Introduction: Modular Cardboard Bookshelves V.1

About: Error(New York, London, Paris, Tallinn) Error was born in Vilnius in June 2009 as part of a Capital of Culture project which deteriorated into a reality television show on Lithuanian National television.Monika…
Have a lot of cardboard? Need bookshelves more than anyone has ever needed bookshelves? Make it!...and make it modular.

This project is from our work in Diyarbakir, Kurdistan, during March 2013; see more here.

  • Some knives - box cutters work well.
  • A hand saw
  • A ruler or measuring tape.

  • A whole lot of cardboard, preferably large boxes of a similar size.
  • Some 1L or 2L plastic bottles.
  • A whole bunch of string, cord, could you tape if you wanted.

Step 1: Roll the Posts/columns:

We used 1L and 2L soda bottles to roll the cardboard around, sometimes rolling 3 layers of cardboard around the bottles, and then securing it with three wraps of string/cord/rope tied around the roll of corrugated cardboard.

After rolling the cardboard we cut slots in the cardboard (*see the drawing for measurements) with box-cutters and a sometimes a hand saw to make junctions for the cross beams.

We thought of using the bottles for vertical connectors between the sections of shelf but so far have just used cardboard.

Step 2: Cross-Beams

Next fold and score several length's of cardboard at 15 cm wide each using an accordion fold.

This is used to support the shelves and to keep the vertical supports at regular distances apart. You will have to decide the lengths of these pieces depending on the dimensions of your cardboard, and what you want to do put on the shelves. You should need 4 long beams and 4 short for the first shelf module.

Step 3: Awwww, Snap!

Snap the components together. You should cut notches in your cross beams to keep them from sliding out of the posts.

Step 4: Shelves & Slots.

Next insert smaller sections of cardboard into the accordion slots in the shelf-support cross beams; 3 or 4 layers should do.

Step 5: Repeat

Now repeat this process over and over to create massive shelving systems.

Try not to get these too wet, they could melt.