Introduction: Cardboodle

I recently purchased a multi-drawer storage cabinet, so that I can store all my loose supplies for my Arts and Crafts project. The storage cabinet wasn't the high-end, but the cardboard box it came was clean and strong. Since I love to repurpose/upcycle using recycle materials whenever possible, I decide to make cardboard caboodle; My very own, very first "Cardboodle"!

This "Cardboodle" project is fun to do, easy to make, it's practical and pretty. The best of all, it's repurposed from the recycled material.

So, let me show you all how I made this "Cardboodle" step by step.

I would like to hear your comments.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

  • Cardboard
  • White School Glue
  • Decoupage Paper (old newspaper, maps, magazine, etc.)
  • Packing Tape or Duct Tape
  • Hot Glue or E6000 Glue - Any glue that can hold a button and/or Velcro. I preferred E6000 glue.
  • Brush - I prefer using disposable Sponge Brush
  • Machine Screws, Washer, Screw Nuts - Need about 3 of each item.
  • Sepia/Brown color paint - 0.5oz (approx 3 teaspoons) - Water based paint. I used Acrylic Artist Paint.
  • Rag
  • Velcro - approx 1"(W) x 2"(L)
  • Decorative Button (Optional)
  • Mod Podge or Polyurethane to seal the decoupage - I preferred Mod Podge. No particular reason other than it's a personal choice.
  • Small Dish/Container - big enough to dip the brush
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Screw Driver
  • Box Knife - Any knife or blade that can cut Cardboard.

The most of the items listed above are common household items, so you may already have it.

Step 2: Cut the Cardboard

Cut the cardboard to fit the project dimension. At this stage, it doesn't have match the exact measurements.

I am using the 2 pieces; #1 and #2 from the cut.

Step 3: Measure, Mark and Cut for the Bottom Part of the "Cardboodle"

In Step 2, I saved #1 and #2 pieces of the Cardboard. I am using the #1 piece for the bottom part of the "Cardboodle" and #2 piece for the top/flap cover for the "Cardboodle".

So, it's time to measure accurately and mark the line to cut. In this project, I used the following measurements.

Front of the box height = 9 inches, Back of the box height = 10 inches.

The side height is slightly slanted when we draw the line from the front side height to the back side height.

Step 4: Measure, Mark and Cut for the Cover (Top Flap)

In Step 2, I saved #2 piece for this purpose.

  • Open the cardboard and put it over the bottom piece that we just made in Step 3.
  • Since this piece is to cover the bottom piece, make a mark where the bottom pieces meet the top on all 4 corners. - Refer to the photo shown.
  • Once marking is done, draw the line. (This will be the fold line, so we don't cut them. We just score the cardboard, so that it can easily bend.)
  • On the back side, add 1 inch from the fold line and draw the line. (This is the cut line)
  • On the front side, add 3 inches from the fold line and draw the line. (This is the cut line) *** Note: Making the rounded corner is for the aesthetic purpose, so it's an optional step.
  • Once all lines are marked, score the inner lines and cut the outer lines. - Refer to the photo shown.

Step 5: Connecting the Top and the Bottom Pieces

Now, it is time to put the top (flap/cover) piece to the bottom piece using the machine screws.

It's a simple process. Just mark 3 spots (2 at the each end and 1 in the middle) on the back of the flap. Drill the hole. Use the screw to attach the top and the bottom piece together. - Refer to the photo.

Do not use the power screwdriver. I would prefer to use manual screwdriver and hand tighten the screws

Step 6: Beautifying and Final Touch!

The structure of My "Cardboodle" is done. But it's not nearly presentable. So, it's time to put a makeup on this baby!

It can be painted, but I have decided to decoupage it. I also want to give this an old look, so I used the old rag to apply a sepia tone water based artist paint to stain the decoupage.


  • Find the papers to use for decoupage. I used the old map that laying around and a couple of leftover pieces of papers from other crafting projects.
  • Tear the papers by hand. The papers don't have to be any particular shape. When I glued the pieces of the papers, many of them are overlapping, so the shapes of the papers are little matter.
  • Put plain school white glue in the small container and add a little water. The diluting the glue ratio: 4 (glue): 1 (water).
  • Use the brush and glue the papers to the box in a random pattern. Make sure to glue every surface of the paper. I put glue on the box as well as the paper so that papers will glue to the box without coming apart.

Secure the folded area with the tape:

  • Apply the packing tape or the duct tape to the fold area of the flap. The cover will be open and close as we start to use the box, so I want to make sure the folds on the cover will stay without coming apart. I prefer using the packing tape. It seems to blend in with paper decoupage better than the silver duct tape. But If I used the duct tape for this project, I would apply the tape first, then decoupage over the tape.

Stain the paper to achieve the 'old look':

  • Let it dry about an hour before using the stain. In a small container, I add about 2 part paint and 4 part water. Dip the rag in prepared stain and apply over the decoupage in wiping motion. If the stain is too strong, add more water to dilute.
  • When decoupage and stain process is done, wait until it is completely dry. I usually wait about 4-6 hours.

Seal to protect the surface:

  • After decoupage and the stain are completely dry, apply two coats of "Mod Podge" to seal and protect the "Cardboodle".
  • Again, wait for the sealer to dry. Mod Podge dries quite quickly.

Final Touch:

  • Finally, I add the decorative button at the front flap and the Velcro on the inside flap to secure closure. I used E6000 glue for this. E6000 glue works on the most surface and once it is dried, it holds items well.

Step 7: Time to Show Off!

I love how my "Cardboodle" turns out and it's time to show off!

  • It is a large enough to hold multiple items.
  • It's a tall and wide enough to store the odd size items that are hard to find the place to store. It can store up to 5 oversized shampoo bottles and conditioner bottles.
  • It's pretty to display out in the open.
  • I am proud of this piece and how it turns out. This is an Upcycle from the Recycle material. I am sure it is a conversational piece for sure.
Papercraft Contest 2017

Participated in the
Papercraft Contest 2017

Cardboard Contest 2017

Participated in the
Cardboard Contest 2017

Be the First to Share


    • Mason Jar Speed Challenge

      Mason Jar Speed Challenge
    • Pumpkin Challenge

      Pumpkin Challenge
    • Halloween Contest

      Halloween Contest

    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    You could add a carrier strap for work on the go. Just bolt some webbing on the ends near the top.


    Reply 3 years ago

    That's good idea. I thought about that as well. But when I made this item, I was only thinking about storing odd size items and put it on the countertop as a part of decor and the same time, It serve as the storage. I purchase huge size shampoos and conditioners and it's aways been issue for me to store them. The normal shelf space (height wise), it doesn't fit and I had to lay it flat on the shelf to store them. Then, there is a waste of space above, etc. This container solved that problem.

    Thanks for mentioning the strap Perhaps, I will make one with straps in near future. Of course, I have to think through how to reinforce the area where strap need to be attached. Something made with cardbaord material may not be suitable for work on the go, but we'll see...


    Reply 3 years ago

    Maybe, try gluing on an extra layer of cardboard and then fasten the strap through both layers. I am imagining a pair of grommets. Might work.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you! I am happy to say this is working out well for me. I place this on bathroom shelf and store oversize bottles and other small odd size bathroom supplies. It is holding very well even with humidity in the bathroom.

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    That looks really nice. I am going to try to make one of these.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!

    If you do make one, I would love to see it.