Christmas Toys: Make a Handmade Circus Animal Train Set

MOTHER's Workshop shares instructions for a unique children's gift: a handmade circus animal train. Includes downloadable train construction details, circus animals construction details and a project materials list.

  • circus train
    A wooden circus train for your child and the child in all of us. See the text for a link to the downloadable construction details.
  • materials list
    Circus train materials list.

  • circus train
  • materials list

You may have more fun making this handmade circus animal train set than the kids will playing with it. 

My father had a small workshop in the basement for as long as I can remember. He loved to putter and make things. He built a lot of the furniture in the house and was always making things for the kitchen to help mother. For us kids, he made toys for Christmas and birthdays. If the door to the basement was locked, we knew he was working on something for us.

My children still play with some of the toys my father made. Handmade to me means made with love. My favorite toy to this day is the model-pond yacht; my sister has the six-car circus train on her mantle. What could be more exciting to a child than a steam locomotive? Well, maybe a circus. And the combination of the two, a handmade circus animal train set? Well, that's got to be some powerful magic. I know our childhood imaginations went on a lot of train trips.

The building of the engine, tender (coal-car), and circus cars is pretty straightforward. Cut out the individual pieces and glue them together!

See train construction details.

See circus animals construction details.

David Hancock
11/28/2012 4:58:30 PM

Also, its, not

David Hancock
11/28/2012 4:54:29 PM

Here is a link to the train and animals in, The cutots are in PDF form. When printing, set each page at 100% so that they copy at the same size, If you need to enlarge them or resize them. Print them out, once printed, rescan them into your computer. Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, Paint. Open Paint. Go to File, Open, (find the copies that you just Scanned & saved, open them one at a time, they should open within the Paint program. If you cut the train parts out individully and scanned, you can scan each part of the train to the size you want it up to 8 1/2 x 11, if not, the train as a whole will have to fit on that one piece of paper. You resize the train by going to word Image, Resize/Skew. If you want the train larger, change the numbers as much as you want at a time, say you want it twice as large, put 200 in each box. say you want it one and a half to,es latger, put 150 in each box and click OK, it will be bigger,

Simon says
11/10/2012 9:32:23 PM

Just a note: I would stay away from the Cup Hooks used to couple the cars together. They can be unscrewed enen in Oak wood. Use a pin and circle coupler agangement. You will have to redesign the ends but worth it. I have been making wooden toys for over 30 years and do craft fairs and some wholesale. Regards, LarryC

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