Instructables

Circular Cardboard Bookshelf

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Picture of Circular Cardboard Bookshelf
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This design is based on a apostrophe. After a few requests for a tutorial on this curvy cardboard bookshelf (inspired by Patricia Dessoulles), I decided to have a go at it.

I covered it with pearlescent wrapping paper and it took just two days to complete from drawing to finish.


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Step 1: Sketch Design

Picture of Sketch Design
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The cupboard appeared like a 'comma' shape so I needed to trace a perfect circle as part of the template. 

After deciding on the design, I traced it out on baking paper, drew the rest of the shape freehand, fitting into the small piece of cardboard I had found and cut it out.

This design is suitable for smaller pieces of cardboard. The two halves can then be put together if you cannot find a larger piece of cardboard.

I cut out the centre for an uneven shelf level to add a bit of dynamic to the final appearance.

Cut three frames for shelf support and one silhouette backing. Only cut struts for two inside frames. They are cut half-way.

Step 2: Trace and Cut Silhouette & Struts

Picture of Trace and Cut Silhouette & Struts
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The struts are the supports for each level on the shelf. Its important when cutting struts to check if the direction of the grain is vertical. If the grain of the strut horizontal the shelf will bend.

The height of the strut will be equal to the height of each shelf level.

The struts are cut half way between the inner supports and the strut. The part I enjoy most  is fitting the struts in each layer like a 3d jigsaw puzzle.
marylise1 year ago
What do you mean? "Add one half parts water" does it mean:
- one and half or
- half?
Thanks. Marylise
Scriptone (author)  marylise1 year ago
Sorry bout that, I've corrected it to ratio of 1:2 - twice the amount of plaster to water amount. I tried a new recipe for mixing a solid plaster block that worked also - though the working time was about 15 minutes. I put
hydrated lime
plaster of paris
patching plaster
water
You might want to add citric acid or cow's milk to slow down the setting time while quickly painting. There's about a 10 minute time to grate and smooth the surface down too, before it gets too hard and creates too much dust..
arstudent43 years ago
This statement confused me "I painted this mixture onto the cupboard, dried it then repainted the top surface with the DIY joint compound mix. It dried to a hard, rocky surface"....
Did you paint two layers of DIY joint cmpd? If you used a different mixture please let me know what it is. Thank you :)
Scriptone (author)  arstudent43 years ago
Oh! sorry about the confusion. Yes I did paint it twice.

  • * First I glued the paper with a lime/ glue joint compound mix. It looked kind or uneven and bumpy so I thought I'd fix that.

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  • * Then I put a plaster/concrete from lime mix - that's the white surface there.
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  • * Third, I recovered it again with leftover wrapping paper. hope that's a bit clearer.
Thank you! Also do you feel this made it more durable?
nk973 years ago
Good job. I'm liking the yin yang design. But I dont understand, isn't it very weak???? Too weak to hold books????
Scriptone (author)  nk973 years ago
Hi thanks! It does look unlikely to hold much. But I'm making a large shelf to go toether with this. This is sooo strong because I made it with thick edges. Also I used 2 ply cardboard and checked to make sure all the grain was flowing vertically rather than horizontally. I'll try to make another tutorial following the spiral design by Elsa Pagis and Patricia Desoulle soon. I don't really know how they did it, I'm going on a guess.