When my sister told me that she’s throwing a school bus themed party for my adorable bus-obsessed nephew, I knew I had a challenge I was up to staring me in the face: create some school bus treat boxes, and then, of course, offer them free here on the blog… I showed her what I did for our Elmo birthday party and the pillow boxes I made for it, and she wanted some for her event. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Once I started, I got carried away…
I began with the pillow boxes as planned.
They are quite cute, with the headlights and tail lights on the outside. One side has a door, the other a stop sign!
But then that inspired me further…
Why not make an actual bus-shaped printable!?
(Note: this box is pretty small – if you’re looking for something larger, check out my pencil box template)
I had it in mind originally as a display piece or a printable toy, and it still works that way. But as I was designing it, I realized that I can simply turn the back door into a… door!
And voila! It’s a treat box too!
I added wheels with toothpicks so that they can spin and still be a toy. But if you’re looking to cut corners and use it as a treat box, you can definitely just glue on the wheels.
Just like the pillow boxes, the school bus shaped box has all its tail lights in place, with a stop sign on one side and a door on the other. Though I do believe I accidentally made it open the English way (and I don’t even think they have yellow buses there) – whoops!
Pillow boxes are cool because they are super easy to assemble. But the bus box is cool because… well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?
M has been playing with it a lot and driving it up the wall (better than driving me up said wall…) He is currently playing with it and singing “the wheels on the bus” (the inspiration behind this party).
What you need to assemble these free printable school bus treat boxes:
Disclosure: affiliate links are included for your convenience.
- The free printable files. Print them on cardstock, using a color printer (I used this one with amazing results as you can see)
- A craft knife
- A metal ruler (or any durable ruler)
- A surface you don’t mind ruining. I grabbed a padded mailer, but a cutting mat would be perfect too.
- Tacky glue (or any other glue that will hold the cardstock well). When I remade it, I used this glue stick.
- (optional for the bus-shaped box) toothpicks and beads
How to assemble these free printable school bus treat boxes:
Watch the video below to see how the bus-shaped box is assembled! Or, scroll down for the step-by-step instructions:
As you can see, instructions vary slightly by box. I’ve included some that work for both boxes and then specific instructions for each.
For both school bus treat boxes:
1. Print your files. For each one, you’ll see a black and white template/die cut file and a colored one. Make sure to print it so that the “actual size” option is chosen, and not “fit” so that they will match up.
For the pillow boxes, I did include one file that has the die cut printed on the actual design. This doesn’t look as nice but is definitely easier to assemble.
2. Tape the template on top of the printed page at all four corners.
3. You are going to use the back/dull side of your craft knife to “score” the fold lines – that basically means to crease it so that it’s accurate and folds nicely. Use your ruler as a guide along straight edges.
4. Use the regular/blade side of your knife and the ruler to cut along the straight edges. You can also use your craft knife to cut along the rounded edges, but you may want a pair of scissors to help.
For the pillow school bus treat boxes:
5. Place a thin layer of glue along the smallest fold – the tab.
6. Glue it to the inside of the other side and allow it to dry.
7. Fold the tops in along the curve, with the plain yellow side going first and the side with the headlines going on top.
So that it looks like this:
For the bus-shaped school bus treat boxes:
5. If you’re going to make your wheels actually work like mine, use a toothpick to poke through the black dots where the wheels go.
Do the same with the wheels
6. Fold your box along the score lines. All folds go inward (toward the white side) besides for the front of the bus – the middle crease there folds up.
7. If you’re using the toothpicks for the wheels, find where you poked your holes on the sides of the bus. Test where the opposite-side flap goes, and make sure your holes go through that flap too.
8. Begin gluing your box from the hood. Start with gluing the flaps on one side.
Continue with the other side of the hood, pressing it together from the inside if you need.
And complete your bus by gluing the flap on the bottom to the other side of the bus. Make sure your wheel holes align if relevant. If you’re using this only as a toy, you can glue the back cover/flap shut. Otherwise, leave that open.
9. At this point you’ll be adding your wheels. Either glue them in place. Or, make spinny wheels like I did. Dab a bit of Tacky glue at the end of a toothpick.
Slide on a small bead (a large seed bead is perfect), allowing it to push the glue down.
Slide on your wheel from the other end.
Poke it through your bus.
And finish off with wheel #2, a bit of glue, and a bead. Repeat for the back wheels.
And your school bus treat boxes are ready to roll!
They make perfect favor/treat boxes for a party, or even gift boxes for the bus driver!
I hope you love them as much as I do!
What will you be using these free printable school bus treat boxes for? Which will you use? Comment below!
This post was originally published May 2016.