Desk-turned-School Bag from waste cardboard box

Hello,
I am working with one of the NGO in India which is working for the education of underprivileged kids in the slums.I want to make school bag-turned-writing desk for the children since they cannot afford to buy a school bag.Can anyone please help me in this please ?? 

Kiteman9 days ago

A lot depends on how much they are expected to carry with them, both the weight and the size. Do you have any information on that?

Does your local trash have anything besides cardboard in it?

I am hoping that you have a wider variety of materials than just cardboard, because trying to build everything from just one material, is awkward, like trying to write an essay using only words that start with vowels.

I... am... attempting... an essay. It's about an aardvark. Aardvarks eat ants, and... essay is awkward!
;-P


What I gather from your topic summary, is you want to make two things, or rather you have two desired functions. One function is, "writing desk", a surface to write on. The other function is, "school bag", which I am guessing is a bag for to carry around books and papers, pen, pencil, etc.

The essential properties of "writing desk" are, I think, hardness and flatness.

A scaled down version of "writing desk" is this thing called a "clipboard",

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipboard

which could be approximated by, just a board, preferably one that is hard and flat. Maybe without the clip, it is just called, "board", or "writingboard"? Carboard is flat, but not very hard. A piece of wood would be better, if you can find wood boards in your trash. I think there may be possibilities in plastic, especially if you can find discarded plastic pails or buckets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pail_(container)

Plastic pails with rectangular shape will be more easily cut into clipboard sized pieces, than will cylindrical plastic pails.

If all you have are cylindrical plastic pails, it might be possible to find a way to flatten the curved pieces with some moderate heat and pressure. For example HDPE, a plastic commonly used to make plastic pails, gets soft at around 100 C, the same temperature as boiling water.

Although reshaping discarded plastic seems like a lot of work, if you cannot simply find some plastic, already in a shape that is flat.

Regarding the contrivance for to function as, "school bag", I think I would want some kind of fabric that is strong, and sheds water. I think woven plastic fabrics, like woven HDPE, or woven polypropylene, would be good, if you can find it cheap, preferably as something someone else is throwing away.

By the way, regarding shape, I am naively guessing the usual shape for what you call, "school bag", is similar to what Wikipedia calls, "Backpack"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backpack

I mean, that's what I carried my books around in when I went to school, in another era, when Christ was a small child, and dinosaurs roamed the Earth. ;-)

Back to the subject of materials found in trash... In the trash in my home country, strong woven plastic can be found in discarded bags used to sell dog food, and cat food. It is used to package some kinds of food for people too. For example, beans and rice, when sold in bulk, are often shipped in sturdy woven plastic bags.

This same kind of plastic fabric is also often used to make tarps,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarpaulin

and reusable shopping bags.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reusable_shopping_ba...

Which makes me think... an ordinary disposable shopping bag,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopping_bag

or several used together for added strength, might serve as "school bag" for to contain books, plus writingboard, if no stronger bag could be found.

Actually, this topic reminds me of a similar topic posted to this forum about a month ago. It was another one of these, how-to-build-something-from-nothing kind of topics. A poster there mentioned an artifact called, "IKEA bag", like everyone knows what that is. It turns out, the IKEA bag is a specific brand, like brand name brand, of woven reusable shopping bag, made from sturdy woven plastic.

https://www.instructables.com/community/How-to-Cle...

Note, there also exist cheap, flimsy, reusable shopping bags, made from novwoven, spun-bonded HDPE,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyvek

usually not as nice, not as durable, as the ones made from woven plastic.

Back to the subject of IKEA bag,

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/1722834...

I've never actually seen "IKEA bag" in real life, but if you can find one, or make one, I imagine it also could be used for carrying school books, plus papers, plus hard, flat, writingboard.

I want to add a small note.

I think it is possible to make a "writing desk" of cardboard. You just need to glue two (or more) layers of cardboard in opposite direction.

I used cardboard for prototyping of my project https://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-Sketch-B...

It is very close to your idea of "writing desk".

My prototype made of cardboard have been "alive" for more than a month of everyday use.

I just noticed there is a Wikipedia article for, "Portable desk", and also "Lap desk", and also a list of types of types of desk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_desk


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_desk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_desk_forms_a...

I mean, I am not sure what exact shape you had in mind for your, "school bag-turned-writing desk", but I still think the best, easiest, design would be something resembling a bag, or backpack, with a flat board like a clipboard inside, like I described in my previous reply.