How to Make Trains From Aluminum Cans

Transform old cans into a toy train.

Mint, tea, cookie and soda cans often have colorful designs that work well in craft projects. If you have a varied assortment of attractive cans and other metal objects that you'd like to transform into something creative, a durable, one-of-a-kind toy train is a delightful craft choice for the purpose.

Assemble the cans in a fashion that resembles train cars. For example, make the engine car with a cylindrical soda can and position two sardine cans at the back. Place a tart pan on the front of the engine car to make a bumper, then place a soda bottle cap on the front to make a headlight. Make the rest of the train cars simple, with single soda or soup cans or rectangular tea tins attached to narrow sardine or mint can bases. Attach all the parts to each other with double-sided foam tape.

Punch holes in the centers of four metal iced-tea caps and four soda bottle caps; these will serve as the wheels for your train cars. Use a hammer and nail to punch the holes in the caps.

Stick washers on the sides of your cars in the positions where the wheels will go. Use double-sided foam tape and be careful not to cover up the washer holes.

Straighten one end of a paper clip for each wheel. Thread the straightened end through the washer -- position the bent end under the train -- then thread your larger and smaller caps onto the paper clip. Bend the tip of the paper clip to hold them in place.

Duct tape the bent end of the paper clip that's under the car to the bottom of the car, so the assembly will hold together.

Connect your cars by clipping a bulldog clip on the back of each car, attaching a suction cup hook to the front and hooking the cars together.

Things You Will Need

  • Aluminum and/or tin cans
  • Mini tart pan
  • Metal caps from beverage bottles
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • 1-inch metal washers
  • Paper clips
  • Duct tape
  • Small bulldog clips
  • Small suction cup hooks