How to Make a Train With Cardboard

Do you want to spark your kids’ creativity and curiosity? With a few cardboard boxes, some basic craft supplies, and a little bit of imagination, you can transform the living room into an imaginative space for play. With our easy step-by-step instructions on how to make a train with cardboard, creating this simple train is both fun and educational! From decorating to assembling the parts, your children will love feeling like engineers as they work on building their very own railroads out of recycled materials.

How to Make a Train With Cardboard

With just some cardboard and basic craft supplies, you can make your model train that looks like it’s about to whisk away its passengers. Not only is it fun to create, but it’s also an exciting way for kids and adults alike to learn about engineering principles as they build something tangible out of cardboard. So get ready for an adventure in creating – let’s start building our miniature trains together!

Why May You Want to Make a Train With Cardboard?

1 . To Improve Your Creativity and Imagination

Cardboard trains don’t require a lot of materials or resources to make, which means you can get creative and use your imagination without having to worry about the cost. You can experiment with different designs, colors, and styles while making a train out of cardboard.

2 . To Encourage Eco-friendly Habits

Making a train with cardboard is an eco-friendly activity that promotes reusing and recycling materials. By using old cardboard boxes, you can reduce waste and help the environment.

3 . To Learn About Engineering and Problem-solving

Constructing a train out of cardboard requires engineering skills and problem-solving abilities. You have to figure out how to make the train sturdy enough to hold together while also making it look realistic. This hands-on activity can help develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

4 . To Create a Fun and Engaging Activity

Making a train with cardboard is not only an educational activity but also a fun one. You can involve your friends, family, or classmates in the project and work together to create a unique and interactive train. It’s an excellent way to bond and spend quality time while also learning new things.

5 . To Spark an Interest in Trains and Transportation

Creating a train with cardboard can ignite a passion for trains and transportation in children. As they build the train, they can learn about different types of trains, their functions, and how they operate. This activity can inspire them to explore more about the world of trains and potentially pursue a career in the field.

Cardboard Ignite Passion for Trains

6 . To Use as a Decorative Piece

A well-made cardboard train can serve as a decorative piece in your room or study desk. You can paint it in your favorite colors, add details like windows and wheels, and use it to display small items such as figurines or stationery. It’s an excellent way to add a personal touch to your space and showcase your creativity.

How to Make a Train With Cardboard in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before you begin, make sure to gather all the necessary materials. You will need:

  • A cardboard box (preferably rectangular)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Paints or markers
  • Paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls (optional)

Step 2: Prepare the Cardboard Box

First, find a rectangular cardboard box that will serve as the base of your train. If the box has any flaps, cut them off with scissors. This will make it easier to work with and create a smoother surface for painting.

Step 3: Create Train Cars

Using another piece of cardboard, cut out smaller rectangles to create train cars. The number of cars you make will depend on the size of your cardboard box. Attach the cars to the base using glue or tape.

Step 4: Add Wheels

To create wheels, you can either use paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls. Cut them into smaller circles and attach them to the train cars with glue or tape. You can also use bottle caps for smaller wheels.

Step 5: Decorate Your Train

Now comes the fun part – decorating your train! You can use paints, markers, or even colored paper to give your train some personality. Get creative and make it as colorful as you want!

 Fun Part Decorating Train

Step 6: Add Details

To make your train more realistic, you can add details such as windows or a chimney using extra cardboard pieces. You can also cut out and attach paper cutouts for smoke or train tracks to complete the look.

Some Extra Tips to Make a Train With Cardboard

1 . Use Recycled Materials

If you want to make a sustainable train, why not use recycled materials? Instead of buying new cardboard, you could reuse old cardboard boxes or packaging material. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also adds an element of creativity to your project. You might even find some interesting shapes and designs within these materials that can be incorporated into your train design.

2 . Paint and Decorate

Cardboard is a versatile material that can be easily painted or decorated. You can use acrylics, watercolors, or even spray paint to give your train a unique look. Additionally, you could add details such as windows, doors, and wheels using other materials like markers, stickers, or construction paper. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating your cardboard train.

3 . Add Functional Features

To make your train more interactive and interesting, consider adding functional features. This could include moving wheels, a smokestack that blows bubbles, or even a small compartment for storing toys or other items. These additional features will not only make your train look more realistic but also provide entertainment value for children playing with it.

4 . Use Paper Fasteners

Paper Fasteners to Hold Your Cardboard

Instead of glue or tape, try using paper fasteners to hold your cardboard train together. This will not only give the train a more professional look but also make it easier to take apart and reassemble. You can find colorful paper fasteners at most craft stores, adding another element of creativity to your project.

5 . Experiment with Different Sizes and Shapes

Don’t limit yourself to traditional train designs. Play around with different sizes, shapes, and configurations of cardboard to create a unique train. You could make a long freight train with multiple cars or even a cute mini-train for younger children. Let your imagination run wild and see what kind of trains you can come up with.

Frequently Asked Question

What Precautions to Take Before Making a Train with Cardboard?

When making a train with cardboard, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure safety and success. Some of these precautions include:

  • Using proper tools such as scissors, glue, and rulers
  • Wearing protective gear like gloves and goggles
  • Working in a well-ventilated area
  • Having adult supervision for children
  • Using a sturdy and stable work surface
  • Keeping sharp tools away from young children

Can I Make a Train with Cardboard Without Any Special Skills?

Yes, you can make a train with cardboard even if you do not have any special skills or previous experience. This DIY project requires basic crafting skills and patience. With the help of materials and instructions, anyone can create a train with cardboard.

How Can I Customize My Train to Make It Unique?

There are various ways to customize your train and make it stand out. Some ideas include:

Painting Train With Different Colors
  • Painting the train with different colors
  • Adding details like windows, doors, and wheels using paper or other materials
  • Decorating with stickers, markers, or glitter
  • Adding lights or sound effects for a more realistic touch

Can I Use Recycled Materials Instead of Cardboard?

Yes, you can use recycled materials such as cereal boxes, shoeboxes, or old cardboard packaging to make your train. Not only is this an eco-friendly option, but it also adds a unique touch to your creation.

How Can I Make Sure My Train Is Safe for Children?

When making a train with cardboard for children, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Some tips include:

  • Avoid using small or sharp objects that can be a choking hazard
  • Use non-toxic materials for painting and decorating
  • Test the train’s stability to prevent it from easily tipping over
  • Opt for simpler designs with fewer small parts

By following these safety measures, you can create a fun and safe train for children to play with. Remember to always supervise children during the crafting process and teach them how to use tools safely.

Can I Use Different Types of Cardboard for My Train?

Yes, you can use different types of cardboard such as corrugated, flat, or thick. Each type will give a unique texture and look to your train. You can also combine different types to add dimension and strength to your project.

How Long Will It Take to Make a Train with Cardboard?

The time it takes to make a train with cardboard can vary depending on the complexity of your design, the size of the train, and your crafting skills. Generally, it can take anywhere from 1-2 hours for a simple train to several days for a more intricate design.


Making a train with cardboard is not only a fun and engaging activity but also offers numerous benefits. From promoting eco-friendly habits to developing critical thinking skills, this DIY project has something for everyone.

Now you know how to make a train with cardboard, grab some materials, and start building your very own train! Get creative, have fun, and don’t forget to share your masterpiece with others. Who knows? You may inspire someone else to make a cardboard train too. Happy crafting!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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