Introduction: Cardboard Desk Lamp Stand With Shelves

Hello! Today I am sharing my project on making a Cardboard Desk Lamp Stand! I wanted to raise up my desk lamp to a proper height, yet I could not find a way to do it with style. That was when the idea to make my own stand came through!

The project is layer based, with cross-section cutouts hot glued together. This creates a sturdy block that will not warp or bend.


Mechanical Design:

When I was conceptualizing this stand, I took into consideration the ideal position of the desk lamp and loads it will experience. For ideal lighting, the desk lamp would be positioned 7 inches above the desk top, and several inches away from the edge of the desk. To fulfill this, the top platform for the lamp is offset from where the stand rests on the desk. With this, a moment is applied to the stand which has to be balanced so that it does not tip over. A clamp on the opposite end is made to slide onto the tabletop solves this issue and keeps the stand stable.

Another consideration was how to align the corrugated cardboard. I aligned the cardboard horizontally to account for the moment applied to the clamp so that the vertical force run perpendicular to the cardboard.


  • Drafting Paper
  • Writing Utensil
  • A lot of cardboard (the thicker the better!)
  • Box Cutter
  • T-Square Ruler
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Draft Your Design

Draft your design on a large piece of paper, or tape together pieces of paper so that you have one large sheet. Sketch out the design with a 1:1 ratio. I had the clamp with clearance of the thickness of the desk, and the top platform to match the base of my desk lamp, a square of 7.5 x 7.5 inches.

With this, use a box cutter and make a cardboard cutout of the cross section. Then cut a cardboard square that fits around this cross section so that you can use it as a template to cut out more squares.

Step 2: Cut Out Squares

Flatten out your large amount of cardboard with a box cuttesr and trace the square over it. Make sure to get as many squares as you can out of it. Pad underneath the cardboard you are cutting with more cardboard so that you can protect the surface you are working on. Use the t square to guide your cuts along the cardboard, and make those squares. I made 27 squares as this was a width of 7.5 inches.

A tip is that I cut out long columns of squares first (3rd picture) so I can make one long cut, and then I stacked the columns together to cut across for each square.

Step 3: Cutout Cardboard Cross Sections

This part takes the most time.

Take 1/3 of your cardboard squares and trace out the cutout onto them. Make sure to align the top and right of the cutout to the square as these have straight edges. An alternative is to lay the cutout ontop and clamp it to the squares as you cut.

First, cut the outline of the stand.

To cut, you use the binder clips and clamp three squares together and take out your box cutter. Use the smallest length of the blade to precisely trace out all cuts of the cross section onto the top square. Then use increasing lengths to cut into the first cardboard layer and the following cardboard layers. Flip it all over, and you should see indents where the cutting came through. Take your box cutter and finish making the cuts. Pop out the cross section and dispose of the cardboard edges.

Second, cut the holes for shelving of the stand.

Follow the steps from above for the smaller holes. These are more difficult and be careful to not overcutting.

Step 4: Hot Glue the Cross Sections

The top platform for where the desk lamp rests on has priority for being as flat as possible. I had built a vertical wall out of a binder on my table, but any wall or stack of books would do šŸ˜„.

Take the cross sections and align the top to the wall, and then hot glue them on top of one another. A moderate amount of glue on each layer will suffice.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Congradulations! You made your own cardboard desk lamp stand! This project will last for years to come thanks to its sturdy construction and I hope you had fun reading or following along with my first Instructable!

Don't forget to share your project by hitting I Made It if you did follow along!

Big thanks to my CE 3110 Professor Motaref for allowing my project to count as extra credit.