Cutest Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft for Kids…Choo Choo!

Let’s make a toilet paper roll train craft today! This simple paper roll craft uses recycled materials to make a paper train which is great for kids of all ages in the classroom or at home.

If you have a child who loves trains, this may be the absolutely perfect simple craft.  Kids of all ages love the simplicity of this diy train craft for kids and everything you need to make it is probably already in your recycling bin!

Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft for kids - shown is the finished toilet paper roll train with an engine and 3 cars and a caboose
Let’s make a train craft!

Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft

Today we are showing you how to make a train from recycled materials. This train craft is great for preschool, but don’t overlook it when you think of toilet paper roll crafts for older kids as well. Because it can be made with as much detail (or as little detail) as you desire, this diy train is great for different crafting situations with groups of kids in the classroom or at home as a fun paper towel roll crafts (yes, you can use those instead of toilet paper rolls or craft rolls!).

This train is made from recycled materials, which makes it an inexpensive craft idea that’s good for the planet! I love to make DIY toys that keep the kids busy long after the craft is through.

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Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft - How to make a toilet paper roll train
Making a toilet paper roll train is easier than you might think!

Materials Needed to Make a Toilet Paper Roll Train

Directions to Make a Train out of Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft Steps 1-4 to make a toilet paper roll train craft
Here are the simple steps to make a toilet paper roll train!

Step 1

Paint your cardboard tubes various bright colors. Cut C-shapes out of one of the tubes to create both the top of the engine and caboose. Paint those craft rolls the same color to coordinate with the engine and caboose.

Also cut a C-shape out of the skinny cardboard tube and paint it the same color as the engine.

The C-Shape tubes will arch nicely around the toilet paper roll.

Step 2

Once dry, hot glue the cardboard roll tops of the engine and caboose in place.

Step 3

Also, hot glue four plastic lids on each cardboard tube (paper towel roll, toilet paper roll or craft roll) as the wheels of your train.

Step 4

Punch small holes into the four “corners” of each carboard tube. These are your attachment points for the yarn.

Step 5

Cut the yarn to length.

Weave the thread through one tube and another tube to attach two tubes together.

Tie a knot.

Continue the process until all of the cars of the train are connected.

Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft completed and boy playing with the finished train craft
Choo! Choo!

Train Craft that Becomes a Toy

I thought this might be a craft we made and displayed for a while, but I was wrong.  When we were done creating, my son made that train go choo-choo all throughout the house, for days!

He sat in the kitchen, making it travel around him for a while. His legs, tables, and chairs around the house became tunnels.

This was a craft activity that wound up becoming a toy that resonated with my three year old, inspiring hours of creative play!

It’s time to play with our newly crafted train!

Yield: 1

Cardboard Tube Roll Train Craft


This toilet paper roll train craft for kids of all ages uses recycled materials you can find around the house like toilet paper rolls, paper towels and bottle caps to make the coolest DIY train toy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost free


  • 6 Toilet Paper Roll Tubes, 2-3 Paper Towel Rolls or 6 Craft Rolls (I prefer the white ones because they are easier to paint).
  • 1 Skinny Cardboard Tube (I used the center of a roll of foil)
  • 20 Lids (milk containers, Vitamin waters, Gatorade)
  • Yarn
  • Craft Paint


  • Foam Brushes
  • Hole Punch or Something to Make a Hole in the Cardboard Tube
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors


  1. Paint the cardboard tubes various bright colors choosing what color you want for each train car, engine and caboose.
  2. The caboose needs an additional cut tube for the top cabin.
  3. The engine needs additional cardboard tubes for the cab and smoke stack (can be the smaller tubes).
  4. Cut a c-shape into the tube that will fit on top of the caboose or engine to allow it to fit better.
  5. Hot glue the parts onto the caboose and engine.
  6. Punch holes into the four corners of each of the train cars, the back of the engine and the front of the caboose.
  7. Thread yarn through the holes and tie creating a train.

More Train & More Fun from Kids Activities Blog

More Upcycled/ Recycled Craft Ideas

 I can’t get enough of crafts that give every day things second life!

Toilet Paper Roll Train Craft for Kids featured in Big Book of Kids Activities  - paper towel roll train craft from the book
Our toilet paper roll train craft is part of The Big Book of Kids Activities!

The Big Book of Kids Activities

This toilet paper roll train is one of the featured kids crafts in our newest book, The Big Book of Kids Activities has 500 projects that are the bestest, funnest ever! Written for kids ages 3-12 it is the compilation of bestselling kids activities books perfect for parents, grandparents and babysitters looking for new ways to entertain kids. This toilet paper roll craft is one of over 30 classic crafts that use materials you have on hand that are featured in this book!

This toilet paper rolls craft is one of several in our BIG BOOK of Kids Activities!

Oh! And grab The Big Book of Kids Activities printable play calendar for a year’s worth of playful fun.

Hope you enjoyed making a toilet paper roll train!

Comment below with any craft ideas you have for toilet paper/ paper towel rolls!


  1. Hi Jodi!
    Great post! My son and I are always making recycled projects & I never thought to make a train. Most of our projects end up in the Jr. Picasso realm but I will surely give this one a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Teresa Rucker says:

    Like this page. I have found some good activities for my clasroom here. I really like the idea of vitural train rides. Really exicited to share with my students. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Kristen Yard says:

    We are so happy to hear that, Teresa! You are so welcome! Enjoy!!!

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