Introduction: Cheap and Sturdy Armchair Made Out of Cardboard That You Can Customize
Hello, fellow instructable users!
My first project (with some of my friends) is a cheap and sturdy armchair made out of cardboard, tape, hot glue, and wood.
I know it may sound uncomfortable, overwhelming and unstable, but it's undeniably comfy (compared to wooden chairs), it holds up to 250 lbs (we tested it) and it is very easy to make.
The armchair is made up of three parts, the base, the armrests, and the backrest. Since the cardboard and tape itself is a little boring, we customized it so that it has a space, sci-fi like look but you can also customize it however way you like.
We are also working on a v2 that is more sturdy and it has a cushion.
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Also, you will need a lot of cardboard so if you don't have some you can find recycled ones in many places including paper stores, clothing stores, etc
Step 1: Materials
For this project, you will need a few things
1. Six 20.5" by 11.5" by 3" boxes
2. 16 small 11" by 5" by 2.75" boxes
3. four rolls of duct tape (30 yards long)
4. a hot glue gun and at least 2 packages of hot glue
5. 2 pieces industrial timber (2.5" by 1.5" by 48") on clearance
6. Some packaging tape (optional, you can use duct tape if you want but if you do, add another roll of duct tape on the list)
7. 5 rolls of masking tape (we recommend you use masking tape since it is very narrow but you can try other tape)
8. 8 short wooden dowels (half an inch in diameter and 18 inches long)
9. two 12" by 26.5" by 21.5" boxes (all flaps not folded)
10. 5 long wooden dowels (half an inch and diameter and at least a yard long)
11. two pieces of cardboard at least 24" by 26.5"
If you would like to add different decorations and cushions, your local fabric store can have a lot of useful stuff on clearance that you can use.
Step 2: Making the Base
Okay, for the base you will need the masking, packaging (optional) and duct tapes, the dowels (long and short), the hot glue gun and hot glue, and the pieces of cardboard at least 24" by 26.5" (for bigger ones, just cut them to these dimensions).
First, you tape the two boxes (without folding them so that the flaps are straight with the rest of the box) together to get a bigger box that is 24" by 26.5" by 22".
Then choose the side you want top and bottom (the sides with the openings will be top and bottom).
The Bottom of the Base
For the bottom of the base, you will put the long dowels in a cross so that the dowels go between the edges of the flaps (the corners; they should have a gap) as the first picture (above) except without the one going through the middle. To reduce strain in the dowels, cut a small portion of the middle (again as the first picture of this step above) so that both dowels should slide through next to each other. When doing this try to position it so that the edges of the dowels are straight with the edges of the boxes. After you have this done, use the hot glue gun to glue the edge flaps and the center (where they overlap) so they stay in that position. If you have dowels that stick out like we did, you can always saw it off.
After that, you will need to take a piece of cardboard that is 24" by 26.5" and tape it on top of the cross onto the bottom of the base. If you have one that's bigger, you can always cut and sand it so it fits perfectly.
The Top of the Base
Repeat what you did for the bottom of the base but before you tape the piece of cardboard to finish the base, you need to do a little more. First, you will need to add support in the middle. We did this by using four small dowels, overlapping them and then gluing them so that they make another cross in the middle (if you are a little confused, the pictures of the top can explain a lot).
Then, we added an additional four dowels on the top cross in a square formation to support the top (you can see it in the middle cross picture). We used the masking tape to secure the small dowels with the big dowels and the boxes. To ensure a little more support, we added a square within the square using masking tape. Then, we added the cardboard to finish the top.
Step 3: The Armrests and Back
For the armrest, we used two 20.5 by 11.5 by 3 boxes Dell© desktop boxes from our school. We taped them onto the base (on the front side you choose). You are going to want them on the edge so that when you are taping it will have a smooth finish.
The back is made up of two 2.5 by 1.5 by 48 (anything near 2.5 by 1.5 by 45 is ok) pieces of structural timber, four Dell boxes (the same boxes we used for the armrests), some duct tape, and 16, 11 by 5 by 2.75 small boxes.
First, you tape the structural timber on the opposite side of the armrests. You want to have them about 3.5 inches from the corners so it can hold most of the weight applied to the back. After you tape it to the back of the base (showed above) you can tape the BIG BOX (instructions below) on the structural timber so the corners align.
If the structural timber is sticking out a little, you can cover it up with decorations etc (we covered it up in duct tape)
The BIG BOX
For the BIG BOX, you will need the four Dell boxes, some duct tape, and the 16 small boxes.
First, you take four of the small boxes and put them in a Dell box (they should slide in easily) and tape the box shut. You then make four of those. After you have four full Dell boxes, you tape two together (either way is fine, we taped them so that it is double its height but you can do it so that they are double its width) and repeat again so that you have two taped (let's call it ones) ones. Tap those two ones together and you get..... The BIG BOX.
Step 4: Finishing Touches!
Okay, so after this you can customize the look of the armchair in any way you want (if you can, try adding a cushion for the seat). For an example, we made it look like a chair from a space sci-fi movie by covering it in duct tape.
Steps for our chair
1. Cover it entirely in Duct tape! (like the front picture)
You may mess up a lot (like we did) so be careful with duct tape (it sticks to everywhere)
Try making your own decorations and comment below ! :)
Enjoy your armchair!
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