat yourself to a nice bit of mountboard. So let’s get started!

1. Cut out the basic shape from foarmboard.

You need 2 sides, a front and a back

2. Create the main part of the chassis.

2.1. Cover all window openings with small stripes of paper and glue a small piece of blue paper over the smallest window in the side wall.

2.2. Cover the inside of all 4 walls, and the outside of both side walls with pale paper.

2.3. Glue all sides together, as shown in the picture above.

2.4 Cut a piece of foamboard for the base of the vehicle, cover with pale paper and glue in place.

3. Create the interior.

You need:  A ‘cool’ box to store the ice lollies (made of blue paper).

A red bench for the front seats (2 pieces of mountboard with rounded corners, covered with red paper).

A blue steering wheel (made of a ring of paper with small strips of paper glued onto one side, see picture).

A dashboard (made of a folded piece of cream paper).

4. Glue the interior in place and create the wheels.

The seat bench is first glued onto a piece of foamboard and then onto the vehicle floor (to create a bit of space, where the legs of the driver could go). A toothpick pushed into the dashboard, supports the stirring wheel.

For the wheels, you need 4 circles of foamboard covered with brown paper. I also added a ring of white paper, as I love the look of old-fashioned white sidewall tyres.

5. Cover the chassis with a strip of paper.

5.1 Cut a strip of paper as wide as your van and long enough to cover it from front to back. Measure the position of the windows and cut holes for the windows into your strip of paper. I also cut a further hole for a roof window.

5.2 Glue 2 ‘lights’ (white paper circles) and an air inlet grill below the windscreen. The grill is just a piece of paper in shape of a trapezium with rounded corners. Glue the strip of paper in place.

6. Just a bit more decorating fun and you are done!

6.1 Cut a pieces of pale paper in the shape shown above and glue on strips of green paper to create the stripey patter. Make another one in the reverse shape for the other side of your van. For the fenders cut a ring of mountboard in half and cover both sides with green paper.

6.2 Create 2 over-sized ice cream cones, that will go on the front and the back of the van.

7. Add the final details.

7.1. A green piece of paper finishes the air inlet grill.

7.2. Fold a small sheet of paper and partly cover the roof window.

7.3. Add a number plate and glue your ice cream cones in place.

7.4. Add a few signs, to the car. Here a computer comes in handy, to neatly print of some font.

7.5. Glue a bumper bar and some lights onto the back. Finish the side windows by adding a strip of paper, cut it straight of with a fancy wave pattern.


Finished is your ice cream van!


I always love to hear your feedback and comments. It would be splendid to see if you created an ice cream van of your very own. Why not post your picture on my Facebook wall. Happy crafting!

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