How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project

Written by louise harding
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How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
Use a medium flat rate USPS shipping box to construct a simple arch bridge. (stone arch bridge image by Paul Heasman from

Making an arch bridge for a school project is easily accomplished using a recycled medium flat-rate U.S. Post Office shipping box and a few other supplies you probably already have around the house. A single arched bridge created in this scale can display small toy cars for a realistic bridge effect. Making an arch bridge is a fun project for a student to undertake, and the project can be finished in a weekend.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Medium USPS flat-rate box measuring 13... inches length by 11... inches width by 3... inches deep
  • Cardboard circle or plastic lid about 3¼-inch diameter (about 6½-inches across widest point)
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks
  • Craft (Popsicle) sticks about ...-inch width by 4½-inches length - 5
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Acrylic paint--brown, black, yellow
  • Paintbrushes
  • Die-cast toy car (optional)

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  1. 1

    Use a ruler to measure 9 inches down from one of the 11 7/8-inches wide sealed box ends. Draw a line around this point on the box, and cut the excess away.

  2. 2

    Use the 3¼-inch diameter circle as a pattern to create your arch. Measure 4 inches down from the top centre of the circle and draw a line horizontally across the circle. Cut along this line, forming a half-circle with a flat bottom edge.

    How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
    Cut a half-circle to use as the arch pattern. (Twin arched bridge on Dartmoor image by Andrew Real from
  3. 3

    Lay the box flat on the table and centre the arch pattern (half-circle) on the box, aligning the flat bottom edge of the arch pattern with the bottom cut edge of the altered priority shipping box. Trace around the circle, creating the outline of an arch. Trace the same pattern on the other flat side of the box, making sure the arches line up as best as possible on each side of the box. Cut the half-circles from the box.

  4. 4

    Stand the box so the cut edge is touching the table, the arch beneath the "road" of the bridge, which is the sealed box end.

    How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
    Use the sealed end of the box as the road over the bridge. (sandstone arch bridge image by Jeff Dalton from
  5. 5

    Glue toothpicks, vertically, with the glue gun, every inch across the outside edges of the sealed end of the box. The toothpicks are forming the bridge railing posts. The last "post" will be slightly longer than an inch from the previous one to align it with the edge of the box end. Repeat for the other side of the box, forming a 3...-inch "road" between the two lines of toothpick "posts."

  6. 6

    Cut one craft stick in half with the scissors. Glue 2½ craft sticks horizontally, with the glue gun, one at a time, on the outside of the toothpicks to form the bridge railing. Align the straight side of each craft stick with the tops of the toothpicks. It will look like a fence with the wider craft sticks glued on the exterior of the toothpicks/posts. Repeat for the other external side of the bridge railings.

    How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
    Use toothpicks and craft sticks to form railings along the sides of the bridge. (bridge san angelo , Rome, italy image by Pierrette Guertin from
  7. 7

    Paint the entire bridge, railings, ends, sides and arches brown with the acrylic paint. Allow paint to dry.

  8. 8

    Paint the road (3...-inch width by 11...-inch length), which is the sealed, painted box end, black. Allow paint to dry.

  9. 9

    Paint a yellow stripe down the centre of the road. Allow paint to dry.

    How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
    Paint a yellow stripe in the centre of the bridge road. (double yellow image by Lee O"Dell from
  10. 10

    Glue one or two die-cast toy cars onto the road on the arch bridge for a realistic touch.

    How to Make an Arch Bridge for a School Project
    Glue one or two toy cars onto the bridge for a realistic effect. (toy car image by Ron-Heidelberg from

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