You may remember my little boys obsession with trains.  I made this play mat for him a while ago.

Well he keeps that ‘train mat’ inside a tent in his bedroom where he loves to sit and drive his trains around the track.  However in the kids play room we have a large train table. 

While my parents are visiting they wanted to buy him some more pieces to build on the basic track he already had.  Train tracks and accessories are E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E though.  So dad and I put our creative heads together and made a few bits a pieces.

So using a Pringles container, a plastic apple juice bottle, an orange juice carton and a coffee creamer bottle we set to work.

Crafting with juice bottles

First we cut each piece to the size we required, then  put a couple of coats of paint on.

Re-use everyday items for crafts

Then we cut a piece of ply wood to make an arch for a tunnel, which was glued inside the orange juice carton.  The reason for this is if you leave the box rectangular it can start to lean or bend out of shape very quickly.  The ply wood adds extra support so the tunnel holds its shape.  Good thing I picked up a little woodcarving tool set about a year ago on clearance … see, I knew it would come in handy one day.

make train track accessories
handmade train tunnel

Before adding finishing touches to each piece.  Including a coat of sealant over the top of each piece, this helps to prevent the paint from chipping, especially on the plastic.

The end result:

The orange juice carton made a great tunnel, once the plywood archway was added.  Flynn can reach his hand into the other end to pull his trains through and loves that I painted it black inside to make it ‘spooky’.

Handmade train track accessories

The end of the coffee creamer bottle was turned into a mountain and grass and ladybugs were painted on the side.

Handmade train track bridge

The plastic apple juice bottle was turned into another tunnel complete with graffiti (thanks to the teenager) on the inside.  We only painted the inside of the plastic, not the outside.

Handmade train track tunnel

Lastly, the Pringles carton was cut in half and made into 2 train depots for the trains to go to sleep at the end of their very busy day.

Handmade train depot

Handmade carton train depot

Flynn loves it and there is nothing better than free accessories for his most beloved toy.

Oh and I have to show you one last thing that we added.

One section of the train table has a construction theme.   So what better item to put there than a dinosaur egg boulder painted by Flynn at pre-school last week.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t hatch 🙂

everyday items for train track accessories
handmade train track accessories



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Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) September 14, 2009 - 5:00 pm

WOW!!!I am beyond impressed. I am soooo not craftsy… I could never do that. I think my kids would rather live with you. LOL

Jane September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm

WOOOOOWWWWWW!!!! This is awesome.

? Mommy ? to R amp; R September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm

great job, mama! Needing some crafty time right about now, for some projects of my own…hope to have some time before xmas hits!

cindy September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm

beautiful works of art! lovin them all.

Liz September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Super ideas! I might use some when our train obsession really takes off.

Lisa September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Very cool projects. My son likes it when I make train table stuff for hime too, although Ive never done anything that elaborate.

Kim -today's creative blog September 15, 2009 - 5:00 pm


cat September 17, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Excellent ideas! So cool!

Leanne September 28, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Wow, that is soooo cute. You are so creative. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Im having a giveaway today. Stop by if you get a chance and enter.

kanishk October 6, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Tonya…wonderful creativity! I love it…may have to do something like that for Morgan… Web hosting india

3 sweet P's October 7, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Great idea!! I always knew that there could be a purpose for all that garbage I throw out! Thanks for sharing.

Heather - - October 8, 2009 - 5:00 pm

My sons would LOVE that. LOVE IT!! Good job, mama!

Carolyn August 17, 2011 - 11:22 pm

You have made his trainset so much more fun. Love what you’ve done.


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