Introduction: Strong and Simple Cardboard Tower

How it works: the square shape the tower, and the towers legs evenly distribute the load, and evenly carry the weight to the ground. The diagonal pieces of manilla folder, provide lateral support, and these are placed in pairs, to prevent it from tipping in one direction.

Need a cool engineering project? If so, then this is just for you. Capable of carrying a loading weight of one hundred pounds, this project, beats even a model rocket. So grab your glue, tape, and cardboard, and let's begin!


  • Duct tape
  • Manilla folders
  • Gorilla glue
  • Cardboard (a lot of it)
  • Ruler
  • Carpenter's square
  • Six clamps
  • 1-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch square steel beam, 2 feet long
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife

Step 1: Cutting the Cardboard Pieces

Begin by cutting 40 cardboard pieces, that are 3x3 inch squares. Then cut 20 pieces, that are 7x7 inch squares. Lastly, cut 16 rectangles, that are 7 inches by 9 inches.

Step 2: Folding the Cardboard Pieces

Begin by folding the 7x7 inch squares around the steel column, and securing them in place with duct tape, to form 7 inch tall columns. Slide the columns off of the steel column you used to shape them, and set them aside. Fold the sixteen 7 by 9 inch rectangles the same way, searing the edges with duct tape, to form sixteen 9 inch tall columns. Remove from steel column, and set aside.

Step 3: Cutting the Manilla Folders

Cut 2 manilla folders, into 64 1 foot by 1/2 inch strips.

Step 4: Assembly

Place 8 of the longer columns in to rows of 4, spaced 7 inches apart. Place five of the shorter columns between them, one at each joint. Place 2 diagonals running parallel to each other on each square. Place 2 of the 3x3 inch squares over each joint, and glue in place with Gorilla glue. Cover each joint with duct tape. Repeat process for all of the joints on that side.

Repeat entire process, to make an identical side.

Stand the two sides up, and glue the remaining 7 inch pieces between them, place the diagonals, and glue remaining 3x3 inch squares in place to form a 3 foot tall cardboard tower, capable of carrying a loading weight of up to 100 pounds!!

Step 5: Fully Assembled Tower

Glue & Tape Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Glue & Tape Speed Challenge