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Make a Laptop Stand from Cardboard - The Quick and Easy Way

Picture of Make a Laptop Stand from Cardboard - The Quick and Easy Way
My work computer is a 17" laptop, and I was tired of hunching over my desk all day to use it. I wanted a stand that would prop up the laptop's LCD screen to a more ergonomic height, but I didn't want to spend any money. This cardboard laptop stand provides a much better work environment at no cost!
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

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Of course you'll need cardboard. The piece I had handy was a little less than 1/4 inch thick. I wouldn't recommend using anything smaller.

You'll only need simple measuring, marking, and cutting tools.

Step 2: The Two Critical Measurements

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The first critical measurement is the desired height of the laptop's LCD screen. I propped the laptop up on books until it was roughly the same height as a LCD monitor, then measured from the table to the bottom of the laptop's back edge. In my case, the measurement was 4 inches.

The second critical measurement is the length to be supported by the stand. Measure diagonally across the bottom of the laptop, starting and ending about 2 inches in from the edge. Adjust this diagonal as needed to avoid bumps, feet, and other extrusions from the laptop's bottom. In my case, the measurement was 15 1/2 inches.

Step 3: Measure and cut out the laptop stand's legs

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First, I measured out the 15 1/2 inch length of a leg, then the 5 inch rear height of the leg. I wanted a "block" at the front edge to keep the laptop from sliding off the stand, so I measured out a small rectangle 2 inches high at the front and 1 3/4 inches in from the front. On this last line, I marked off a point 1 inch from the bottom. Marking a line from this point to the 5 inch point at the rear gives us the cut lines for one leg.

You can repeat these measurements for the second leg or use the first leg as a pattern.

Step 4: Cut out the "latching" slots

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Next, I cut complementary slots on the legs so that they could be latched together. I first measured about halfway down the middle of the leg's bottom, about 7 1/4 inches, and drew a line at that point. I then placed a mark halfway up that line. This marks the bottom of the slot for one leg and the top of the slot for the other leg. I cut 1/4 inch wide slots.



Step 5: Assemble and Enjoy!

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Slot the legs together and inspect them to make sure the stand is level. Trim them as necessary. You're done!

Step 6: Extra credit - making a plywood stand

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After using my cardboard stand for 3 months or so, it started wearing out and becoming a bit sloppy. I could have made another one from cardboard but decided to make one out of plywood. It was simple enough - I just used the cardboard legs as a pattern. It looks like the plywood version will last me a long time.
marcospo3 years ago
Very good job! Easy to transport and store, reliable, easy to do. Thnaks for sharing.
could draw out a diagram to label out the measurements I'm still mixed up from the measurements of the distance away from the table and height of the LCD of the laptop.
bruc33ef6 years ago
Best one yet! Recyclable materials, simple, efficient, functional, easy storage. Congrats!
billr (author)  bruc33ef6 years ago
Thanks!
same here- i love it, and unlike some other ones of a similar design, you had a great, easy to follow instructable and a much more simple design.
billr (author)  Coliflower6 years ago
Thanks! Any photos? - Billr
Well, actually i was looking at a few before seeing yours, and it was simple and easy, so...

Specifically, this one:
http://www.instructables.com/id/cardboard-laptop-stand/
was gonna make it but then saw yours.

I also made one for my dad for fathers day (shh!)
if you want, ill get some photos of that.
thanks alot! We dont make anything for father's day anymore!
plus, he's always travelling on business trips, so the portability's a feature.
Thank you again! 5 stars!
neonack6 years ago
This was an awesome tip made mine for my lenovo T61. Basic as Bruc said but functional. THanks for the tips!
billr (author)  neonack6 years ago
neonack, it would be great to see a picture of your stand! - Bill
This is spookily similar to a stand I developed last year and sell http://www.ponoko.com/showroom/VanillaDesignStore/portable-laptop-stand-2277 - I make them in plywood and any colour of acrylic....
billr (author)  vanilladesign6 years ago
Just shows that great minds think alike! Hope you sell a lot of them! - Bill
Booyaka36 years ago
OMG man i have the same Screen and laptop!!!
since766 years ago
I like the simplicity and portability of your design, and was thinking that anyone having stability issues could probably place a cross beam across the front or back to keep all the pieces in place.
seatpost6 years ago
It's 5am in the morning and I finally finished making my laptop stand. When I first made it, the stand was wobbly and made my laptop tilt very slight to left. I adjusted the size to my 15.4 Dell XPS, still it did no good. There area a few things I want to point out. 0. This is a good concept and with the right material and design, it can be perfected. 1. The bottom of a laptop is not flat. Therefore the diagonal side of laptop stand has to be in a contoured shape. 2. When making a contoured shape, it is better to have the ends of the stand taller than the middle. It is even better to have a perfect fit to the laptop bottom. 3. I placed rubber bands near the middle of the stand. This stabilizes the stand in several ways: From two pieces from flapping around, and from the laptop from sliding side to side, from the stand from losing the grip on the desk. 4. Placing the rubber bands correctly will also let it fold the stand when not in use. 5. Make a little niche to keep the rubber bands in place. X. The heavier the laptop, more stable the stand will be. X. I would like to note that my laptop did not have the center of mass in the middle. Which means, I had to place my laptop slightly more to the one side. X. Making a perfect contour shape will be tough, because you have to place the pieces diagonally in respect to the laptop. I still has not perfected it, yet. But I like this laptop stand above other ones because it is portable.
billr (author)  seatpost6 years ago
Congratulations! Have you got a photo of your stand? I like the rubber band idea - my plywood stand is a bit slippery on my desk. Regarding the need for contouring, even though my 17" Dell laptop didn't have a flat bottom either, I just used a straight cut and I'm happy with the results. I guess it's a case of personal preference. -Bill