Introduction: 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

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

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

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

Step 4: 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__ made it!(author)2016-02-27

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

NancyA14 made it!(author)2015-10-23

can you use foam core? which is stronger?

MikeTheMaker made it!(author)2015-10-23

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 made it!(author)2011-07-14

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

bjames4 made it!(author)2011-07-15

AnesS3 made it!(author)2015-08-07

THX!!! haha

ARJOON made it!(author)2011-07-15

thank you

WilberC2 made it!(author)2015-06-16

how many sheets of cardboard does it take?

MikeTheMaker made it!(author)2015-06-16

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

ironbord made it!(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 :)

Cardboard chair dimentions-Model.jpgCardboard chair-Model.jpg
Mr_Altitude made it!(author)2013-07-21

How long did it take you to finish this?

MikeTheMaker made it!(author)2013-07-21

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

sbrown9578 made it!(author)2013-02-17

I love the wide posterior comment. LOL

lkuziez9680 made it!(author)2012-01-23

what glue do you recommend we use?

MikeTheMaker made it!(author)2012-01-23

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

CamoBedding made it!(author)2011-12-04

wow so cool.

TheLodgeShop made it!(author)2011-11-21

lol way cool. that is a ton of cardboard.

CaseBoy made it!(author)2011-07-22

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

instructimaster made it!(author)2011-07-18

What is the most efficient way of cutting the cardboard?


MikeTheMaker made it!(author)2011-07-18

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

DonMcKee made it!(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 made it!(author)2011-07-17

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 made it!(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 made it!(author)2011-07-17

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 made it!(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 made it!(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 made it!(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 made it!(author)2011-07-17

It is a chair AND a cat condo. Amazing!

JohnJY made it!(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 made it!(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 made it!(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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