Introduction: Build Affordable Cable Management Using Cardstock

Have wires hanging out where they don't look nice? Don't feel like spending $40+ on plastic cable management?

Get crafty and use things around the house! In this example, I'm getting the pesky cable of a hanging lamp out of the way.

This really only works with light-weight cables. Paper isn't known for its support strength or anything.

Step 1: Gather the Tools and Supplies.

You will need the following:

  • Cardstock
  • Scissors and/or knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws from around the house
  • Stapler
  • Masking Tape
  • Measuring tape or ruler

Each standard piece of card stock will get you about 55 centimeters of cable length.

You will notice from the attached printout (I have both Open Office and PDF format there), I've created a paper tube with one flat side. The base of the tube which attaches flat against the wall is 3 cm wide and the rounded part that extrudes from the wall is 5 cm wide. I've placed one 1-cm tab on each side to provide a surface where the tube can be stabled together. You can use my printouts or create your own. This one is good for most cable widths for indoor use such as lamps, or audio or video devices.

Step 2: Measure.

Measure out the area you are working with and remember the total length you are covering. If it is quite complex, you might want to mark the areas with pencil where you will be attaching it. If it's a long straight run, you might want to tape a long piece of string to the surface or something to make sure it's all straight.

Step 3: Cut and Fold.

Cut along the solid lines. Each card has 2 lengths of tubing. Fold the paper lengthwise on each dotted line and press the folds well. Then fold it back on itself and press the folds. End up with the folds set up like in the picture.

If you are designing your own, measure out a width of 1 cm, then the width of your base, then the width of your rounded bit (probably just a bit longer than the base, and then another 1 cm. Draw lines lengthwise and cut and fold appropriately.

Make a couple marks in the paper where you will put your screws through. You want them a couple centimetres from each end, but centred in the base-section of the paper.

Step 4: Attach to the Surface.

Poke holes through the marks, put the paper in place, and drive 2 screws through the paper into the drywall.

If it helps, hold up the cable using masking tape.

Step 5: Enclose.

Pull the longer section over to the other side so it forms a well-rounded tube. This is probably the trickiest part as you need to make sure the 1-CM Staple Tabs are closely aligned before putting a staple through them. I put at least 3 staples in to have a firm hold.

Carefully fold the newly-stapled tab back in behind the entire length, tucking it away neatly.

For a corner, you will need to cut a curve out of one of the lengths.

Step 6: Attach Finishing Joints.

Take a piece of cardstock (complimentary or matching in colour) and cut a tab about the width of a ruler (or whatever you think looks nice). You want it's length to be a sum of the widths of 3 times the base-section and 2 times the tube-section. Add an extra bit for the folds. In my case, it was 20 (3+5+3+5+3+1) CM.

Slide the joint-strip behind the tube and bring it over and around. Slide it through again, pull it out the other end, and complete one more rotation.

IMPORTANT: Always push the piece under the stable side, otherwise you will end out popping out the lovely back-fold you worked so hard on.

Step 7: Attach Corner Joints.

For a corner joint, it's basically the same idea, but we need to cut out a section for the tube it's sitting against. I made a mini-tube to trace out what I needed to cut on the fold-over sections of the strip (the 5 cm parts). See the pictures.

Enjoy your new décor!

(If you have any questions, let me know!)

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