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Here’s a fun DIY toy and recycling craft for kids of all ages – make an egg carton train!

This easy craft idea was first published in 2013 and has been updated and reshared for today’s audience.

You might also like our egg carton helicopters

egg carton train craft for kids

Egg cartons are so versatile. We always keep them aside for crafting rather than recycling them and have been building up quite a collection. We decided to put some of them to good use with this egg carton train craft.

Seriously, this was a project that my kids have enjoyed playing with a LOT!

My girls are pre-school-aged and needed help with the fiddly bits (cutting wheels, poking holes etc.) but they did as much of it as they could and are very proud of their creations.

kid and egg carton train craft

When finished, the egg-carton compartments are just the right size for small plastic figurines and toys. 

Although these trains are simple to make, I’d suggest laying aside a couple of days to allow for drying time and the short attention spans of young children.

How to make an egg carton train

You will need:

  • One egg carton per train
  • One toilet roll per train
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glue
  • Construction paper for the funnel
  • String or Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Paint brush
  • The train wheel template

egg carton train supplies

How to:

Cut the egg carton into sections of 2 cups, plus one section of 1 cup for the engine & trim edges to tidy up. Then paint them and allow to dry.

egg carton train steps - painting the egg caton

egg carton train compartments

Print out the train wheel template and use it to make paper wheels. You can print it directly onto coloured construction paper (card stock is best) or print it to white and staple it onto card stock before cutting out.

Fold the template along the dotted line and cut out the wheel shapes. You will end up with a matching set of wheels for each side of your train.

wheel template

Punch holes with a hole punch in the back of the engine & the front and back of each carriage, or poke a hole with a metal skewer. Then tie them together with a piece of ribbon or string.

joined carridges

Glue on the wheels by applying a dab of craft glue on the egg carton & pressing the wheel on. I’ve created the blue circles inside my wheels from hole punch circles. The girls preferred to decorate theirs differently – Miss K with stickers and Miss R with glitter paint.

inner wheel circles

gluing on the wheels

almost-finished train

Make the funnel:

  1. Roll a small (approx 4-5cm high) strip of paper up into a cylinder and glue the edge down
  2. Wind a thin strip of paper in a different colour around all the way up to make a candy stripe
  3. Snip tiny slits all the way around the bottom of the cylinder and fold under to make tabs. Glue it on the front of the toilet roll engine with the tabs.
  4. Make the mini cone for the top of the funnel by cutting a circle shape with a slit to the middle and bending it into a cone shape. Glue it on top of the funnel

making the funnel

Now, once it’s all completely, absolutely dry (so there will be no tears when the wheels fall off), it’s time to play!

train engine with funnel

Here are our finished creations …

egg carton train craft red and blue

This one was made by Miss 3.

kid-made egg carton train

Here is Miss 4’s effort (pictured before the funnel was glued on).

Egg carton train


Aren’t they gorgeous?

I love crafts that become toys, it gives them a double purpose. The girls played with these trains ALL the time, literally until they fell apart. Then they moved onto my train, haha.

More egg carton recycling crafts for kids

egg carton train craft for kids