Introduction: Lawn Sign (corrugated Plastic) Shelf
I'm a bit of a vagabond and tend to move pretty often so I prefer easy to carry furniture or at least something that breaks down nicely. I was looking for something to hold my clothes and figured I could make something pretty sturdy with corrugated plastic. Luckily, this last move was around election time where there were lawn signs galore!
Corrugated Plastic - 1 large one for the backing and 4 small (regular) ones for the shelves
*Don't forget to was these!
For the corrugated plastic, I put up a want ad on Craigslist and our local Freecycle. I got the cardboard tubes at a local travel agency. I'd think a movie theater would be a good place to ask as well as they have lots of posters.
Utility knife or Scissors
Serrated knife (optional) - It makes it easier to cut the slots in the tubes but you can use a scissors
Tape measure/ruler (optional) - You can always eyeball it!
Step 1: Cutting to Size
As I mentioned, I asked for lawn signs on CL and Freecycle and wasn't picky in what I received. I got a couple of large ones and not enough regular sized ones so I had to cut down one of the large ones.
You can get 2 regular size ones with some left over out of 1 large one. A utility knife with a straight edge is the easiest way to do this; it takes a lot more effort with a scissors.
Step 2: Cutting Tabs and Slots
To connect the shelves with the backing, I cut tabs into all of the shelves (regular sized signs) and slots into the backing (large sign) for the shelves to slide into.
Cut out the tabs for all the shelves first. I just eyeballed how I wanted the tabs to look, nothing fancy but make sure you use the same one for your template to trace all the others or your sizing will get off!
1. Lay down the large sign and place the template sign on top. Line up the edges to match.
2. Shift the tabbed sign up or down until the indent of the tab (skinny part of the tab) is at the height you want the shelf
3. Mark either side of the indent onto the large sign. This is the width you want your slot.
4. Cut between your marks. This is much easier to do with a utility knife!
5. Measure 2cm below the mark you just cut and cut another line the same width.
6. Cut out the small rectangle you just made. This should allow enough space for the tabbed sign to squeeze through.
*You can always adjust later but you don't want to make the slot too wide or too tall!
Repeat for all 4 shelves. Be sure your measurements are the same if you want your shelves to be at the same level!
Step 3: Assembling Signs
The hardest part is finished! Now you just have to slide the tabbed signs into their appropriate slots.
The tabs should be relatively easy to slide in but you can always adjust either the slot size or the tab itself to fit.
Step 4: Adding the Cardboard Posts
To cut the notches on your post, use the same height measurements you used for the backing slots and mark them onto the cardboard tubes and start cutting. I actually used a drywall saw (the serrated hand tool, not an electric one) on the tubes which worked very well.
I wasn't sure how wide to cut them so I just started cutting them and periodically fitting them to the signs to see if I should cut deeper. I cut them wide enough so that as much of the sign as possible could slide in. Basically, so the corner of the sign slid all the way to the opposite side of the tube.
For the middle tube, you need to cut enough to hold the corners of two shelves up but not so much that you compromise the strength of the tube. You can kind of experiment as you go as it depends on the strength of the tub you're using. My middle tube was not nearly as rigid and strong as the outer ones.
Once they're cut out, just slide them on!
Step 5: Finished!
I had some extra signs which I just placed on the bottom so I could easily slide my clothes in and out and because the carpet here is questionable. This is definitely not necessary and I didn't attach them, they're just laying on the ground.
After putting all my clothes on, I was please how it held up even thought it sagged a bit from the weight. To remedy this, I had the idea of buying a length of 1/4" pine lattice and simply sliding a piece under each shelf from the tab slot to one of the corners. But it has been 4 months and it is still holding up just fine so I haven't gotten around to it.
We have a be nice policy.
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