How to Make a "Thomas the Train" Box Pattern

Written by soumy ana
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How to Make a "Thomas the Train" Box Pattern
Thomas the Train uses geometric shapes. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Thomas is a fictional character of The Railway Series written by Reverend W. Awdry and Christopher, his son. Thomas the Tank Engine is the main hero of the adventures on the island of Sodor. The book series started in 1946 in Great Britain. Thomas and Friends became world-famous only when it became a TV program in 1979. To make a "Thomas the Train" box pattern, you will need shoeboxes and a cylindrical box since Thomas is made with geometrical shapes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Large shoebox
  • Small flat shoebox
  • Small, round cylinder box
  • Blue and black paint
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Craft knife
  • Hot glue
  • Red, yellow and black markers
  • Plastic ball
  • Wiggly eyes

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  1. 1

    Paint a large shoebox, a toddler shoebox as well as a round chips box light blue before using them to make design look cleaner. Let them dry for at least 24 hours. Paint one-third of the cylindrical box and one of the smaller sides of the toddler shoebox with black paint and let them dry well.

  2. 2

    Remove the lid of a big flat box. Cut a rectangle 2-inch x 1.5-inch at one end of it by using a ruler and a pencil to trace the shape and scissors to cut it. Paint it black and let it dry. Roll the rectangle into a cylinder to make Thomas's chimney. Secure with tape. Let it dry. Cut a cross in the middle of the black part of the cylindrical box with a craft knife and insert the small cylinder into it. Secure with hot glue.

  3. 3

    Take what is left of the lid and fold it in two lengthwise. Cut along the fold to make the two panels on the sides of the train. Cut again a straight line a few inches from the longer side to show the protruding part of the boiler. Measure the panels to find where to cut. You should be able to see one-third of the boiler (cylindrical box.)

  4. 4

    Cut a one-inch square from the bottom-right corner of each panel on the longest side of the panels using a ruler and a pencil. Draw an inner border on each panel using a red marker, a half-inch or less from the external border. Write a large number one on each panel and thicken the border around the number. Colour the inside of the number yellow using a marker.

  5. 5

    Take the big flat shoebox and turn it over. The bottom should be at the top. Draw a half-inch red border around the outside edge of the bottom of the box with a red marker. Use a ruler to get a straight line. Draw a half-inch red border inside, on the edge of the bottom of the box too. Cut slits along the top red borders using a craft knife. Follow along the longer sides on each side of the box on both sides of the boiler. Make sure not to cross the red border and not to cut slits along the shorter sides (front and back of the train.)

  6. 6

    Draw three big circles for the wheels underneath the red lines on both longer sides of the box. Cut around the circles with scissors. Do not cut all the way around. Leave the wheels attached to the box. Take the side of the box that you did not cut and fold each flap twice underneath the train. Colour the white part with the red marker.

  7. 7

    Glue the cylindrical box on the top of the big box, making sure you glue one end of the cylinder at one end of the big box, in the middle of it. The chimney is at the top. Use hot glue to insure the boxes are secure. Cut the bottom of the toddler shoebox with a craft knife. Glue the toddler shoebox behind the cylindrical box. Make sure the black side is at the top and you can see the hollow sides from the sides. Insert the panels on the sides of the boiler inside the flat box. Secure with hot glue. Make sure the black part of the boiler is visible.

  8. 8

    Glue two big wiggly eyes on a plastic ball the shape of a tennis ball and insert it in the front opening of the cylindrical box. Secure with hot glue. Draw a triangle for the mouth with a black marker and two half-circles around the mouth for the cheeks.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply the coat of paint several times if necessary, until the designs on your original boxes are completely covered.
  • After you cut the one-inch squares on the panels, put both panels on top of each other and draw the border on the top of the first panel and on the bottom of the second panel. Keep in mind that you will glue the panels on each side of the boiler.
  • Use papier mache for the face if you cannot find a lightweight plastic ball.
  • Do not use just any paint to cover the boxes. According to MakeBabyStuff, acrylic paints for painting toys are not natural; they are plastic-based. Some acrylic paints are toxic and some are not. Paints can contain arsenic or cadmium for pigmentation and are not safe for children who put their toys in their mouth or for paint that will chip after too many uses. Read labels carefully and search for the "AP Non-toxic" seal. Milk paint is totally safe and biodegradable. However, you will need to seal the paint using a wood finish.

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