That you aspire to be civil engineer Or if you have a project for school, building model bridges can be not only educational but also fun. There are all kinds of bridges, but in this article we will detail how to build a suspension bridge and a wooden bridge from very simple materials.

How to build a suspension bridge


Our tutorial will start with a suspension bridge like the San Francisco Golden Gate. To craft the bridge you will need the following materials and tools:

  • Hard cardboard or wood sheet
  • Ice cream sticks (24 for a bridge with a gangway, 36 for 2 gangways, etc.)
  • Rope
  • Tape
  • Cutter or knife
  • The scissors
  • Marker pen
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue

Build the pillars

Suspension bridges have always two basic pillars on which the walkway is suspended. To make each pillar you will need 12 toothpicks. You must form two “I” and two “L” with the toothpicks. The “I’s” are formed by putting a flat toothpick, another on the edge and another flat on the top. The “L” is formed with a flat toothpick and another with an edge, but the latter you place it on one side, not in the middle.

Combine them so that the two “I” are vertical and parallel. Glue the two “L’s” on them as a “cover,” one on one side and one on the other. At the bottom of the “I” glue two toothpicks horizontally to add strength to the whole.

Build the catwalk

The gangway will be made of strong cardboard or a thin sheet of wood. You will need to take the Bridge measurements and hole marking intersections where you will drill holes for the passage of the suspension “cables” (rope).


Rope lengths may vary depending on the distance from column to column, the total size of the bridge and its height. Explore with different lengths to see which deck looks better or more realistic.

Hold the catwalk

This part of the process involves placing the rope you determined in the previous step through the holes in the walkway. There are many ways to do this step. Just remember that ties will not be as long in the center of the podium only at its ends since the entire chain describes a parabola.

Assemble it all

Remember that this class of bridges can be achieved in many ways from the behavior of the catwalk varies according to the situation in which you find yourself just like in real life.

How to build a wooden bridge


First you need to decide what type of bridge you want to build, there are many types but here we will detail the process of creating one. truss bridge. This bridge uses horizontal and diagonal beams to create trusses on either side of the bridge. This is the most common and popular bridge design that can be built.

To recreate a truss bridge, you will need:

  • Pencil and paper
  • skewers skewer
  • Rope or wood glue
  • Knife or scissors
  • Chopsticks of ice

Build the armor

The farm of a bridge consists of two structures, each on one side of the catwalk. First, place the skewers for one of the weaves on a table. You will need at least two skewers for the top and bottom rows (one above and one below), which are the horizontal pieces and at least four (quarter size) for udiagonal nions connecting the upper and lower lines.

With the skewers cut to a quarter of their size, see the formation connection of triangles between the two whole horizontal skewers. Triangles can be doubled, that is, using two skewers at a time.

After the basic structure is formed, glue or tie the skewers so that they do not move out of their position. When you’re done, use the armor you created to build the second.

Build the catwalk

The walkway can be built by laying out the skewers lengthwise and gluing them together or cutting said skewers and glue them horizontally. You can also make the catwalk with ice cream sticks, which being wider will give you less work.

To sit the walkway on its trusses, place at least two horizontal spikes that are held between the two trusses. These will serve as support beams for the gangway. Place more horizontal spikes so that the walkway is secure and can support more weight.

Assemble the set

Use boxes and books to keep the set static in position then strike (or tie) each joint as tightly as possible. Using the popsicle sticks, add horizontal top beams that run from truss to truss to strengthen the assembly. You can do the same with the lower beams that hold the walkway. All this will give stability to your creation. When the glue is dry and the assembly is firm, remove the boxes and books.

Tips for building a bridge

Tips for building a bridge with several stacked bridges

When building some of the bridges detailed above, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, if you are testing the load capacity of the bridge, be prepared in case it breaks. You may want to try out different designs of bridges while you study their charge capacity. Second, be aware that using skewers and scissors can lead to accidents if not handled judiciously. The little ones should work under adult supervision. Third, use eye protection whenever you can. When you cut skewers or ice cream sticks, shards can fly off and cause a lot of damage to the eyes.

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