Instructables

Cardboard coffee table

Picture of Cardboard coffee table
After buying a few pieces of furniture, I had a number of large pieces of cardboard left over. Rather than just throwing it all in the dumpster, I decided to make a coffee table with it instead! I wanted to make it fairly sturdy, so I thought I would try forming the cardboard into triangular beams as the basis for the construction.

What you will need:

Cardboard - lots of it!
Glue - a big bottle of white glue
Something to cut the cardboard - like a box cutter!
A straight-edge or ruler - to help make the cuts straight!
 
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Step 1: Cutting the cardboard

Picture of Cutting the cardboard
I had two long boxes that provided most of the material for the table top. I used the width of the boxes to determine the width of my coffee tables, but you can cut yours to whatever width you desire. The length of the table is determined by how many beams you can get from your cardboard. Cut the cardboard into sections that are 30 ribs wide. (Your cardboard should be all the same type so you can can measure pieces by just counting ribs.)

Score the pieces into sections that are8-8-7-7 ribs wide. Fold the cardboard on the scores, roll it up into a roughly equilateral triangle, with the two ends overlapping. (The image below shows a crosssection of what it looked like.) Glue the overlapping sections together and you should have a nice, strong triangular tube of cardboard.
jahbic10 months ago
really interesting, what about stability? I'm thinking the legs could have 4 pieces instead of 2
uldics5 years ago
You could probably make your top inside filled not with the triangle shaped cardboard, but a styrofoam or whatever the light white thing is called, which also quite often comes in packing boxes and allways (up till now) have to be thrown out. Even more "green" and less trashing.
MakeItSo (author)  uldics5 years ago
The stuff I had didn't come with styrofoam, but that's a great idea.
What about using two layers of cardboard for the top with about an inch of space in between, and fill it with expanding insulation? Then you don't have to find larg pieces of foam that are the right shape.
Foam (styro- or expanding) wouldn't have nearly the same structural strength as the folded cardboard triangle tubes. OTOH, foam might have enough strength, depending on what use(s) you put the table to and how much strength is "enough." Totally cool Instructable! :)
High density foam (the really light, yet super strong light blue stuff) might work because its really strong and really light
rik3098 uldics4 years ago
you mean packaging peanuts thats what I grew calling them
GianniMora4 years ago
this should be featured!
cool did u just use elmer glue
MakeItSo (author)  imthatguy11255 years ago
Yes, I just used some white glue (it wasn't elmer's, but the equivalent stuff).
AWESOME! I love the Instructable, it's great for kids if they want to do drawing or something, great as a coffee table, game night table, something like that. Maybe even good for some electronic projects-- even soldering, just be sure to put something to cover it. I really hope I can do this someday, nice Instructable! +5/5 stars.
MakeItSo (author)  GorillazMiko5 years ago
You can make it any height too. Though I'm not sure how the legs would hold up if you tried to go dining table height.
this is really not going well were you using corogated cadboard or regular?
MakeItSo (author)  HisDivineShadow5 years ago
It's corrugated cardboard. That's what gives it its strength. I used one ply cardboard, which means there should be only one layer of corrugation.
You actually could use it at your next fondue party...like this: Go to a fabric store and purchase a piece of vinyl large enough to fit. I have a wooden table that has no protective coating on it; so, for years I've gone to the fabric store and purchased clear heavy-duty vinyl to protect the table. It works great! Sometimes I put the clear vinyl next to the table and place a really nice tablecloth on top of it. Voila'...no water damage.
Mr. Rig It5 years ago
I've seen a guy make a full size sturdy desk out of cardboard. He used layers of cardboard and put wood glue between each layer till he got the thickness he wanted. Then he shalacked th whole thing it was pretty cool and cheap. BTW good job :-)
Dorkfish925 years ago
Step 7: Make a sign telling people not to place candles on the table.

Hehe, cool idea! Very creative!
MakeItSo (author)  Dorkfish925 years ago
Yes, I will probably not be using this at the next fondue party... :)
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