How Do You Make a Cardboard Box Train?

Make a cardboard box train by gluing together several decorated cardboard boxes. Start by decorating a box like the front of a train, and finish by adding the rest of the train cars, including a red caboose.

  1. Gather the supplies

    Gather at least three extra-large cardboard boxes, one large box cylinder, one small box cylinder, two paper plates per box and one paper plate for the steering wheel, scissors, colorful paint, craft glue, brass fasteners (one for each paper plate) and newspaper to protect floor.

  2. Create the front of the train

    Turn a large box on its side, bring a side flap up, and cut out a window from that flap. On the top of the box, glue the large and small cardboard cylinders, with the large cylinder closest to the window. These form the train's smoke stack. Place the box on the protective surface, paint it, and decorate it. Let the paint dry, and add one more coat if necessary. To create the pilot (triangular-shaped grill found on older trains), paint a large triangle on the front of the train (opposite side from the window). Then, paint several vertical lines inside the triangle.

  3. Create the train cars

    Cut off the top flaps of the remaining cardboard boxes so that they are completely open to hold cargo. Paint and decorate each box. Paint the final train car red for the caboose. When the train cars are dry, glue the cars side-by-side. Glue these cars to the window side of the front of the train, making sure the window flap stays up. Paint a thick, dark ring around the edge of a paper plate to be the steering wheel. When it is dry, affix the steering wheel to the inside of the second car in front of the window. Paint each remaining paper plate to look like a wheel. When dry, attach a paper plate to the side of each train car.