Introduction: Multipurpose Bed Table

In the past week I've been teaching my mother how to use the computer and tablet. I noticed that she had a hard time keeping the tablet up because it would slip, no matter what we would put behind it. The hardest part came when she tried to use it in bed...
I rarely use my tablet so I didn't get a stand for it yet, but I came up with the idea of making one myself!

I looked for ideas to make one, but I wanted to make mine using cardboard, or upcycling something else. I also wanted it to be fast to make.
I saw Shazni's 3x1 Folding Chalkboard Tray and that inspired me a lot. I wanted mine to have more than one purpose too so I finally came up with an idea.

My bed table is:

  • a tablet stand
  • a laptop tray
  • a cellphone holder
  • a pencil holder
  • a glass and bottle holder
  • a anything-you-want holder!

So let's say that this is a 5 in 1 tray :D

The top layer of the tray is also removable. This way I can lay it on the table and have a perfect stand for my tablet.

Oh, I forgot, this tray is COMPLETELY made out of cardboard! ;)

I hope you like my project and, if you do, please vote for it in contests! Thanks!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • long cardboard tube (or a couple of short ones) - mine has a diameter of 8 cm (3.14 inches)
  • thick corrugated cardboard - I used the 3 layers kind which is about 1,5 cm thick (0.59 inches)
  • jigsaw
  • drill with hole cutters
  • cutter
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • white glue
  • paper
  • scissors
  • scratch awl/screwdriver or anything similar to make holes

Step 2: Cut the Feet

Let's start making feets for the table.

I decided that mine would be 25 cm tall (9.84 inches). You can make them as tall as you prefer.

Make signs on your cardboard tube measuring the right size for your feet (25cm in my case). They must be 4 equal sections.

Cut them using a jigsaw or circular saw, trying to be very accurate.

I painted mine in white because the cardboard tube was dirty with dark signs, but I believe that the cardboard natural color is good too.

Step 3: Cut the Flat Surfaces

Let's cut the flat surface now which is composed of 2 rectangles of the same size.

Draw a rectangle on your piece of cardboard that is 58 x 30 cm (22.83 x 11.81 inches). I made up these sizes considering how big my laptop is and how much space the tubes would have taken, but you can adjust it to your sizes.

Cut the rectangle using a cutter and cut another identical piece.

Make some signs on each angle to see exactly where you want your tube feet to be. I decided to put mine at 2cm (0.78 inches) from the sides.
Make sure not to put them too close to the sides because cardboard breaks easily that way.

Use a hole cutter and drill to make the holes for the feet on both rectangles.
Important: the hole cutter must have the same diameter as the tubes you are using.

Believe it or not I used a hand drill, and that was so much slower and harder to use, so I recommend you to use a regular drill (if you have one!) :D

Step 4: Make Some Discs

Cut 8 cardboard discs using a smaller hole cutter. This hole cutter should be as big as the inside of your tubes.
Mine has a diameter of about 7,5 cm (2.95 inches).

The hole cutter left a hole in the middle of the discs so I decided to cut some other discs out of paper and glue them on the cardboard discs. The paper discs must be just as big as the cardboard ones, of course.

When the discs are done, glue one at the bottom of each tube. You have to insert it in the tube as if you were putting a cork in a bottle!

Now make up your mind about what you want to put inside each tube/foot.
I decided that one would be a container for cellphones, one for pencils, one for bottles, and one for glasses.

So, starting from the top of the tubes (the empty part), measure how big you want your containers to be and make a sign.
For example: the bottle container is bigger than the glass one, so the sign for the glass one is much closer to the top of the tube than the bottle one.

Now apply white glue around the 4 discs that you've left and insert them in the tubes, keeping the signs you made as reference for where they have to be placed.
These discs will be the bottoms of the different containers.

Step 5: Make the Tablet Stand

The tablet stand is placed on what will be your first rectangle (at the top of the table).

All you have to do is drawing a strip on one of the cardboard rectangles.
I made mine 2cm thick (0.78 inches) and as long as the longest side of my tablet, which is about 20cm (7.87 inches). This size doesn't have to be perfect, as long as it is bigger than your tablet's length.

When you are done drawing it, cut the strip out of the cardboard.

Now place this rectangle on the other one, making sure that the round holes match perfectly, and draw a smaller section on the second rectangle through the strip you cut on the first one.
I made it 3 x 2cm (1.18 x 0.78 inches) and placed it in the middle of the tablet strip (see third photo).

Cut that small section out too.

This will be the hole for your tablet cable (in case you need it).

Step 6: Cut the Handles

I decided to make 2 handles on the first table layer.

The handles are 2 simple strips cut from the 2 sides of the cardboard rectangle, so that you can easily lift it up and separate it from the rest of the table.

So, draw 2 strips at about 2cm (0.78 inches) from the sides (left and right) and cut them out using a cutter.
My strips are 6 x 2cm (2.36 x 0.78 inches).

The first layer of your bed table is done!

Step 7: Make Some Holes

The second layer of your table is the one for your laptop.

Laptops tend to get very warm while they are working so I decided to make some holes that would help the air pass through the surface.

Draw a grid in the middle of the second rectangle, right under the hole you made for the tablet cable.
Make it 30 x 10cm (11.81 x 3.93 inches). The horizontal and vertical lines are at 2cm (0.78 inches) from each other.

Now use a long needle or scratch awl to make holes wherever the horizontal and vertical lines intersect.

When you are done making holes, pass something thicker through them to make them a little bigger. I used a screwdriver, but a pencil would work fine too.

The second layer is done too!

Step 8: Insert the Feet

Now lay your second rectangle (the laptop one) upside down and insert the top of the tubes in the 4 round holes.

Apply some white glue around each tube, close to where the cardboard is.
Turn the table on its feet now and press down the cardboard a little bit, leaving about 1,5cm (0.59 inches) free from the top of the tubes.

That space is actually the thickness of the other cardboard rectangle, so insert it on top of the table too, but remember NOT to put any glue this time!

Push it down until it's on the same level as the tubes' border.

Step 9: Done!

Your multipurpose tray is done!

You can finally use it as a computer table, a tablet stand in bed or on a table, and the tubes can contain anything you want! :)

Tip: apply some plastic contact paper on top of both layers. Your table's surfaces will be protected by it and they will be much easier to clean!


Please vote for it!! :)


Bo Cross made it! (author)2015-07-14

And your cardboard?

Bo Cross made it! (author)2015-07-14

Where did you get your cardboard tubing?

btkramer79 made it! (author)2015-03-21

Great idea. I am going to make one with mdf and pvc pipe, covered in fabric.

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-03-21

Thanks! Please share a picture of it when you are done :) Have fun!

trui made it! (author)2015-02-07

going to try to make it!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-02-07

Great! Please share a picture of it here if you can! :)

Xamu made it! (author)2015-01-08

Neat idea.

A thin layer of batting and a fresh piece of broadcloth in Mom's favorite color might make this more aesthetically and physically comfortable for Mom - especially by wrapping the batting over the (slightly) hard edges of the top. Might even want to sand a radius on the top edges before the upholstery. :o)

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-08

Thanks! That's a very good idea! I am not sure what to use to keep the batting and broadcloth firm though...I am used to use a staple gun for upholstery, but I doubt it will work fine on cardboard :D

Xamu made it! (author)Xamu2015-01-22

Your cardboard looks thick enough for some staples (½" ?) but I would also carefully use some permanent spray adhesive or brush on contact cement.

Contact cement might/should be enough on its own to hold it but you would need to keep it place somehow while the glue cures. Maybe a stack of heavy books?

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-23

That's really useful to know, I never thought about it since I'm not familiar with contact cement, but it sounds like it would work. Thank you for all the info! :)

Xamu made it! (author)Xamu2015-01-23

Contact cement is very aggressive and can be slightly tricky to use because, when applied correctly, glues "on contact". No second chances. Formica laminate is typically glued down on particle board with contact cement.

Back in the day, it was horrible to use indoors because of the fumes. But now they have water-based contact cement that is a lot more indoor friendly. :o)

AliefM made it! (author)2015-01-08


lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-08


syn123 made it! (author)2015-01-05

Great idea

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-06

Thanks :)

sharadawrites made it! (author)2015-01-05

I am gonna try this! Thank you so much

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-06

I'd love to see yours, please post a picture of it if you can!! Have fun! :)

fabiancito made it! (author)2015-01-05

Me gusta muchiiiisimo, gracias

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-06

Thank you!! :)

sbilik made it! (author)2015-01-05

It's very Instructable :) I like it. I will make it, too

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-06

Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Please share a picture of it when you are done, I'd love to see it! :)

photogirl601 made it! (author)2015-01-05

That is one project I will want to try.

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-05

Great! Please share a picture of it when you are done, I'd love to see it ;) Have fun!!

kl_paradox made it! (author)2015-01-04

Beautiful idea!!!!!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922015-01-04

Thanks!! :)

MUSTACHE QUEEN made it! (author)2014-12-31


lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-12-31

Thank you!

jgracia made it! (author)2014-12-29

A mi hijo le encanta... Wonderfull.

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-12-29

Muchas gracias!! :)

Olivia Cheung made it! (author)2014-11-02

Totally love it

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-11-02

Thank you so much!

evacooper made it! (author)2014-10-21

i love this!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-21

I'm glad you do! Thank you! :)

electro18 made it! (author)2014-10-16

Awesome Idea ! Congratulations for the win ! :)

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-16

Thank you so much! I am glad you like it! :)

MakeBreakHackRepeat made it! (author)2014-10-15

Congratulations!! Such a simple yet awesome project!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-15

Thank you so much!! :)

786Ayesha made it! (author)2014-10-14

Your ideas are so simple but they are awesome projects.Congratulations!!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-14

Thank you so much for the compliment Ayesha!! :)

shazni made it! (author)2014-10-14

Congrats Linda! So happy for you :-)

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-14

I still can't believe it! Thank you Shazni and congratulations to you too!! :)

tkleinauskas made it! (author)2014-10-06

I like instructable! Thanks for sharing!

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-06

Thanks a lot!! :)

Bhawya made it! (author)2014-10-01

Simply super, Good jod :)

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-10-01

Thank you so much! :)

DeviLFisH made it! (author)2014-09-28

Nice ideas there

lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-09-29


Mo0k made it! (author)2014-09-27


lindarose92 made it! (author)lindarose922014-09-27

Thank you!

longwinters made it! (author)2014-09-26

After the election gather up some of the plastic corrugated signs it's stronger than card board and water resistant

About This Instructable




Bio: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to ... More »
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