Decorate a Pinewood Derby Car with Cricut

In our corner of East Texas January is the month every young boy loves and all parents dread. That’s right it’s pinewood derby time!

If you are the parent of a cub scout you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It takes hours/days/weeks of blood sweat and tears to turn these little cars into the speed demons that every boy wants.  At times I think the father’s get more wrapped up in having the perfect car than the boys. 

This year our pinewood derby cars were back ordered from the BSA home office.  This means we ended up having one week to get the car ready. Yes, one week! So, this crafty mom went to her go-to-last-minute craft tool, the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Pinewood Derby Car1

It made decorating the car so easy! After my son and husband cut, sanded, and beat the block of wood into the shape they wanted (in case you don’t know pinewood derby cars come as a solid block of wood). They spray painted the entire thing red.  Spray paint works very well for pinewood derby cars, not as much paint soaks into the wood as using a brush so you are able to control the weight distribution better, and it dries quickly.  Let that  cure over night then you can add your Cricut cut decals.

The easiest way to apply the small decals is to either apply them like a sticker, or to use the hinge application method.  The hinge method is good for keeping air bubbles from forming under the decal.

The hinge method is when you peal half of the backing off the cut vinyl image fold the backing backward in half.

Hinge Application On Pinewood Derby Car

Then apply the vinyl to the car, then pull the backing off the other half of the image slowly while pushing the vinyl down with your other hand.

Hinge Application Method

Pinewood Derby Car Vinyl

Decorate a Pinewood derby car with Cricut

I used my Cricut to upload a Flash Logo SVG file I bought from an Esty shop and sized them down to about an inch and a half.  For a detailed post on how to upload an SVG file check out this post. Measure your own pinewood derby car after the shape wanted is achieved. Then cut them using foil vinyl and yellow vinyl. 

Add them to your car where you or your son (or husband) wants them.

Finished Pinewood Derby Car

Then add a layer of spray varnish over the decals and entire car.  This will make the car shiny and slick. After the varnish is dry, add the wheels and any weight you might need.  Check with your local BSA chapter for the appropriate weight.  

Decorate a Pinewood Derby Car with Vinyl

We had a great night with family and friends.  Our little Flash pinewood derby car 5th over all, pretty good out of 30 boys. 

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  1. that’s great to take 5th over all with such a small amount of time. It can be quite stressful for all.

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