Introduction: Cardboard Component Storage

Picture of Cardboard Component Storage

The other day I was playing around with some electronics, making circuits and such, but when i looked over at my electronics box which at the time was just a Tupperware tub i realized what a mess it was, wires all tangled and mixed up, i couldn't find anything in the box.

So i was just about to go out and buy one of those plastic component storage boxes, but i saw a pile of cardboard lurking in the corner of my room. I'm pretty sure there was a light-bulb above my head at this point. And since i hate public transport with a passion i decided i would try to make one before i sat in a bus full of old people for an hour.

It was pretty easy to make, the hardest part were the measurements, but I've done that for you now :)

Now its really easy to find what i want fast, also being able to see all the components makes it easier to think of ideas !

Step 1: Get Some Cardboard !

Picture of Get Some Cardboard !
Pretty easy to find.
Everyone has some laying around.

If you dont have any:
  • Ask freinds
  • Ask in shops
  • Look behind shops
  • Ask at supermarkets
  • Ask Parents
  • Go to recycling center
  • Ask anywhere that sells things, they will have some

It doesn't matter if the cardboard has tape on it, you can pull it off or just leave it on, it makes no difference :)

Step 2: Cut Out the Shapes

Picture of Cut Out the Shapes

So now you have the cardboard you can begin to cut the shapes.

For the box you need
1 Base
2 Long Sides
2 Ends

For the internal separators you can make as many as you want

Sizes are on the pictures.

Step 3: Glue the Box

Picture of Glue the Box

Now we have all the cardboard pieces we can start to assemble them, Starting with the Box.

I used a hot glue gun as i have found this to work very well with cardboard, PVA glue or superglue would work well too. I suppose you could even tape it together.

First glue the bottoms of the sections and hold them in place until they dry, I started with the ends and then did the sides. Once they are in place and dry, you can add extra strength by applying more glue to the corners (as seen in last pic)

Step 4: Make the Dividers

Picture of Make the Dividers

Now we have the box we need to make the dividers that form the boxes inside.

First i put two long dividers in the box and then worked out where i wanted the smaller ones to go, once i had decided i marked it with pencil and cut slots in the small and large dividers.

Repeat this process until you have enough dividers

I decided i wanted a large section to hold the bigger components so i cut a 1/3rd off one of the smaller dividers and only made one slit.

Step 5: Add a Lid

Picture of Add a Lid

I diddnt want my components to fly around when I moved the box so i decided to make a lid for the box.

The lid is the same size as the base, 12x8 Inches

I used a thinner type of cardboard for the lid, it looked nicer.

If you have any magnets it would be cool to make a magnetic lid,
I have some on the way but they are not here yet.

Attach the lid to the box using duct-tape

Step 6: Add Components

Picture of Add Components

Now get your big messy box and sort them neatly into your compartments :P

Whilst doing this i found loads of things i diddnt even know i had !

Step 7: Finished !

Picture of Finished !
Now go and enjoy your new organized components :P
Make something awesome !

Leave a comment and rate !

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schoonovermr (author)2010-07-22

very nice! if you built more you could make a box to hold them in. Like the lower utility boxes in this pic.

Love to do this!! How? Reallydont need the drawers , please send instructions

UdyRegan (author)2015-01-05

This is an awesome storage idea and so easy to make! Looks like I won't be throwing out my cardboard scrap anymore!

13voltbattery (author)2014-11-10

Are the walls and dividers double cardboard?

hebadba (author)2013-09-11

thanks 4 sharing this great tutorial

ixisuprflyixi (author)2013-05-02

This Instructable is great. So great in fact that I referenced it in my Instructable.

DeanAshby (author)2013-01-25

Very simple and practical storage idea indeed! We usually discard the cardboard boxes we get from eletronics and furniture sets because they seem useless and take up space. Now with this idea in mind, I will get down to business and start organizing things in a more neat fashion! It serves as a great toy playhouse for kids too!

сшијаковић (author)2012-09-13

Simple, efficient and made with materials available to everyone. Thanks, keep up the good work and sharing! :)

Krossculture (author)2011-03-17

Love this!! I want to make mine with lined scrapping paper. I can't wait to try it. These kind of organizers are expensive in stores. Thank you for sharing! Very cool! Excellent instruction.

josh1324 (author)2010-10-22

here's mine that i made out of a converse shoebox:

lifesart (author)2010-10-10

excellent way to make holiday tree ornament storage boxes. not to mention all the craft tools and pieces. being able to customize the sizes is fantastic. thanks!

knektek (author)2010-02-27

you should use P.V.A instead of hot glue. use masking tape to hold it together at first, then apply adhesive. when fully dry, paint it whatever colour you want. when dry, dip the whole thing in a P.V.A : water (1:2) and allow to dry. it just makes it sturdier and more colourful! How about one different colour for one box. tonal scale? rainbow? colour wheel?

urbanwoodswalker (author)knektek2010-05-14

Why is PVA glue better than hot glue?  I use hot glue for its ease and super quick adhesive qualities.

knektek (author)urbanwoodswalker2010-05-18

PVA is stronger than hot glue. But hot glue has it's advantages.

Pizzapie500 (author)2010-02-14

Sweet i'll build this for my knex!

whiskey_14 (author)2010-02-07

thanks I had a meggy jr. box that need some loving!

jellvi (author)2010-02-06

This is fantastic!!   Has been frustrating looking for boxes that would fit various size stuff.    Not only is this sturdy, but can customized the size of the compartments.   Eliminates a lot of wasted space.   Thanks for sharing the instructible !!!

teralcor (author)2010-02-05

Could you please tel me what you have attached on the top side of the dividers. Is it regular tape or something else? By the way the concept is great because this is the first one that looks stable (sturdy?). Every one that crossed my way was loose, and deforming itself when you add more stuff in it.
Great job. Thanks for sharing the idea.

=SMART= (author)teralcor2010-02-06

Thanks !
Yes the white stuff is just normal tape its actually electrical tape but any tape will do fine :)

teralcor (author)=SMART=2010-02-06

thanks. Keep the good work. ;)

ixisuprflyixi (author)2010-01-23

Great idea. I built one and put a little window in the lid and magnets in the wavy cross-section area of the lid and base to hold it closed. works great and cost me nothing but time.  Thanks for the idea. 

Tchnclfl (author)2009-11-19

Thanks for the instructive and detailed tutorial!  I used it to create a box out of, er...excess cardboard I had laying around from the time I accidentally over ordered Boxes from USPS...It's nowhere near full, but it will be soon :D!

Here's a picture:

=SMART= (author)Tchnclfl2009-11-20

Awesome ! Nice work !
now to collect more components :P

Tchnclfl (author)=SMART=2009-11-20

I'm expecting quite a lot for Christmas, including an Arduino Duemilanove and a bunch of components. :)

__Master_ (author)2009-11-03

Depending on what you put in the box you should not put magnetic lid beacuse it could damage ic and components

ya that is why u use velcro

the-guy (author)2009-09-24

This is great. And it looks better than the most plastic ones. Once I made one of paper. It still works, but yours is definitely better.

Jayefuu (author)2009-09-17

Congrats SMART! You're going to need a new wardrobe for all your tshirts soon :p

Jonas412 (author)2009-09-11

Depending on what you put in the box you should not put magnetic lid beacuse it could damage ic and components

Jonas412 (author)Jonas4122009-09-11

but nice instructable

sharlston (author)2009-09-04

hi smart im gonna make one out of duct tape also you have 17 votes i also voted for you keep up the good work

=SMART= (author)sharlston2009-09-05

Thanks !!!

sharlston (author)=SMART=2009-09-07

im gonna make one in a altoids tun and give u credit that alright?

hardlec (author)2009-08-29

how do I vote for this in the Gorilla glue contest

=SMART= (author)hardlec2009-09-05

There is a button at the top of the page ! Thanks

Ethanal (author)2009-08-18

Nice job! Wouldn't it be easier to store wire on a roll?

=SMART= (author)Ethanal2009-08-23

Yea it would, i diddnt have any rolls small enough :(

Ethanal (author)=SMART=2009-08-24

You could use an empty roll of thread.

=SMART= (author)Ethanal2009-09-03

Good idea Could you vote for me in the contest please ?

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

Sure. I was going to enter, but I ran out of time.

=SMART= (author)Ethanal2009-09-05


mbainrot (author)2009-09-03

You got my vote mate :) Keep up the awesome work :D

=SMART= (author)mbainrot2009-09-05

Cheers mate :)

mbainrot (author)2009-08-16

Mate, thanks for the tutorial :D 5/5 :)

=SMART= (author)mbainrot2009-09-03

Voting is open for the contest now !

=SMART= (author)mbainrot2009-08-23

Thanks for reading !!

Spaceman Spiff (author)2009-08-15

Sweetness!!! I'm making one!

=SMART= (author)Spaceman Spiff2009-09-03

Could you vote for me in the contest please ?

=SMART= (author)Spaceman Spiff2009-08-23

Awesomeness !

albylovesscience (author)2009-08-15

this rocks 5 stars

=SMART= (author)albylovesscience2009-09-03

Hey you can vote for it now !

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