Introduction: Cardboard Chair

Picture of Cardboard Chair

In this instructable, I show how to make a cardboard chair. This is taken from my book, Amazing Rubber Band Cars (the chair is actually a seat in a life size rubber band powered cardboard car). If you have cardboard, glue and patience, you can make a sturdy (and good looking if you have any artistic ability) chair which will last for years.

Step 1: Template

Picture of Template

I have provided a template, but you can make your own if you want to get creative.  Remember that you have to cut 76 of these pieces (more if you have a wide posterior).

Step 2: Cut the Pieces

Picture of Cut the Pieces

The pieces should look like the template.  It is best to rotate the cuts--meaning the "grain" of the cardboard should be alternated with every other piece (corrugation "up" on piece number one, "right" on piece number two, "up" on number three, "right" on four, etc.).  If you don't have lots of giant pieces of cardboard, you can use smaller scraps; just be sure to overlap the cuts on adjacent pieces (as indicated in the "a" "b" "c" photo above.

Step 3: Glue

Picture of Glue

Glue the pieces together--you'll need a lot of glue.

Step 4: Finished Chair

Picture of Finished Chair

I've had two of these around for over four years--keep them dry (like any fine furniture) and they will serve you well.


roboboy__ (author)2016-02-27

I have no idea where you got all this cardboard...

NancyA14 (author)2015-10-23

can you use foam core? which is stronger?

MikeTheMaker (author)NancyA142015-10-23

I would think foam core is stronger--but it really depends on the specific cardboard and specific foam core. Here's an article that shows one type of foam core being much stronger than another brand of foam core. . .

ARJOON (author)2011-07-14

i can get all these cardboard free but the glue is expensive

bjames4 (author)ARJOON2011-07-15

AnesS3 (author)bjames42015-08-07

THX!!! haha

ARJOON (author)bjames42011-07-15

thank you

WilberC2 (author)2015-06-16

how many sheets of cardboard does it take?

MikeTheMaker (author)WilberC22015-06-16

It takes 76 cut pieces--so it depends on how big your original piece of cardboard is.

ironbord (author)2014-04-11

I'm working on one but as a rocking chair, I'll update when I have the finished product but for now here are my drawings :)

Mr_Altitude (author)2013-07-21

How long did it take you to finish this?

MikeTheMaker (author)Mr_Altitude2013-07-21

It took about two weeks--a little each evening after work.

sbrown9578 (author)2013-02-17

I love the wide posterior comment. LOL

lkuziez9680 (author)2012-01-23

what glue do you recommend we use?

MikeTheMaker (author)lkuziez96802012-01-23

I used Elmer's white glue--there's a couple of suggestions further down the comment list that you might consider.

CamoBedding (author)2011-12-04

wow so cool.

TheLodgeShop (author)2011-11-21

lol way cool. that is a ton of cardboard.

CaseBoy (author)2011-07-22

shouldn't you clamp the cutouts after you glued them?

instructimaster (author)2011-07-18

What is the most efficient way of cutting the cardboard?


My favorite cardboard cutting tool is a set of electric scissors (Black & Decker SZ360)

DonMcKee (author)2011-07-17

I built a chair similar to this (mine had a rounded bottom that allowed it to rock) in my junior high school shop class almost 40 years ago! Fun project, with a useful result. Thanks for bringing back the memory. ;-)

MikeTheMaker (author)DonMcKee2011-07-17

If I had known about this type of construction years ago, my first apartment after college would have had such furnishings (instead of a cable reel and a two by four table).

sagearbor (author)2011-07-17

Question : Does the back part flex at all as you sit down in it and lean back??? I assume not, but if it doesnt wouldnt it be stable to allow a connection at the lower back region and where you have the 2 curved ends. Maybe lose some asthetic appeal but it could still look cool.

MikeTheMaker (author)sagearbor2011-07-17

You are correct--the back part does not flex when you sit down.

It would be interesting to see some of the variations suggested to this chair :)

jackhg (author)2011-07-17

cool chair, would there be a way to use a roll of cardboard to act as securing pins that may decrease some of the glue?

hammer9876 (author)2011-07-17

Just so you know, there are various items on the market made just like this and designed for cats to scratch on. My two cats love their cardboard scratching pad. I bet they would really, really love your cardboard chair.

ononal (author)2011-07-17

i think, this chair uses an excessive amount of cardboard and glue to define a sitting unit and backrest. and may be having diifferent cross-section shapes for creating a curved sitting area may help breaking this flat surfaces, which are not perfect for sitting and resting.

but thank you for your instruction and design.

rhino (author)2011-07-17

It is a chair AND a cat condo. Amazing!

JohnJY (author)2011-07-15

I like the design, I like the artist value, it's beautiful and simple, though I would personally recommend using a wheatpaste glue. (4 parts water 1 part flour 2-4 drops of Cinnamon/mint extract).

splazem (author)2011-07-14

I have seen something similar to this, but your chair is definitely the coolest out of all of them! Job well done.

vishalapr (author)2011-07-13

Wow cool! That's a lot of cardboard!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby
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