I posted a photo of a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe I made over into a Delicious Cake Design “company car” on the Delicious Cake Design Facebook page recently. It proved to be a hit and a few people asked how I did it, so here is a blog post about it!
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe makeovers have become quite popular in recent months, so I thought I’d give it a go as a little side project. My 2 year old daughter adores these toy cars and I knew she would love it. At first I thought I would do a Minnie Mouse coupe makeover as my little girl is crazy about Minnie. But then I found out Little Tikes is now manufacturing Minnie Mouse Cozy Coupes and that put me off. I wanted to do something you wouldn’t be able to easily buy, something a bit more unique. So I decided to make my little girl her very own Delicious Cake Design car.
My logo and website are brown with pale pink and aqua dots, so I decided to do that design on the car. I also wanted to add fake whipped cream with a cherry on top, which I’d seen on another cozy coupe make over – it was adorable and seemed perfectly appropriate for a cake car :).
Having never used canned spray paint before I decided to get a cheap second hand car just in case I made a mess of it lol. A brand new cozy coupe retails for $130 at this point in time (all prices in Australian dollars, which at the moment is a little less than the US dollar). I hopped on the Gumtree and managed to find a second hand coupe in excellent condition for only $25. Here is the car in it’s original state.
First step was to take the car apart and scrub it clean. It was pretty dirty! It’s very easy to remove the roof, it’s only secured by 2 screws. Once you’ve detached the roof, the support struts pop right out from the roof top. Here is the car disassembled and cleaned.
Once the car was clean and dry, I took it to the garage to spray paint the individual pieces. I covered the wheels and steering wheel with plastic bags so they wouldn’t get paint on them. I used Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover spray paint (about $10 a can) from Bunnings hardware which bonds to plastic (though it does say specifically on the can that it does not bond well with Little Tikes toys, a lot of people must be making over these cars lol). This spray paint has primer built in so I didn’t bother with a separate primer. The base of the car was painted with Espresso and the roof with Candy Pink.
My advice for using spray paint is to do light, even strokes and don’t hover over one area too long, keep the can moving slowly. Similar to using an airbrush to paint cakes! In hindsight, I wish I had re-attached the struts to the roof and sprayed them in one piece. I also wish I had used a dropcloth or something to cover the floor instead of newspaper, I had a couple of issues with the paper sticking to wet paint!
I gave each piece 2 coats then a coat of clear paint to act as a sealant (letting each coat dry in between applications). I let them dry for a couple of days then re-assembled the car. Now for the decorating!
For the Delicious Cake Design logo, I ordered company logo bumper stickers for $4 each online and stuck them to the sides and front of the car. For the coloured circles, I bought 2 sheets of adhesive sign writer’s outdoor vinyl in pale pink and aqua from a craft shop for $5. I cut out circles in various sizes using a Fiskars Circle Cutter. I put a stack of old catalogues underneath the vinyl when I cut the circles to make sure I didn’t scratch up my table. Then I just peeled the circles off the backing paper and stuck them on the base of the car like stickers.
For the whipped cream, I used Selley’s Space Invader expanding foam filler, also from Bunnings. I like this brand as it’s non-toxic and doesn’t expand heaps after being sprayed out of the can. Immediately after spraying the foam on the roof of the car I placed a red ball right in the middle of it for the cherry. It takes about 24 hours for the foam to cure, and once cured the ball is stuck in there pretty good. This particular brand of expanding foam is actually kind of spongy, it hardens further over time but never sets rock hard.
And that’s pretty much it! I am very happy with the end result. My only gripe is that I wanted to paint the steering wheel aqua but it has a lot of buttons that make electronic noises when pressed and I couldn’t be bothered trying to cover them all up to paint the rest of the steering wheel. My daughter loves her “cake car” as she calls it and drives it “to work” every day (apparently her place of work is the kitchen, same as Mummy lol).
I completed the car about a month ago now, it lives inside our house as I don’t think the paint job would survive being outdoors in the sun and rain everyday. The paint has held up pretty well so far, the only place where it’s come off very obviously is where the door makes contact with the base, all that opening and closing made the paint come off pretty fast. You can only see it when the door is open. Otherwise there are only a few small scratches where the paint has come off. These were mostly caused by my 2 year old nephew crashing the car into things (he’s very rough!). He also pulled off a big chunk of the foam from the whipped cream, so I had to repair it with some more Space Invader. That is the downside of having the spongy expanding foam instead of the kind that sets rock hard! The vinyl stickers have done a great job so far and show no signs of peeling off.