Introduction: No-Measure Cardboard Display Shelves/ Boxes

 The idea here is very simple- make some functional cardboard display shelves/ boxes without having a whole lot of hassle.  i am making these on my lunch break at work, using scrap cardboard, with my hot glue gun and they don't take much time because you don't have to sit and measure everything out.  Let's show off our toys in style!

Step 1: Shelf Top

You want to size your top to whatever it is that you are going to display, and make sure that you don't need to structurally reinforce anything.  For this particular project, i am putting scale models on display and they are not of any substantial weight. Again, with the no measure, no muss, no fuss idea simply put the object you are wanting to display or shelve and trace around it.  In my case, the strips of scrap that I had were most all close enough to the width that i needed, so I just had to cut them to length.  You could do other shapes, but I am sticking with simple rectangles here.  Feel free to put as much or little into this as needed.

Step 2: Supplies and Material

Cardboard- sized for a top and strips to go around the perimeter of the top
Hot-glue Gun and Glue 
X-Acto or equivalent
pen or pencil

Step 3: Shelf Supports

Take a strip of cardboard that will be long enough to go all the way around the perimeter of your top.  To mark this out without official measuring devices, simply roll your top on its sides and make sure that the length of cardboard is at least as long as you need.  If it is too long, great!  Trying to make it just right complicates matters and we're here for simple. 

Start on one edge and lay down some hot glue (this I-ble does assume you know how to use a hot glue gun and that, you realize by the name, in an ideal world contents are hot- so be careful).

Then put your strip of cardboard on the glued edge at a 90 degree angle, lining up the corner on one side.  You should have a long piece hanging off to one side, which you will bend and use for the remaining sides.

Step 4: Crease and Fold

The next step after you have gotten your first edge glued on is to score the cardboard for the bend between the first and the second edge.  Using an X-Acto or scalpel or equivalent, very carefully score a line through just the inner layer of cardboard.  You really don't want to cut all the way through the cardboard, but you could- it would just be more work.

Step 5: Glue, Crease, Repeat

Lay down a bead of hot glue for the second edge and line the cardboard up with the edge of the top and hold the strip until the glue holds it there for you.

Then, repeat the process of scoring a fold line, laying down a line of glue, and holding the strip to the top lined up with the edge.

When you get to the last side, in a perfect world the strip will be too long to fit on the final edge and will need to be cut.  What?!?  Yep, you want it to be too long.

Step 6: Final Side

So, if you have too much cardboard hanging over the edge, it is simply time to mark, cut, and glue the last edge.

While holding the strip in place where it wants to go, mark with a pen or pencil the line in the corner where the strip needs to be trimmed for a nice, snug fit. Then trim along that line and you can put glue on the edge of the top, and along the edge of the first side to glue the two remaining exposed contact surfaces.

Now you're done!  No tape measure, no ruler, and it's amazing how close you can get by just marking what's already there!