Next time you come across some nearly empty boxes of pasta in your cabinet, give this “noodle train” project a try.
- Various dried pastas: You'll need some flat lasagna and rotelle
(wheel-shaped) pasta to construct the base of the train cars. All
other embellishments are up to you, so use whatever pasta shapes
you already have on hand. Good options include penne, shells,
rigatoni, farfalle, ditalini or other small pasta.
- Hot glue gun
- Paints, paint brushes, glitter or other embellishments
- Work on your "design" first. Lay all the pieces out before
you begin securing them together.
- Begin by breaking flat lasagna noodles into 4- to 5-inch pieces
to create the train engine. Use a hot glue gun to join three pieces
together. Note: A hot glue gun gets very hot and should only be
used by an adult.
- Next, use tall, straight pasta, like rigatoni or penne, to add
height to your engine car. Add another piece of lasagna noodle to
create the "roof." Stack rigatoni or penne to create an "engine" up
front. Finally, glue on several pieces of rotelle (wheel-shaped
pasta) for "wheels."
- Once you have the engine constructed, use your imagination to
create more "train cars." Start with layers of flat lasagna noodles
to build the base and use rotelle for the wheels. Beyond that, get
creative with your food! We stacked rigatoni to make a "crate" to
haul cargo. Glue together layers of shells to make "piles of
This project is meant to inspire variations. If you plan
ahead, you could paint the individual pasta pieces the day before
and let them dry overnight before you assemble your train. Consider
using small pasta pieces to build "passengers" for your noodle
train. Make trees and other landscape elements to set the scene as
your noodle train travels through a cityscape or
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.