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Busy Hands: Cardboard Bus

Lately, I find myself unable to throw anything away! I collect cardboard boxes, containers and bottle tops in the hope that we can use them to make something one day. The latest project we worked on is making a bus out of a small cardboard biscuit box. Little Dude has always been fond of cars, so I thought he would like one that we made ourselves.


This bus we made has been partly inspired by something I saw on Art Attack. I made a simpler version using what we had at hand, but you can see the original video here which requires much more material, time, and skills.

How to make a cardboard box bus
(See larger image)
Here are the items I used:
- 1 cardboard box
- Coloured Paper
- Two straws
- Two bottle caps
- A piece of cardstock
- Duct tape, glue, cello tape


These are the steps for making this bus, and in fact, you can make any vehicle you like!

1. Cut the box at the top-right, so you can fold over the flap.

2. Fold over the flap and stick it in place using cello tape.

Cutting the cardboard box

3. Cover the bus in coloured paper, or paint it. I used bits of paper because I had them in squares (and it's less messy!).

4. Take two straws for the wheels and cut them long enough so they stand out slightly when placed under the box.

5. Attach the bottle caps to the ends of the straws. I used duct tape, but the right thing to use would be modelling clay or a glue gun.

Making the wheels

6. Cut out cardstock to fit under the box, and place the wheels where you want them. Stick the card leaving only enough room for the wheels to turn. You can use some tape later to secure it more.

7. Add details such as headlights, windows, and a door using coloured paper or paint.

8. Voila! Your cardboard box bus is ready!

Cardboard box bus


What was Little Dude's reaction? Well, it's his favourite toy at the moment! This craft would also be great for older kids who can help more in the process of making it. In our case, I was doing all of the work, though he did help me glue the paper. There is definitely something special about a toy you made at home, and that you reused something too. There are also so many creative possibilities with the type of vehicle you make and the details you add.

Busy Hands - Kids' activities

(Busy Hands is a series about activities and craft you can do with toddlers and young children).

This post has been linked to:
 Let Kids Be Kids // Creative Challenge // The Weekly Kids Co-Op

Toddlers 3820542770878477312

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19 comments

pixiedusk said...

Really nice project! #creativechallenge

The Reading Residence said...

That looks so good! And wonderful that it's his favourite toy now, too.

Katie @ Pick Any Two said...

Homemade toys are the best!!! My kiddo currently loves any and all vehicles, so this will definitely be a hit.

Sara Murray said...

This is great, as you say an older child would be able to do quite a bit of this themselves. It looks really good :) #CreativeChallenge

Tarana Khan said...

Yes, he loves it! Thanks for stopping by.

Tarana Khan said...

They are fun to make too, you must try it!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Sara! Yes, it would be fun for older kids to make this, maybe by painting it themselves.

andthenthefunbegan said...

That's really cool. My two both love anything transport related so they'd probably love doing this! #Creativechallenge

Jess Paterson said...

I can't throw stuff away either! Love this bus. #creativechallenge

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks, hope you have fun making it!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Jess - so you know the feeling!

Karen Bell said...

That's a great bus! I love seeing models made from junk etc. Yours looks fab and I bet he does love playing with it.
Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

Chai a Cup of Life said...

Very creative Tarana! I saw this photo on instagram and was impressed...better than buying all this plastic junk they sell in toy stores.

Caroline Elliott said...

This is fab! What a great idea, Monkey LOVES buses so would be fab to make one for him! though I imagine in our house I would be doing most of the making too! Love the idea though! thanks so much for linking with #creatovechallenge!

Louisa said...

What a lovely bus. It's such a simple idea but really effective. #letkidsbekids

Tarana Khan said...

He does love it, and it was a good way to reuse the box!

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks! Only thin is, it doesn't last as long, but it was still worth it.

Tarana Khan said...

Yes, with toddlers, they just want to get to the end - unless it's messy play!

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks, it was a hit!

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