Introduction: How to Make a Cardboard Laptop Stand

Picture of How to Make a Cardboard Laptop Stand

In this instructable I will show you how to make a sturdy laptop stand out of cardboard.

Why pay over 30pounds/$60 for a flimsy plastic laptop stand, when you can make a stronger and more environmentally friendly stand for free ?!

When I thought of this idea I was skeptical and didn't think the cardboard would be able to support the heavy laptop, but after a bit of brainstorming and some strength tests i thought it was possible and decided to give it a go.

When I had finished making it I tentatively lowered my laptop onto the stand, half expecting it to crumble and my laptop slide off the desk. Fortunately the process was uneventful and my laptop was perfectly happy sitting on top of its swanky new stand.

Even though the initial test was a success i didn't want to publish an ible that would fall apart in a few days and drop peoples laptops, so i decided to go the distance and do an endurance test. Now its just under two weeks since the first test and everyday i have put the laptop on the stand in the morning and left it there all day and then taken it off in the evening.

Perfect, The stand is like new, nothing bent, frayed or crumpled, its been really good having the screen elevated, much more ergonomic than usual.

Step 1: Get Cardboard

Picture of Get Cardboard
Pretty easy, 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

Step 2: Cut Shapes

Picture of Cut Shapes
Now you have got the cardboard you can get started cutting out the shapes.

  • You will need a knife; X-acto, Scalpel, Box cutter.
  • -- It is much easer if your knife is sharp
  • A metal ruler is also handy, you get nice clean cuts.
  • -- Any ruler will do though
  • Cutting mat
  • -- If you are doing this inside this will save your floor/desk

You Need:
1 : BASE
1 : BACK
6 : STAND's

On the stand section you need to cut a 0.6cm wide 6cm tall slit for the support near the back.

This stand is designed for a 13' MacBook but will accomodate laptops up to 15'
It probbaly wont hold those laptops that are like portable desktops...

Step 3: Check It All Fits

Picture of Check It All Fits

Using some pins put all the peices toether and check you have the right sizes.

Dressmakers pins are perfect.

Step 4: Glue !

Picture of Glue !

Now you have all the shapes cut and they all fit together we can assemble the stand.

I used a hot glue gun for my stand but PVA or superglue would work just as well.

Before gluing i would reccomend tracing out where you want the stands to be, this makes it easier and you are less likley to get it wrong.

Glue the support bar to the base first. Then glue the stand sections to the base and support, then add the back and front.

The laptop will be resting on the front pannel so use plenty of glue to make sure its strong. Infact use lots of glue all over.

Remember, Spare the glue Spoil the stand ! hahaha

Let the glue dry for a bit before you test the stand.

Step 5: Finished !

Picture of Finished !

Now get your laptop, and enjoy ergonomic bliss !

I am really pleased with this laptop stand, its very strong and suits my needs perfectly.

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JoeP193 made it! (author)2017-01-03

This tutorial was super easy to follow- thanks for making it.

NatariJ (author)2016-10-06

I am really looking forward to making this. I think I might store things in the slots. This is going to be great

JuniorI1 made it! (author)2016-09-13

I made it and its kinda awesome

KhurstenS made it! (author)2016-03-22

I was minutes away from buying a laptop stand until I saw this awesome project that doubled as a desk organiser. Since I had a couple of boxes in storage, I thought, why not? It turned out to be a fun and easy project to do. It was simple to follow and quite forgiving if you didn't quite glue or cut perfectly. Super thanks!

RafikiP made it! (author)2016-02-17

Nice! Thank you very much!

MartSerra made it! (author)2016-01-31

Than you for this Instructable.

Cal_W (author)2015-08-04

Thx so much for the awesome idea!!

rydonwunali (author)2015-07-18

Thank you so much, it made a whole world of difference. It just goes to show that a little thing done can change peoples lives.

InsaneSanity made it! (author)2014-08-17

Awesome Instructable! Thanks man!

girvster (author)2011-12-04

Harman/kardon Sound Sticks.... ROCK ON!!!

Madrias357 (author)2010-09-10

I've probably got a laptop that could crumple this one, but it's very big and very old. Don't know if you've ever heard of or seen a Gateway m675 with a 17 inch screen. If you have and had the misfortune of carrying, you'll know it's almost 9 pounds of portable computing power. (Specifications say 8.8 pounds, but we all know it feels heavier)

hintss (author)Madrias3572011-07-11

I have one that might crumple it: old HP from about 2001 or so, came with windows 2000, and is about 1.5 inches thick. it was a low end model...

qwerty987 (author)hintss2011-08-18

i saw a brand new laptop at a store with a 20 inch screen and it weighed over 20 pounds i think it had 16 gigs of ram and 2 terabytes of storage.

hintss (author)Madrias3572011-07-15

oh, and I have one that will definitely crumple it, though you probably don't need a stand for it: huge desktop.

blackcorvo (author)2010-02-08

I'm thinking of doing one of those and maybe adding two coolers on the back wall to remove the hot air from the laptop's base (i have one of those "cooler tables", but it seems to not work at all... so i have to use my ventilator to cool off this thing).

Chowmix12 (author)blackcorvo2010-05-12

 make sure to have the fans blowing air out of the box and away from the laptop, and add vents *not too much* to have a nice airflow, and also have negative air pressure insider the box. what this does is the negative air pressure actually causes a drop in temperature, and the airflow blows air through the bottom surface of the laptop.

hintss (author)Chowmix122011-07-11

no. all computers I've seen had the fan blowing from the bottom to the side or back. additionally, making a negative pressure in the box puts strain on the computer's fan.

Chowmix12 (author)hintss2011-07-12

Yes you are right... the strain however is negligible..

Thanks :) my laptops overheat all the time to the point of shutting down. My mom has these cookie cooling racks that I resorted to using before I found this. Works great, the fans don't even run unless its updating. I'm going to try to build one that folds down, without glue, so that you can store it easier. Thanks again :)

copper tube (author)2011-02-19

i made one for my 10 inch laptop.
i ad a mouse pad and a drawer.

The nerdling (author)copper tube2011-04-06


Dr.Paj (author)2010-10-23

I used the same basic design as you, except that I don't have any glue so I had to use a kind of joint to hold the two pieces of cardboard together. I guess an advantage to my design is that I can take it apart easily.

I plan on making the middle section, between the two cross pieces, a semicircular cut on each of them for airflow through the middle section. Right now I can only imagine how hot the center boxes will be once my computer starts doing some serious number crunching

rikstroink (author)2010-07-13

Old newspaper=free cutting mat :D

adil8476 (author)2010-02-25

this is great!!! even though i haven't tried it yet i think its going to be awesome thanks!!!  :-)

Chromatica (author)2010-02-15

 I'm going to make one with the new Toshiba I got for my Birthday(Yay).

dudejetfighter (author)2009-12-13

just finished mine works good

tjmortenson (author)2009-11-07

 Nice instructable.  I use this so my lap doesn't get so warm with my laptop on it.

wildgift (author)2009-10-01

Great instructable!

Freak_09 (author)2009-09-13

It would be good to get some flat, round pins. You could stick them in the stand joints as if they were nails, while the glue is still hot.

amakerguy (author)2009-08-13

AWESOME!!! I'm so going to make this when I get some cardboard!

=SMART= (author)amakerguy2009-09-03

Vote for me in the contest ? pllleeaassseee

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


=SMART= (author)amakerguy2009-09-05

Thanks !!

=SMART= (author)amakerguy2009-08-14

Could use the box from you monitor if you dont need it any more.

amakerguy (author)=SMART=2009-08-14

if I have enough because I started cutting it up making a laptop bag. :o)

Rivertree (author)2009-08-20

Nice - only if I make it I'll add ventilation - might even put in a fan - my hubby's laptop runs pretty hot. Hmmmm..... usb powered fan? ;D

=SMART= (author)Rivertree2009-09-03

A fan is a good idea, could you vote for me in the contest please ?!

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

Well! I made my laptop stand, only I only used 3 supports. The cardboard came from a bicycle box, so it was really strong - 4 layers. For ventilation, I cut 2 holes lower down in the back - about 3.5 inch diameter circles. Heat rises, and there's a nice gap in the back/top of the stand, so it makes a real effective cooler! My hubby loves it and his laptop is cooler than ever! I'll probably make another one sometime.... Thanks!

PCfreak (author)Rivertree2009-08-21

all you would have to do is cut up a Usb Cord Add a Cap. And few resistors and solder the red and black wires from the usb cord to the fans (one in front an one in back) heres an ible of a usb powered fan

JackOfSpades (author)Rivertree2009-08-21

This actually sounds plausible. Just cut a hole, find a USB-powering tutorial, connect the fan, place it in and you are done.

wenpherd (author)2009-08-14


=SMART= (author)wenpherd2009-09-03

Could you vote for me in the contest please ?

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


=SMART= (author)wenpherd2009-08-15


HobbyistX (author)2009-09-03

I was having trouble with my laptop overheating and having stability issues.. (computer room is not climate controlled) I ended up making a stand very similar to this one except it has a vented top cover and two biscuit-type fans in the back, and now the laptop runs cool. As an added bonus, the keyboard doubles as an air-hockey table. :D

hishealer (author)2009-08-14

I bet you could change the angle by changing the shape of the pieces. To fit your own poor wrists and laptop, but the design seems sound. Nice one!

=SMART= (author)hishealer2009-09-03

The voting for the contest is open now ;)

=SMART= (author)hishealer2009-08-15

Yes you could, just make it as steep as you want

Lmatho (author)2009-08-14

Great Instructable. I'm definately going to try this out. One comment is that Step 2 calls for cutting 2 support pieces. In the step 3 picture there are 2 side supports, but step 4 there is only 1 support piece actually used from left to right. I will build mine so as to match the final assembly in step 4, however you may want to clarify this. Hope this makes sense. Cheers

=SMART= (author)Lmatho2009-09-03

Hey, would you vote for me in the contest please ?

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