Step 1: Tools and Supplies
The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to build the toy monster truck arena (affiliate links).
Step 2: Cut Boards to Size and Drill Pocket Holes
Cut the 1x4 boards and 1/4" plywood to size. My arena dimensions matched the space beneath my son's train table so we could stow it away when it was not in use.
- 30" (2)
- 20" (6)
- 19 7/8" x 29 7/8"
The extra 20" pieces are supports for the piece of plywood.
Drill a pair of pocket holes on each short end of the 20" long 1x4 pieces.
Step 3: Assemble the Frame
Build a rectangular frame and attach the boards to the bottom for supporting the plywood and insulation foam.
My frame in the pictures differs slightly from what I describe here because in hindsight I wish I added one more board for the bottom supports.
Step 4: Cut the Insulation Foam
Cutting the insulation foam was the most fun step of the whole project. I used a box cutter to cut straight lines out of the foam and a hot foam cutter to cut out curvy shapes. If you use the hot foam cutter, make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator.
- First you need to create a base layer for the arena.
- Cut a piece of foam to the size of the 1/4″ plywood.
- Next, cut out corner pieces of foam to the borders of the arena
- Finally, cut out a piece of foam for the center dirt mound in the arena.
Customize this step to match your desired appearance for the arena. I modeled the arena to match what it looked like at the Monster Jam event.
Step 5: Glue Foam to Plywood
Step 6: Paint Arena and Seal
Spray paint the pink foam brown. Spray paint the frame of the arena another color. I also spray painted some cheap Dollar Tree cars the same color as the arena.
I painted arena border line with white acrylic paint to somewhat match the appearance of the Monster Jam arena. Seal the paint with a few layers of a clear coat. I recommend spraying 2 layers of gloss (for high protection) followed by a layer of satin or matte to tone down the shininess.
Step 7: Install Caster Wheels and Enjoy!
Install 1″ caster wheels on each corner of the arena frame and enjoy! My son loves the monster truck arena! It has seen many hours of play.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable!
Watch the video tutorial below: