Introduction: Cardboard Tube Shelf

Picture of Cardboard Tube Shelf

Here's one of the very simple projects anyone can do with really little tools and materials. Although many of you will think this tube shape is not really practical to be a shelf, and  you wont be wrong, it's very eye catching and most certainly wont go unnoticed. It's kind of "anti-shelf" which is modular and personalized -  you can make them in pairs like I did but you can also play with assembly and composition in any way you like.  I chose bathroom and toilet, but it can be "installed" all around the house - kids room would definitely be a good choice.   

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I've done the whole project without the power tools, but if you have access to bigger circular saws (table ones) you'll slice your tube faster, cleaner and more precise. Many of you will' ask where to find this cardboard tube thingy - mine came as a packaging "case" for decorative aluminium picture moldings.  - but you can use plastic water pipes or something like that. This is what you'll need:

- a really good hand saw (or electric table one)
- scalpel
- paint brush
- sand paper

- a cardboard (or plastic) tube 22 cm (or bigger) in diameter
- concrete paint
- stronger mounting glue (kit)

Step 2: Paint and Assembly

Picture of Paint and Assembly

I cut my tube in to 8 and 16 cm slices but you are free to adjust this to your needs. Then I sanded the edges but I did not bother to much - I wanted to get that rough metal look, like the one you can see in shipyards - the color inspiration also came from the same place. Also,  2-3 layers of concrete paint took care about surface roughness. I also tried to get that "metal weld" like connection between two tubes - I used Pattex strong montage glue to make that "weld" long lasting and durable.

On the second picture you can see some saw cut in the middle of slice - I've made 4 of these slices which should be corner holder for bathroom mirror. I didn't do it yet and I'm not sure if it will work but I'll keep you posted. 


Step 3: The Final Result

Picture of The Final Result

The final result is this here - most of you will say it's not practical but others will love this abstract anti-shelf. Enjoy and geek on!


Waldemar Sha (author)2017-01-28

The one at the corner looks like a very sad monkey...

Christian Reese (author)2015-04-16

That's cool and all, but how does cardboard stand moisture? Is this a apecific kind of cardboard or something?

ncottrill1 (author)2013-09-17

What do you use to mount on the tiles?

GEEK factory (author)ncottrill12013-09-17

I just hang them on the couple of screws but you can use montage glue to fix them permanently...

8bitMisfit (author)2013-09-17

lol defiant ly not in Croatia. But they are about the same, a tad smaller and a bit less durable. anyway still a great instrutable.

8bitMisfit (author)2013-09-16

That is awesome. we get those all the time at work. One question. Could you use strapping spools too?

GEEK factory (author)8bitMisfit2013-09-16

tnx 4 the support...I'm not sure what you have in mind with strapping spools...If you are thinking on using some spool as a shelf than absolutely! The only problem is where to find bigger diameter, at least here in Croatia ;)

lane29 (author)2013-09-16

How did you hang them

GEEK factory (author)lane292013-09-16

I just screwed some regular screws in space between tiles but if this would be my own apartment I would fix it with montage kit directly - this would give that true "floating" feeling...

jboseman (author)2013-09-16

Great up-cycle idea

About This Instructable




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