How to Make an Easy Covered Bridge Craft

Sunday River Covered Bridge image by JerseyDevil1953 from

Things You'll Need

  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Masking Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Tempera Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Clear packing tape, if necessary
  • Construction paper: brown, blue, black
  • One quart milk carton
  • Utility knife

Covered bridges are a popular sightseeing destination, evoking thoughts of wagons and buggies and historical romance. Some hobbyists use covered bridges in their miniature railroad displays. There are many options for construction materials for covered bridge crafts. This craft project uses a one quart milk carton, making it the right size for small cars or toy trains.

Cut milk carton. Lay the milk carton on its side and carefully cut the ends off using the utility knife.

Cut the trusses. The trusses on a covered bridge hold up the sides and roof. Use corrugated cardboard to make the trusses. Cut ten trusses 3/4 inch wide and five inches long. Cut eight trusses 3/4 inch wide and 2 1/2 inches long.

Glue trusses. Lay milk carton on its side and glue five long trusses vertically to the side. Trusses will extend into the air to support the roof. Put one truss at each end, one in the center, and then center the other two between the center and the end trusses. Flip the milk carton over and repeat on the other side.

Create support beams. Use the shorter trusses to create triangular supports between the trusses. Glue one end to the top of an end truss, angling down the top of the milk carton and attaching to the next truss. Use the next short truss and complete the triangle shape by starting at the same point the other finished and angling it to the top of the center truss. Repeat with the next section. Flip the milk carton over and repeat on the other side. There will be two support triangles on each side of the bridge. This step can be completed with craft sticks or other craft wood, foam or paper as desired.

Create siding on the bridge. Use brown or red construction paper and cut to size to cover the four sides of the milk carton. Glue the construction paper over the trusses on the sides. Using paint or markers, create lines to resemble wooden boards.

Create a roof. Cut a roof from cardboard. Make it the same length as the milk carton, and twice the width. Fold it in half and glue to the trusses. Use tape to attach, if necessary.

Create piers. Cut three U-shaped support piers for the bridge from cardboard. Paint black or brown. Make each pier the same height. Create stone or wood looks on the supports for effect. Glue one to each end of the bridge and one to the center.

Make bridge approaches. Cut two strips of cardboard the width of the milk carton and long enough to reach the table surface. Cover them with black or brown construction paper, as desired. Use sand or pebbles glued on the construction paper for an authentic dirt road look.

Make water. To complete the covered bridge look, add water under the bridge. Use blue construction paper, and paint with white swirls to resemble water flowing under the bridge.