Box Truck and Bus

Recycle boxes and toilet paper tubes into exciting pull-along trucks and buses.
Box Truck and Bus craft


  • Boxes (shoebox, tissue box, and smaller boxes)
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Acrylic paint
  • White glue or hot glue gun
  • Paint brush
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Buttons  or plastic gems (optional)
  • Drinking straws (optional)

Safety Tips

  • Keep the glue gun out of young children's reach.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Box Truck and Bus craft 1. A shoebox or a tissue box can be used as the bus or truck's main body. If you're using a shoebox, glue the lid onto the box.
Step 2 Box Truck and Bus craft Ask for an adult's help.2. Find a smaller box for the bus or truck's front section. It may be hard to find a box that exactly matches the size of the shoebox. What you can do is to find a smaller box whose width is approximately the same as the shoebox's height. The small box's height can always be adjusted by trimming off from the top like I did with this Pop Tarts box. Use white glue or hot glue gun to connect the two boxes.
Step 3 Box Truck and Bus craft 3. When the glue has set, paint the entire box with white acrylic paint.
Step 4 Box Truck and Bus craft 4. Once dry, paint the bus or truck with the desired colors of acrylic paint or poster paint. You can paint on the windows and other details if you like or add these details later on (see Steps 5 & 6).
Step 5 Box Truck and Bus craft 5. Instead of painting on the details, you can wait for the painted truck or bus to dry before gluing or drawing on the details. An easy way of adding details is to cut them out from paper (e.g. windows and fender) or draw them with crayons or colored pencils.
Step 6 Box Truck and Bus craft 6. Buttons , plastic gems, sequins or small coins are interesting materials to use as headlights and tail lights.
Step 7 Box Truck and Bus craft 7. Prepare 2 or more toilet paper tubes. Make tires by drawing and cutting out circles from black construction paper. The tires should be equal to or larger than the toilet paper tube's diameter.

Draw and color a small white circle at the center of each tire. Finally, glue a tire at each end of a toilet paper tube.
Step 8 Box Truck and Bus craft 8. Use white glue or hot glue gun to attach the toilet paper tubes at the bottom of the truck or bus. You can put more than 2 pairs of wheels. Some trucks actually have as many as 22 wheels!
Step 9 Box Truck and Bus craft 9. If you want to make your truck or bus into a pull-along toy, tape a string from inside the front section of the vehicle.
Step 10 Box Truck and Bus craft 10. Wait for the glue to dry before positioning the vehicle upright and taking it for a test drive.

More Ideas

Box School Bus craft

School Bus

When using a shallow box such as the tissue box used for this school bus, the toilet paper tubes are best trimmed to match the box's width. Also notice that you can draw a lot of little fun details in the paper windows before gluing them onto the bus.
Bus Fire Truck craft

Fire Truck

Unlike the truck and the school bus in the previous examples, this fire truck's back section is lower than the front. This was achieved by positioning a tissue box bottom side up (the slot or opening is underneath). Doing so makes the box wider than the toilet paper tubes. You may have to cut the paper tires exactly the same size as the ends of the toilet paper tubes.
Box Fire Truck The details were done almost exactly the same as the truck tutorial above except for the plastic gem headlights and the siren on top made out of glue stick plastic lid.
Box fire truck ladder Make a ladder by positioning a pair of bendable drinking straws about 1 to 1 ½ inches apart. Create the ladder steps by cutting shorter pieces of drinking straw and gluing them across the pair of long straws (use white glue or hot glue gun), starting above the straws' bendable section.

Once the glue has set, attach the ladder at the back of the fire truck, positioning it so that the bendable areas of the straws go over the top edge of the box. Because the straws are bendable, the ladder can be adjusted at different angles.
Paper doll fireman and dog You can also add paper dolls if you like. You can draw them or print out any of these firefighter templates: