Birthday Train Express

By  Rebecca Spohn 

size: varies

  • Birthday Train Express


  • Recycled cardboard box
  • Recycled plastic items: small yogurt cup; microwavable meal containers, 4”x5-1/2”, four
  • Cardstock: red, yellow, black, blue, green
  • Michael’s Arts & Crafts Recollections Blue Glitter Alphabet Stickers
  • Photo of birthday kid
  • Forever in Time “HAPPY” 3-D Chipboard Sticker
  • Black yarn
  • Red plastic straw


  • Decorative-edge scissors
  • Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Colors: Medium Yellow, Ocean Cruise, Pumpkin, Wicker White; Lime Tree Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
  • Adhesives: Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, glue stick, clear tape

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, pencil, black marker, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Pattern - Birthday Train Express

  • 1. Clean and dry recycled plastic items. On covered work surface, paint containers (cable cars) and yogurt cup (front of engine) Wicker White. Let dry. Paint cable cars Lime Tree, Medium Yellow, Ocean Cruise, and Pumpkin. Let dry. Paint front of engine Pumpkin. Let dry. Apply additional coats for opaque coverage. Let dry.
  • 2. Measure and cut red cardstock to cover recycled box (engine). Adhere cardstock onto box using glue stick. Let dry.
  • 3. Print and cut out patterns. Trace and cut patterns from cardstock.
  • 4. Adhere engine windows onto both sides of box using photo as guide using glue stick. Adhere photo onto center of one window using glue stick. Let dry. Press alphabet stickers spelling kid's name above photo on window.
  • 5. Roll engine stack into tube shape. Adhere onto side of front of engine (yogurt cup) using tacky glue. Trace around top of yogurt cup onto yellow cardstock; cut out circle shape and adhere onto top of container using tacky glue. Adhere engine stack onto front of engine using photo as guide using tacky glue. Let set.
  • 6. Use decorative-edge scissors to trim edges on birthday sign. Decorate sign with chipboard "HAPPY" sticker and alphabet stickers spelling "BIRTHDAY". Adhere sign to red straw using tacky glue. Apply clear tape onto back of sign to reinforce.
  • 7. Adhere inner wheels onto engine and cable car wheels using glue stick. Use black marker to draw circle on center of wheels. Adhere wheels onto engine and cable cars using tacky glue. Let dry. Cut two thin green cardstock strips; adhere strips across center of engine wheels using glue stick. Let dry.
  • 8. Adhere long length of black yarn onto bottom of each cable car, connecting cars and engine together, using tacky glue. Leave about 1-1/2" of space between each cable car. Let dry. Position birthday sign in caboose or in engine stack. Fill cable cars with treats.
  • Tip
  • 1. Create matching cable car take-home goodie "bags" for each guest!