Introduction: Portable Foldable Cardboard Stool-Table

My story is simple. I needed a small stool from which I could transform into a small table (I love things that can be transformed), and which can be used at home and in camping trips. It should be environmentally friendly, safe, light, easy to assemble and disassemble, small in size, easy to carry, good looking, cheap and not difficult to make.

To make this stool-table, I selected very accessible material (considered even as garbage by some) that meets all the requirements - cardboard from packing boxes (corrugated cardboard). In my opinion, it's just a great idea to reuse cardboard packaging as a material for creating furniture. We must all remember the need about rational use of resources.

There are many techniques to create furniture from cardboard (layer-by-layer gluing of cardboard sheets, origami, modular designs, etc.). I really like paper folding furniture, but I understand that making it yourself at home is quite difficult and time consuming. So I figured out how to make a foldable chair in the form of a book from corrugated cardboard.

So, in this Instructable I want to show you How to make a portable folding stool from cardboard that can also be used as a table.

The Portable Foldable Cardboard Stool-Table consists of two removable parts - the base and the top.

The base includes 10 stiffening cardboard sheets (from five-layers corrugated cardboard) glued together at one end, and glued from the other end to a long sheet folded like an accordion (from three-layers corrugated cardboard). The base can be folded like a book. Bags from craft paper and envelopes are glued to the inside, in which you can put small things when you use this stool-table.

The top consists of 4 sheets of five-layer corrugated cardboard, cut and glued together so that they can form a circle (when expanded) and fold up to ¾, ½ and ¼ of a circle.

Ribbons are glued to the base and top, with the help of which the top can be fixed on the base. Also, these ribbons help fixing the parts of this stool-table in assembled form, which makes its transfer very convenient.

As a result, you will get a cardboard stool with a height of 34 cm and a width of 37 or 74 cm or a round cardboard table with a diameter of 74 cm and a height of 34 cm.

P.S. I'm tired of fighting with sites that steal my instructables regardless of the license (which is indicated in the upper left corner). Sorry but I decided to add attribution to my photos. I know it looks a little annoying, but it annoys me even more to see my works under someone else's authorship or for sale.


five-layers corrugated cardboard. you can instead glue two three-layer corrugated cardboard sheets about 1.2 m2 (you need to make 10 pieces 34 × 35 cm),

three-layer corrugation cardboard about 1 m2 (you need to make a sheet 34 cm × 280 cm),

craft paper,

PVA glue,

instant glue,

white satin ribbon double-sided 2 m,

gauze (or gauze bandage),

denim (34 × 11 cm),


ruler (or tape measure),


short sharp knife for cutting cardboard,

solid massive iron board,

cutting mat,


matches / lighter (to scorch the edges of the ribbon)

work gloves,


for decoration:

white cardboard (for decoration variant 1),

old blue jeans (for decoration variant 2),

carbon paper,

PVA glue,

paper to redraw my chosen picture or sample of any other picture you like,






narrow brush,

wide brush.

Step 1: Making the Stiffening Cardboard Parts of the Stool-Table Base

You need: five-layers cardboard, knife, ruler, triangle, pencil, iron board, cutting mat, gloves, kraft paper, PVA glue, scissors, wide brush, press.

If you use cardboard boxes, then remove all fastening materials (cords, adhesive tape, rivets, etc.).

Flatten the cardboard and cut out 10 rectangles 34 × 35 cm using a ruler, triangle and pencil. Press the iron board where you want to cut the cardboard, and draw a knife along its edge. Keep the knife straight and make sure that the cardboard does not move. Do not try to cut thick cardboard at a time. Better to draw a knife several times, gradually cutting all layers of cardboard. Do not remove the iron board until the cut cardboard has come apart. Sharpen the knife if it is necessary.

Very often there are a lot of inscriptions / drawings on cardboard boxes. If there are inscriptions or drawings on the rectangles sheets cut off to you, then hide them by sticking craft paper: cut the paper in the same way as cardboard (the same size); with a wide brush, apply a thin layer of glue to the paper and / or the side of the cardboard; stick the paper; make sure that wrinkles do not form on paper; put the cardboard sheets under the press and let it dry well. As a press, you can use any flat, durable and suitable size item (I used an inverted stool) and something for weighting (I used a box with stones). The drying process can be accelerated with an iron: iron the glued paper and then put it under the press.

Step 2: Making the Folding Cardboard Part of the Stool-Table Base

You need: three-layers cardboard, knife, ruler, triangle, pencil, iron board, cutting mat, gloves, kraft paper, PVA glue, scissors, wide brush, press.

Cut a sheet 34 cm × 280 cm from cardboard. If it’s necessary, stick kraft paper.

You need to bend this sheet like an accordion. To do this, measure 14 cm from the edge - there will be the first fold. Press an iron board and press it with a corner (do not damage the top layer of cardboard). Put the iron board against the fold and gently bend the cardboard around the board. Turn the cardboard and bend it again at the desired distance (photo). Make sure that one side of the fold is sharp, and another fold is with a slight indent (approximately equal to the thickness of the five-layer cardboard, because you will glue rectangular sheets of cardboard into this indent). Make 18 folders. Cut off the excess of cardboard.

Step 3: Assembling the Stool-Table Base

You need: parts of the base, made in previous steps, PVA glue or instant glue, knife, ruler, triangle, pencil, iron board, cutting mat, gauze / gauze bandage, kraft paper, denim, wide brush, press.

Glue cardboard sheets made in the first step one by one to the Folding Cardboard Part of the Stool-Table Base made in the second step (paste and glue) (photo).

You will have two sheets of cardboard left. Glue them with kraft paper around the edges of the ends of Folding Cardboard Part of the Stool-Table Base (photo).

Now you need to firmly connect the sheets of cardboard to each other from the opposite side. Cut one piece of denim 34 × 11 cm, two pieces of gauze 35 × 11 cm and two pieces of kraft paper 34 × 25 cm. Press the edges of the cardboard, glue two layers of gauze denim using PVA glue (photo). Then glue two layers of kraft paper (photo). Trim the edges (photo).

The Stool-Table Base is almost ready. Glue the rectangles sheets of kraft paper on the sides (photo). Press the parts to be glued, smooth out the wrinkles and leave the Stool-Table Base to dry for 1-2 days (under press).

Step 4: Making Parts of the Stool-Table Top

You need: five-layer cardboard, knife, ruler, triangle, pencil, iron board, cutting mat, gloves.

Measure and cut 4 squares 37 × 37 cm. Together they should form a circle with a diameter of 74 cm. Therefore, using a ruler and a pencil, round the two sides of each square and cut off with a knife everything that is unnecessary.

Step 5: Assembling the Stool-Table Top

You need: parts of top made in the previous step, ruler, triangle, pencil, iron board, cutting mat, PVA glue, gauze / gauze bandage, kraft paper, scissors, wide brush, press.

Lay the parts of top on a flat surface (they should form a circle).

Cut 6 rectangles from gauze and 3 from kraft paper 37 × 7 cm.

First, connect each two parts of the top, gluing the first pieces of kraft paper, then 2 layers of gauze (photo).

Cut half circles from a kraft paper with a radius of 37 cm. Glue them on the connected parts of the top (photo). Smooth the wrinkles of the paper and let it dry (the drying process can be accelerated by ironing the paper). Press the edges.

Turn over the parts of the top. Connect them on one radius by gluing kraft paper and then two layers of gauze (photo).

Cut out pieces from kraft paper: 1 pc. of ½ circle and 2 pc. of ¼ circle with (radius of 37 cm). Glue these pieces on top of the connected parts of the top. Smooth wrinkles. Check if the top folds well. Let it dry.

Step 6: Decorating the Top of the Stool-Table (this Step Can Be Skipped)

You need: top made in the previous step, white cardboard, denim, pencil, pen, PVA glue, carbon paper, pattern or paper to draw a pattern, scissors, narrow brush, varnish and a wide brush.

I suggest you decorate the top of the stool-table by gluing the parts of the pattern you like (applique). To make a diversity, one side can be decorated with a white pattern (white cardboard applique), and the second side can be decorated with a blue denim pattern (also glued).

Choose your favorite pattern (it should be in the form of an application) or redraw the pattern I have chosen.

Using carbon paper, transfer pattern to cardboard and cut out its parts - cardboard templates.

Cut out a ¼ circle with a radius of 37 cm from paper. Using carbon paper, transfer the pattern evenly onto it. Transfer pattern on the top of the stool-table (using again carbon paper) (photo).

Turn cardboard templates over, place them compactly on white cardboard, circle with a pencil and cut out parts of the pattern. For convenience, number the parts of the pattern (this way you will not only keep track of your count, but also will not confuse the front and back sides).

Cut out the required number of parts of the pattern. Glue them to the top of the stool-table in a suitable place according to the picture (photo).

Also cut out parts of the denim pattern (circle with a pen and do not forget to turn cardboard templates). Glue the denim pattern onto the second side of the stool-table top (photo).

Now you can easily change the color of the top of your stool-table in a few seconds: just turn it over!

To protect the top of the stool, you can varnish it. But then the cardboard will become darker (photo).

Step 7: Add Details

You need: parts of the stool-table, made in the previous steps, ribbon, scissors, knife, matches / lighter, pencil, PVA glue, instant glue, ruler, triangle, narrow brush, varnish.

1). Cut the ribbon into pieces (about 15-20 cm) and scorch the edges with matches / lighter. Glue pieces of ribbon in the middle of the cardboard from the four edges of the top of the stool-table using instant glue (photo). To do this, cut or spread the cardboard in the middle, insert the edge of the ribbon there, fill it with instant glue and press the cardboard to the ribbon. Glue the pieces of ribbon in the same way to the above edges of the base of the stool-table and in the middle (also above). Using these ribbons, you can fix the top and bottom of the stool-table (by tying ribbons).

2). Cut a strip from kraft paper 2 cm thickness. To make the edges of the stool-table top look nice, glue them with kraft paper strips (fold them in half in advance) (photo).

3). So that dirt does not get into the base of the stool-table, glue the lower edges of the cardboard with strips from kraft paper (2 cm wide, fold them in half in advance) (photo).

4). Cut and glue kraft paper bags of different sizes to store small things (no more than 34 cm long, no more than 30-32 cm wide). You can use ready-made bags or envelopes. Glue them to the inner surface of the base of the stool-table (photo). There you can hide the necessary small things (paper, pens, small books, etc.).

Step 8: Install Your Cardboard Chair, Table

Practice installing and uninstalling the cardboard stool and the cardboard table.

To make the stool, form an angle of 90° between each sides of the base (open like a book), and fold the top in ¼ circles, or form the angle at 180°, and fold the top in half (½ circle). Fix the top and base by tying them with ribbons.

To make the table, rotate the sides of base 360° and tie the joined edges with ribbons. Fold out the top (circle). Also fix the top and base by tying them with ribbons.

Make the second Cardboard Stool-Table and then you can use the cardboard stool and the cardboard table in one time, or you can assemble the durable cardboard stool-table.

Step 9: Packing Your Cardboard Stool-Table

Fold all parts of your Cardboard Stool-Table and tie ribbons (photos).

Step 10: Enjoy of the Work Done

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge