How to Build a Cardboard Train

All aboard the cardboard juice box train! This simple-to-make project is geared toward young children. Their favourite train-centred storybooks will come to life with a little help from an adult while recycling the child's favourite juice boxes. Building these boxcar trains makes a fun and not-too-messy craft project for a train-themed birthday party. Each party guest could take home his or her own train car creation. The train cars require a minimum of craft supplies, most of which are readily available.

Poke a hole in the top and bottom of a juice box with the end of the scissors.

Lay the juice box on its side, then top and end to create construction paper templates by tracing around the box. Cut out the sides, top and ends.

Decorate the boxcar sides and ends with the coloured markers, drawing wheels and windows. Glue the construction paper to the juice box.

For the engine train car, cut 2 inches off the cardboard tube and attach it to the top of the engine with masking tape.

Push the pipe cleaner through the end holes of the boxcar. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner for hooking onto the next boxcar.


Older children may want to paint the train cars instead of covering them with construction paper.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 empty juice boxes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard tube
  • Construction paper
  • Coloured markers
  • Masking tape
  • White glue
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About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of, an online business of self-guided walking tours.