In school for the last five or six years, I made a handful of cardboard chairs for various studio projects, design competitions, and to furnish my apartment. Here, I will schematically present a couple of those projects as an introduction to building with cardboard in general.
Cardboard is cheap/free, recyclable, strong, and if treated well, very durable. It can be fastened with glues or mechanical fasteners (drywall screws or rivets
), and readily takes a few coats of polyurethane to create a harder, more durable finish. Most of these chairs were made from 100% waste cardboard. Cardboard dumpsters are plentiful on college campuses, especially behind cafeterias. Other good scavenging sites are big-box stores, strip malls, and appliance stores. You'll want to gather the flattest, biggest contiguous sheets you can find, mostly free of tears, water stains, and other weak spots. The other key is a box cutter and a lot of patience.