Build Your DIY Cardboard Train in 5 Easy Steps | Elmer's Build It Tools Tutorial

Take a trip in your life-sized cardboard train built entirely out of recycled cardboard and Elmer's Build It Tools! Let creativity take you beyond borders on the imagination railroad with our step-by-step cardboard box train instructions.

Become a train technician and learn how to make a train with cardboard using our kid-safe Elmer's Build It Tools.

Cardboard Train Instructional


  • Cardboard Boxes

Elmer's Build It Tools Starter Set:

  • Holepunch & Screwdriver

  • Kid-Safe Cardboard Cutting Tool

  • Screws

  • Flat Brackets
  • 90" Brackets


  1. Gather cardboard boxes, Holepunch & Screwdriver, Kid-Safe Cardboard Cutting Tool, Screws, and Brackets.

  2. Create the foundation for your cardboard train by cutting out 12 medium-sized cardboard circles and 1 large circle using your Cardboard Cutting Tool. Then, take 1 box and cut out a window, as pictured, using your cardboard cutter

  3. Line up 1 closed box, 1 fully open box, and 1 half open box for the base of your DIY cardboard train. Connect the front and back boxes to the center box using a 90˚ Bracket for each side. Then, attach your top window box onto the middle, open box with Screws, closing it at the top corner using 1 90˚ Bracket.

  4. Now it's time to add your cardboard train cutout wheels and train smokebox. Attach 6 medium-sized wheels to each side of your train, and the larger wheel to the front of the train using Screws. Then, connect the small open box to the top of the train's front box using 2 90˚ Brackets.

  5. All aboard your cardboard train—enjoy!


NOTE: Elmer’s Kid-Safe Cardboard Cutting Tool should always be in the protective sleeve when not in use.



Elmer's Build It Tools turn your child's imagination into real-life cardboard cutout creations. Our kid-safe cardboard cutting and connecting supplies safely and easily create cardboard crafts for kids ages 6+. Ensure safety even when tools aren't in use with the additional security of the snap-on protective sleeve for our Kid-Safe Cardboard Cutting Tool.


*Adult supervision required.


Click here to download a PDF of all Elmer's Build It Project Instructions.