School Bus Paper Roll Craft

School starts again here in less than a month. This little school bus craft is a fun way to get started thinking about going back to school. My girls love that the result is a toy rather than just something to hang on the wall.


We made several versions of this, but ended up realizing that a paper towel roll works better than a toilet paper tube. The toilet roll just isn’t long enough. (However, I love this roundup of toilet paper roll crafts, if that’s what you’re looking for.)

For the wheels, I raided our Lego pieces. We had to beg my oldest for some wide-set wheels. The ones I picked out first weren’t wide enough to clear the width of the towel roll. You could also just put a base on a narrower set wheels, lifting the bus up high enough for them to clear.

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School Bus Craft Materials

  • Paper towel roll
  • Sharp scissors like these (affiliate) – for adult use
  • Acrylic paint: white & yellow with a drop of red
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint smock or old shirt to protect clothes from acrylic paint
  • Black permanent marker
  • Lego wheels (see above)
  • Masking tape
  • Hot glue – for adult use

School Bus Craft Instructions

  • Cut the paper towel roll in half. Then cut in a curve on one end. Then trim the rest as shown here:


  • Cut out doors. They should open like shutters. Be careful not to poke yourself with the scissors (I nearly did!)

This next part is perfect for kids to help with. My girls always love an excuse to paint. I have them put on their brother’s outgrown shirts to keep paint off their regular clothes.

  • Paint the entire tube white. Paint the outside and let dry for a few minutes. Then paint the inside too.
  • Once the white paint is dry, paint the outside golden yellow.


  • After the yellow paint dries, add details with a black permanent marker. (For younger kids you may want to do it for them).

Now send the kids to play, or to paint something else. The rest needs to be done by an adult:

  • Tape or hot glue the hood flap closed. Wrap the Lego axle with masking tape to protect it. You can color the tape black if you want. Then hot glue it to the bottom of the bus.

Voila! You’re ready to play school bus!


A school bus craft made out of a paper tube! It has real wheels for imaginative play.


    1. Thanks! It took some fiddling to figure out, but in the end it was simple enough to make a little fleet of school buses. My girls are having fun playing with them now.

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