Make Furniture With Cardboard!

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About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

Intro: Make Furniture With Cardboard!

A small end or occasional table is always handy to have around. so I decided to make this project and will enter it in the Gorilla glue contest as well.

Step 1: Draw the Design

I just do a rough drawing, saves time, and no need for a CAD program.

Step 2: Gather the Cardboard and Other Materials

From my stock of cardboard (I always replenish my supply as I make things), I select the pieces I will need for the end table.

Step 3: Design Is Transferred to Cardboard

I use a pencil to draw my design. For circle cuts, I use a plate or saucer or any other round object of the correct size. Straight lines are drawn with any available straight edge.

Step 4: Cut Out Pieces

The bandsaw is my main tool for cutting cardboard! Of course, I have scissors, box cutter knives, mat cutters, and my own cutting tool. What ever works, the goal is to make clean cuts that are accurate.

Step 5: Glue Pieces Together As Needed

For the side pieces, I glued 4 pieces of cardboard together. Alternating the "grain" of the cardboard will increase the strength considerably. For the lower shelf, 4 pieces were used as well. For the top, I used 4 layers. The back is made up of two pieces.

Step 6: Test Pieces to See That Your Design Is Valid

Try to put the pieces together to make sure everything lines up properly. With the "dado" groove for the bottom shelf, the pieces should hold together to check alignment.

Step 7: Glue All Pieces for Final Assembly

Glue the project together. I use a T-square as shown to check for squareness, and insure that the piece will be assembled to true square.

Step 8: Finish Edges of Exposed Cardboard.

In this step, I just cut strips of craft paper (actually a grocery bag) that fit the edge exactly. This is glued on and allowed to dry.

Step 9: Choose a Finish for the End Table/Magazine Holder

Any of a number of finishes can be used, depending on the look you want to achieve. Acrylic paints are an excellent choice. Using basic painting techniques, a faux-wood look can be achieved quite easily. Or, you might want to cover it with colored papers, cloth, oil based stain, etc. That choice is up to you!

Gorilla Glue Cardboard Contest

First Prize in the
Gorilla Glue Cardboard Contest

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    206 Discussions

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    jonno51

    10 months ago

    Awe-inspiring!

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    Onixgato

    2 years ago

    It looks to me that you can make pretty neat speaker enclosures this way. What do you think?

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    FliteStudentOnixgato

    Reply 1 year ago

    That has promise, with lamination that provides strength. Have you had a chance to try this?

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    sunnydays140

    1 year ago

    middle top of gorgeous wood table with curved antique solid maple legs.the top edges got wet inside the solid wood border of a huge dining table. i went to chip off the veneer and found freaking paper or cardboard underneath. please dont make cardboard furniture with veneer. people who refinish furniture waste money on stuff like this thinking we can strip paint fix veneer and make it look good again. what am i going to do with a solid maple table with ruined middle paper top covered with chipped veneer...

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    efgal

    2 years ago

    This is so nice, amazing it's "just" cardboard! One question I have it regarding weight. Do you have an idea of how the weight of such a piece would compare to something similar made out of plywood or MDF? And thanks for the clearly done tute!

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    Creativemanefgal

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for the comments! It;s very light, maybe 1/5 the weight or even less, than lumber would be.

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    ArnaudM

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! What kind of finish/paint should I use if I want to make smooth but solid surface for a desk? Thanks!

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    CreativemanArnaudM

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    I would do it the way I finished this piece. Desks usually have desk pads to protect the surface, anyway. good luck and thanks for the comment!

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    butterfly_5

    3 years ago

    @prinncess00 look on Pinterest they have a couch.
    Now instructions, but if you can do this then I'm sure you can draft a plan. I challenge you to do it and share here!! Make sure you send it to me!!!

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    butterfly_5

    3 years ago

    This is awesome!!! Please send me more things you have made with cardboard.
    Such as cabinets, shelves, even a magazine rack??
    This will be awesome to put in the waiting are of my interior design business. Thanks!!!!!

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    starwarsgeek1

    4 years ago

    this freakin awsome um going to have to make one of these for definite for my brothers birthday

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    rnel1

    4 years ago on Introduction

    You are a genius. Thank you for sharing, love it