How to Make a Cardboard Box Train

Updated April 17, 2017

Making a cardboard box train from shoe boxes is a simple craft that kids can do with a parent on a rainy day. Shoes boxes are just the right size for transporting stuffed animals and dolls on this homemade train. The rest of the building materials are easily found around the house.

Punch two holes, side-by-side, in four of the box's narrow sides in the centre.

Twist the paper clips so that they are 'S' shaped.

Hook one side of the paper clip into the two holes on one box and the other end into the holes of another box. Repeat this step until three of the boxes are linked with paper clips. These will be the cars of the train.

Cut the box without holes in half.

Put the box, cut side down, into the forth box with holes. The two open ends should be facing each other. Glue the boxes together. This will be the engine of the train.

Cut the paper plate in half and glue it to the front of the engine for a cow catcher. The flat edge of the plate should be parallel with the bottom of the bottom box.

Cut 1/2-inch lines around the bottom of the paper tube. Splay the cut parts of the tube out so that they lay flat. Glue the tube to the top of the engine by putting glue on the splayed parts of the tube and pressing it to the top of the engine.

Link the engine with the cars with the last paper clip and decorate the train.


Using contact paper is an easy way to decorate the train.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 shoe boxes
  • 3 large paper clips
  • Decorations
  • 1 toilet paper tube
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Paper plate
  • Hole punch
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About the Author

Since 1998 Alina McKee has written for dozens of traditional and online beauty, fashion, health and parenting publications including, Mama Health and Real Beauty. As a professional artist, her articles about these subjects have been used in magazines and websites around the globe. McKee has a diploma in fine art from Stratford Art School.