The BWSC Supporters, a group of wide-ranging creators and artists introduce the highlights of the tournament.


An arts and crafts enthusiast and a mother of twins. Renowned for her web comic and blog in which illustrates her adventures about raising her sons. She has published a collection of "twin comics" and "cardboard craft activities for families."

How to make a clean energy car from a milk carton, by the popular DIY craft artist pika

This August, a family event related to solar cars took place at Bridgestone Today, a museum operated by Bridgestone Corporation. The highlight of the event was a workshop in which participants got to craft their own "solar" cars—a rubber band-powered clean energy car, to be exact—out of milk cartons, directed by a popular DIY craft artist pika. Today, we‘ll show you how to make the car with your children, so you can find out what all the buzz was about!

The event was held under the theme of “learning the environmental friendly solar cars.” A total of 53 families has attended, with kids age varying from two to 3rd grade elementary school kids. Each of them crafted their very own original “solar” car, by putting together their unique ideas even following the same instructions.
Let’s see what you and your family can come up with!

Below are all the materials and tools you’ll need to craft the car—but feel free to add any decorations that aren’t on the list. Some decorative materials not mentioned here but were available at the event include masking tape, stickers, and shiny stickers used to represent solar panels.

Depending on the age of your child, it should take you 30 minutes to an hour to craft the car, not including decoration.

Make sure to supervise your child at all times when they are handling craft tools.
Handle skewers, scissors, awls, and glue guns with care.

Make sure to closely supervise your child if you are allowing them to use hole punchers, skewers, and glue guns themselves. Otherwise, they could injure themselves.

Step 9 can be a little difficult, so you might want to help your child. Make sure that the wheels are moving properly before you fold over the flap.

And finally, decorate the car in any way your child likes to finish off their your very own milk carton “solar” car! There were all kinds of cars at the event, from colorful rides to cars shaped like animals and cars with driver’s seats.

Download the instructions (PDF) here!

The children at the event had a great time crafting their cars, and so did the parents! They even had some professional help from the director and members of the Kogakuin Solar Team—a team of Kogakuin University students who compete in the BWSC.

We hope you and your child will have as much fun crafting the car as these families did!

A note from pika

I participated in the event with my husband and two 5-year-olds. The twins loved crafting their cars and became fans of Bridgestone Today. They’re now badgering me to take them back to “that car place”!

I usually work with cardboard, so working with milk cartons was new to me. There was a lot for me to discover—so that was fun for me. The cartons are a bit tricky to cut where the folds overlap, so I’d recommend helping your child with that.

I also recommend experimenting with the rubber bands to see what will help your car go further. Try a bunch of different things with your child, and just have fun!