Introduction: A Paper Chair That Can Be Sat On!

Today I will show you how to build a chair made out of paper index cards. I build one cell and I saw how strong it was, and I wondered what else I could do with the hexagon cells. So I made this. This is my first Instructables project, so I hope you enjoy it.


- 2600 3” by 5” index cards. I found these at the Dollar Tree, 200 cards for $1.
- 5 rolls (300 yards) of 3/4” masking tape. I found this at the Home Depot for 79¢ a roll.
- lots of hot glue gun glue sticks.

-An Exacto knife.
-Hot glue gun.

Step 1: Making the Basic Unit

Fold an index card in fours, (each quarter should be 1 1/4 by 3 inches), it should make a “W” shape. Make sure that you are as accurate as possible and make a total of 1168 individual pieces. Then fold each one into equilateral triangles.

Step 2: Making the Different Types of Cells

Take three triangles and put them together to make a trapezoid. Tape six of these together like a chain, small side of trapezoid up. Then connect them to form a hexagon ring. Take two more of the trapezoids and tape the long sides together to make a hexagon. Then put this hexagon into the hole, and tape the hexagon so that it is secure. You need to create 42 of these large hexagons.

The next shape is the parallelogram. Take two triangles and tape them into a smaller parallelogram. Take two more of the trapezoids and tape the angled sides together. Then tape the parallelogram into the gap to finish the shape. You will need eight of these.

The last shape is the half hexagon. Make a three unit chain, similar to the hexagon chain. Then tape the angled sides together to make a hexagon ring. Then put one last trapezoid into the gap to make a half of a large hexagon. You will need eight of these shapes.

Step 3: Giving a Top to the Cells

For a hexagon, tape a card short side on the hexagon on three sequential sides. Turn it upside down and use an exacto knife to cut away the excess. Tape all seams to finish of the top.

For a half hexagon and large parallelograms, tape one seam to a card to cover the shape. Then turn upside down and cut away excess with an exacto knife. Tape all of the seams.

Step 4: Putting Reinforcements Into the Cells

Pull cards lengthwise over a edge of a table to help them curl. Then roll and put inside of each triangle cell. They will expand to fit snuggly, and yes you have to reinforce every one of them. This adds a lot of strength to the cells.

Step 5: Assembling the Chair Components

For the legs, stack four hexagons together with the open sides of each hexagon facing down. Tape each seam between hexagons, wrapping it at least two times around. You have to make four of these legs.

For the stretcher (this goes between the legs), hot glue one side of hexagon to another side of a different hexagon. You only need one of these.

For the back of the chair, make a stack of six hexagons with the open sides of each hexagon facing down. As said above, make sure to tape each hexagon together thoroughly. Then stack the half hexagons into two stacks of four, open side facing down. Attach these to the sides of the stack of six hexagons with hot glue to make a flat back with two hexagons protruding below.

For the seat make a stack of two hexagons open sides facing down and glue them together. You will need nine of these stacks. Take the parallelograms you make earlier and glue and stack them like the hexagons. Then glue three of the hexagon stacks together to make a row of three and then tape the seams together. Then glue the three rows of three together, creating three nested chevron shapes (like this>>>). Then attach the parallelogram stacks to the front and edge, making a partial hexagon.

Step 6: Finishing the Chair

Start by attaching the legs to the chair base. Turn base upside down and attach the legs. Put hot glue on the flat surface on the top of the leg and then flip it over and attach the legs to the bottom of the first and third chevron. Look at the photos above to see the placement.

Then attach the spreader to the chair legs. First flip the chair so the seat is on the ground. Then pull two legs and put hot glue on the second highest hexagon on each leg. Put the spreader in and then pull the other two sides and put hot glue on them. Make sure that the hot glue solidifies fully.

The last thing is to attach the back. Put the chair right side up and slot the protruding hexagons into the slot. The half hexagons should rest on the seat. Now take it back off and put hot glue where ever the back made contact with the chair including the along the protruding hexagons touching the chair and on edge of the chair seat wherever the back rests.
Optionally, put tape to cover seams to make the chair look tidy.

Congratulations, you have finished making your paper chair!
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