Cardboard Train Tunnel & Mountain Bridge

Recently, I have been working on a train track play mat made out of cardboard.  We have tons of cardboard boxes from our recent international move and I was just dying to start on a project making something fun for Isaac. 

Hopefully, our son who is turning 2 very soon will love it.  I wanted to wait and share this project when it was officially finished, but I just saw a linkup event that brings you one new recycled material idea per month for 2014.  Since the cardboard linkup is happening now and ends in less than 3 days…  I thought I would share the cardboard train bridge that we made.  

Cardboard train tunnel track and bridge

We looked for cardboard bridge inspiration online and got lots of ideas, but Chris had a flash of inspiration one night and helped me create this tunnel / bridge out of cardboard.

His idea was to cut the same shape over and over out of cardboard, glue them side by side together, and voila here is our cardboard bridge tunnel.  The goals for our bridge was to create a gentle slope so the magnetic connections on the trains would not come undone, a on and off ramp to the bridge that merges almost seamlessly with the cardboard mat (used a large piece of black poster board), super strong bridge that wouldn’t buckle or bend, and a tunnel that is big enough for different sized trains to fit through.

Cardboard train tunnel bridge Tracks for thomas - Step 1

Here you can see Chris cutting out each slice of cardboard.  He just traced the same shape over and over again and cut it out again and again until we got the width that we wanted.

Cardboard train tunnel bridge Tracks for thomas - Step 2

Next we glued them all together using “Tough as Nails” glue.  I am sure you can use different glue it is just the glue that we had available to us.  The final steps were to glue a black piece of poster board inside the tunnel.  We used sand in a plastic baggie to help hold it in place against the cardboard while the glue was drying.  I then drew bricks and road signs on the side.  (In hindsight I would have made one sign German, 6,9 cm, and the other side US, 2.75 in., but alas I had already completed the drawings when I thought of that.)  It is still cool that we are mixing international signs in our cardboard train track. 

We still have a little more work to do, lay down the foam tracks, draw the railroad ties, and draw / create the scenery and landscape. 

Cardboard train tunnel bridge Tracks for thomas - Side image drawingCardboard train tunnel bridge Tracks for thomas - Side image drawing 2Cardboard train tunnel bridge Tracks for thomas - back of tunnel with mountains

Hope this helps inspire someone else.  Lots of Love – Judi

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  1. This is such a great way to use cardboard! :) My daughter would love this fun tunnel for playing with her toy cars. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Judi Fox says:

    Your welcome :) I am so glad it turned out great and it is super sturdy. Can't wait to share the next phase of our cardboard train / car mat creation.

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