Introduction: Cardboard, Cardboard, Cardboard!

Picture of Cardboard, Cardboard, Cardboard!

There are limitless possibilities for using cardboard. This instructable shows many projects, short descriptions, included photos, mouth watering ideas, can't wait to get started prompts, where does the time go, I can't do it all, I LOVE cardboard , ad infinitum ways to envision it, design it, construct it, use it and how to enjoy the whole process! Build it, don't buy it! There are, of course many more ways to slice it (the cardboard) but I don't want to overdo it all at once.

Step 1: Wall Hangings

Picture of Wall Hangings

Step 2: Fold-A-Lot: Clothes Folder

Picture of Fold-A-Lot: Clothes Folder

The fold-a-lot is a clothes folder to aid in making that chore easier, and produce nice, orderly stacks of clothes, towels, etc.

Step 3: Boxes

Picture of Boxes

All sizes for many uses can be made. See my instructable: Make Your Own Boxes.

Step 4: Small Parts Containers

Picture of Small Parts Containers

An easy way to keep track of small screws, nuts, bolts, tacks, etc.Please see my instructable:

Step 5: Storage of Paint Cans

Picture of Storage of Paint Cans

I use cardboard to make storage of paint cans easier. Since there is little access to old paint, I put it down on the floor, under other shelving units. If I ever need a touch up, I simply pull out box with paint in it, and go to work.

Step 6: Waste Baskets

Picture of Waste Baskets

Step 7: Project Boxes

Picture of Project Boxes

In order to semi-organize my work space and keep some semblance of order, I make project boxes that can be used to place works in progress. That way I can have several going at one time, yet know exactly where they are.

Step 8: Specially Designed Containers for Paper Flowers

Picture of Specially Designed Containers for Paper Flowers

I make paper flowers, and to store and or transport them, I needed to come up with a container that would enclose and protect the arrangements while in transit. Hence a specially cut and formed box.

Step 9: Shelving Unit(s)

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Small units, but size could be expanded to larger sizes if needed.

Step 10: Tool Drawers for Work Bench

Picture of Tool Drawers for Work Bench

Drawers made of cardboard, to fit precisely under the workbench. This way, the whole space is utilized, and access is made easy by simply pulling out "drawer".

Step 11: Picture Frames

Picture of Picture Frames

This frame was made by cutting cardboard to the width needed, then scoring with a bone folder or piece of wood. A raised area in the middle of the frame adds to the effect of a wood frame. Note 45 degree angle at corner. See next slide for picture of whole frame.

Step 12: Lettering Via Bandsaw

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All letters made with bandsaw cutting.

Step 13: Signs

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See the instructable: Make Signs out of Cardboard!

Step 14: Masks

Picture of Masks

Step 15: Paper Bag Storage

Picture of Paper Bag Storage

Step 16: Tool Organizer

Picture of Tool Organizer

Step 17: Refrigerator Organizers

Picture of Refrigerator Organizers

Same concept as used in work bench: boxes go all the way to the back, just pull out and get what you want.

Step 18: Kitchen Cupboard Organizers

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Same as refrigerator boxes.

Step 19: Closet Organizers

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Cut boxes so that they slide into any shelf you have. Instant organizer!

Step 20: House Numbers

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These have actually been in use for several years. Just cardboard! They are under an overhang so never get wet when it rains.

Step 21: Bill Holders

Picture of Bill Holders

I have an in box and an outbox....helps to organize. Make boxes the exact size needed, i.e., slightly larger than a standard business envelope.

Step 22: Art Projects

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A wealth of free canvas! Some art can even be mounted and framed.

Step 23: Small Chest of Drawers

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For this project, I used a large box for the frame...found two small boxes that fit pretty well, then made dividers for the bottom "drawers", made boxes to fit, and covered it all with bright paper.

Step 24: Craft Paint Containers

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I make special boxes for all my paint. Each box holds 30 bottles of the 2oz. size.

Step 25: Hole in the Wall Repair

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Cardboard is good as a filler, and can be plastered over to fill in hole. Easier than trying to cut a piece of wood to fit.

Step 26: A Box for Clamps

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A dedicated box for some clamps.

Step 27: Faux Rocks

Picture of Faux Rocks

See instructable on faux rocks.

Step 28: A Special Box Just for Floral Wires

Picture of A Special Box Just for Floral Wires

If you work with floral wire, you know what a hassle it is to store. Running out of wall space? Make a box just for the wires.

Step 29: A Brush Garage

Picture of A Brush Garage

I wanted a way to store my brushes that was convienient and easy to use.

Step 30: A Dedicated Bottle Carrying Case

Picture of A Dedicated Bottle Carrying Case

Keeps two glass bottles from moving and breaking.

Step 31: A Slide for Under Table Storage

Picture of A Slide for Under Table Storage

Used to pull important paper file out. Saves the hardwood finish.

Step 32: Tombstones

Picture of Tombstones

Make these for Halloween.

Step 33: Paper Storage Unit

Picture of Paper Storage Unit

I use different papers in all kinds of crafts. Found out early on it would be necessary to have a separate shelf for each color, as much as possible.

Step 34: Make Furniture

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See my instructable: Make furniture with cardboard.

Step 35: Make Wallets With Cardboard

Picture of Make Wallets With Cardboard

See my instructable: Make a Billfold with cardboard.

Step 36: A Footstool or Ottoman, Made From a Box, Covered With Cloth

Picture of A Footstool or Ottoman, Made From a Box, Covered With Cloth

This handy storage chest doubles as a foot stool. I added an interior frame of pine, so that one can sit on it. It's quite strong.

Step 37: Camera and MP3 Storage.

Picture of Camera and MP3 Storage.

When not in use, items can be stored in their own boxes. I keep the manuals with the box as well, then can find them easily when I need them.

Step 38: Miscellaneous Storage Units

Picture of Miscellaneous Storage Units

I know, lots of boxes, huh. But they all come in handy when it's time to find something.

Step 39: A Recent Instructable

Picture of A Recent Instructable

See How To Make A Purse of Denim.


Gillot (author)2016-01-22

Thank you for idea

Simran Sharma (author)2015-12-07


rnel1 (author)2014-04-16

Thank you so much! I have a lot of new ideas thanks to you.

djsfantasi (author)2013-11-27

I make faux rocks by weaving a web of cardboard strips into the outer shape I want and coating them like you.

mikolynn (author)2013-10-19

me1423 (author)2013-10-01

thanks for the ideas!

Lamlamomo (author)2013-06-20


HelenaTroy (author)2012-11-18

how did you attach the shelves, please? I've got several small ie shallow boxes that hold various A4 paper and labels, but at the moment they're stacked, and you can bet whichever one I want will be at the bottom of the stack! As paper weighs a bit when there's a lot of it, I'd need securely-fixed shelves. Ps I'm not so much low-tech as no-tech, so would need a fairly simple way to hold them - more secure than I've managed so far, anyway!

shazni (author)2012-08-07

I just saw this in the side panel of my stackable toy box instructable and clicked and was amazed at the masks and cardboard lettering, and furniture. wow...amazing use of cardboard!

Creativeman (author)shazni2012-08-07

Thanks for noticing!

metalart72 (author)2012-02-17

I am definately impressed with this instructable. I especially like the craft paint organizer. In fact I liked it so much I featured it in my article

Creativeman (author)metalart722012-02-17

Thank you. Nice article btw.

applemilkshake (author)2011-12-05

Step 7: Project Boxes
simple as it is, i love this one. i have tons of ideas going at once, so these would really neaten up my spaces.

mathijss (author)2011-06-13

Hi Creative Man! We love the cardboard too :-) Check , it's about all sorts of cardboard artists!

Creativeman (author)mathijss2011-11-16

Checked out you site, pretty amazing work my man! The laser cutting has been out of my reach but I can see where it "adds" a new dimension to this type of art. Great projects, keep up the good work.

mathijss (author)Creativeman2011-11-16

Hi! Don't you have a fablab in your area? I love that concept!

Creativeman (author)mathijss2011-11-16

Have never heard of one....besides, I like the concept of making stuff with reg. tools, easily obtained, and once paid for, there is no charge for making stuff. Which underlies the concept of "free material" that is reusable, recyclable, etc. That material is everywhere.

roheelm (author)2011-05-08

can i have the dimensions for the tool organizer

Lawknee (author)2011-02-28

Oh wow, this is nifty! Now, I gotta find a place to put THIS new addition to my laundry routine.

LaBeasy (author)2010-10-14

Thats awesome...

kerbear (author)2010-10-11

Too Cool!! I never finished my cardboard shelving project. Totally inspired. And I clearly need a bandsaw if I plan to continue building with cardboard. :) Great job!

psyoper22 (author)2010-10-11

thumbs up for Trader Joe's!!

psyoper22 (author)2010-10-11


davee52uk (author)2010-10-03

...actually the drawer dividers are a bit like the post below form Beagles but I cut out pieces rather than use existing small boxes.

Creativeman (author)davee52uk2010-10-03

Thanks for your comments davee52uk

davee52uk (author)2010-10-03

I have made a series of dividers that fit into Ikea wirde drawers. These are for my pants (underwear, I don't know what they are called in USA) and socks. Also hope to do something similar for shoes and sweaters.

Also how about an Art folder for carrying pictures about? Need a large cardboard box to start with.

I used to make boxes to store paper when I was a teacher and got pupils to do the cutting when they were in Detention !

Also there is the whole are of card modelling. There are vast numbers of card models available from manufacturers in Germany and Poland.

davee52uk (author)2010-10-03

I have made model boats out of cardboard. You need to spray the cardbaord with car paint and then paint normally. This should make the hull water proof.

I have made a number of boats with electric power.

Beagles (author)2010-08-24

Forgot one. When it comes to organizing that shelf in a closet, I get the same size boxes and pile them on their sides to form "pigeon holes". Good for storing hats, scarves, gloves, and so many more items. Use any size box that is useful and meets your needs.

Beagles (author)2010-08-24

Very creative ideas here. A couple of things I made, are slip cover boxes for back issuse of magazines and trays for holding (about 25) CD's on shelves or in a cupboard.

CrimsonCrow (author)2010-07-08

Creativeman, I didn't want this to end!

You have given me so many ideas. I want a bandsaw!

Thank you for taking the time to post all this!

bono80kuriks (author)2010-04-22

 did you paint these yourself? they look great.  If not, how did you copy them onto the cardboard?

Creativeman (author)bono80kuriks2010-04-22

painted on with acrylic paint. thanks for your comment. Cman

stykzorz (author)2010-04-08

 i LOVE this!!! im totally going to make something like this for my mom - she ADORES chickens. <3

made in canada (author)2010-04-01

You're so very talented and creative! Stunning flowers, leaves and butterfly!

sabaku no gaara (author)2010-02-16


momoo1956 (author)2010-02-07

momoo1956 (author)momoo19562010-02-07

Joe Martin (author)2010-02-04

You don't happen to like cardboard much, do you?


MamaSmurf (author)2010-01-28

These projects bring back memories. I used to make macaroni and cheese for my children when younger and used all the cheese box bottoms for things. I took four and put in a larger box to make drawers for each child for storing stuff. I did paint them each a different color first. I used left over and found knobs for handles. Ribbon strung thru two holes worked, too. I have even made drawers for the Barbie houses. Faster and cheaper than plastic canvas crafts.

Typogoddess (author)2010-01-27

This really made my day. I like how you respond to every comment with a thanks.

Creativeman (author)Typogoddess2010-01-27

Thanks for the comment, Typogoddess!  Cman

Coliflower (author)2009-12-11

Very good, five stars.

You've solved tons of these problems, but you've created one more:

Finding enough cardboard.

=SMART= (author)2009-09-03

wow ! That's a lot of ideas ! I really like the letters and signs !

Creativeman (author)=SMART=2009-09-03

Thank you! Cman

Mella2013 (author)2009-08-13

Those flowers are beautiful!

Creativeman (author)Mella20132009-08-13

Thank you, Mella. Cman

gmjhowe (author)2009-08-07

Great work! I suggest adding links for all the projects that have separate I'bles.

Creativeman (author)gmjhowe2009-08-07

Thanks gmj: You know I have tried using the link box, and it doesn't work. I went to community forum and looked up some directions, but on my computer, it won't put the link in orange, which, I assume, means that it is a "link". I just get the black type and no active linkage...??????any suggestions? Cman

gmjhowe (author)Creativeman2009-08-08
As Chrysn said. You can do the links like this,
[ Here is a link to Instructables]
Ensure the space between the link, and the description.
Ninzerbean (author)gmjhowe2009-08-11

Lemonie taught me to do this and it works like this: you put a square bracket before the address, a space after the address, the word you want the hyperlink to say, and another square bracket. It won't be orange on your computer and you won't even see it until it's in the 'ible. It's not about your computer at all, it's a language that this site reads once you send it the code. Try again Cman.

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
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