How to Construct a Train From Cardboard Boxes

Written by christina sloane
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How to Construct a Train From Cardboard Boxes
You can make your own toy train out of boxes and other materials. (train image by cherie from

If you and your kids have extra shoe boxes, mini cereal boxes, juice boxes or other cardboard containers lying around, you can work together to recycle them into a pull-along train toy. Depending on the extra materials you have lying around the house, you can decorate each train car as elaborately as you like.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Three or four boxes, all similar in size
  • String or yarn
  • Construction paper or self-adhesive shelf liner paper
  • Poster paints, crayons or markers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Scissors
  • Empty thread spools
  • Buttons

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  1. 1

    Paint each box or cover the boxes with construction paper or self-adhesive shelf liner paper. Add details by using paint, markers or crayons, or by cutting shapes out of construction paper and gluing them on.

  2. 2

    Wait for your paint to dry, then glue on additional objects to personalise each train car. For example, you can glue an empty thread spool or marker cap to the top of the first car to create a smokestack.

  3. 3

    Glue thread spools or attach toy wheels to your boxes to make wheels, or simply paint wheels directly onto the boxes.

  4. 4

    Glue a button or cut-out circle to the first train car to make an engine, and glue a paper triangle underneath to make a bumper. These details can also be drawn or painted on, as you prefer.

  5. 5

    Wait for the paint and glue to dry.

  6. 6

    Poke a hole in the short ends of each box with your sharpened pencil or scissors.

  7. 7

    Thread string or yarn through the holes, and tie a knot at the end of the last car. Now you have a pull-along train toy.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use empty oatmeal canisters or toilet-paper rolls to create cylindrical train cars.

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