Newspaper Into Book Shelf




About: I love life and learning! I'd like to post instructables more often but it is quite hard for me as I'm disabled by my disease (kidney failure which cause chronic anemia, high bp too). But I really enjoy lurk...

In the sea of ideas that I had for this contest, finally a book shelf made out of newspapers deserved fruition for many reasons.

It is the cheapest project I could think of which was still challenging enough (driven by imagination and dexterity of hands). It is made out of recyclable material and is completely bio-degradable (this shelf can also be made and made 'easier' with the use of staple pins, tape etc. but I consciously avoided these elements). The basic property of newsprint paper is that it is flimsy and tears easily, hence it was exciting to change this property making it exactly the opposite - strong, sturdy, hard to cut even with scissors and good enough to make furniture!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Making Tubes Out of Newspaper

For this project, you'll need :

1. Newspapers (around 60 sheets)

2. Scissors

3. Glue

4. 10cm X 10cm cardboard paper

As shown in the pictures above, start with taking a center page of a newspaper.

Hold a corner of the paper and start turning it inwards using your thumb and forefinger (like rolling a carpet).

Mid way, apply a drop of glue on the paper, continue rolling over the glue.

Keep rolling the paper in the same motion until the paper finishes.

Seal with some glue, hold for 2-3 seconds to let the glue dry.

Now you have a long tube of newspaper which is quite strong and sturdy.

Make around 60-70 such tubes, don't worry, they are really simple and quick to make. I made all watching a few Simpsons episodes, once you get a hang they are rather effortless to make.

Step 2: Cutting Tubes to Desirable Shelf Length

Group 10-12 tubes together. These will form the base and height of your book shelf. I decided to cut these tubes to give me the maximum length possible (roughly 60-70 cms).

Use two tubes to visualize the shelf length. With a pen, draw a straight line to mark the same. For this you can use a tube as a ruler of sorts.

Cut on the pen markings. Now you have several tubes of exactly the same length. Repeat until all 70 tubes are cut.

Sparing 30 tubes, cut the remaining tubes in further half. Now you have 30 long tubes and 60 small tubes.

Step 3: Gluing Tubes Together

Take around 10 of the long cut tubes and apply glue on their sides.

On a flat surface, start placing them next to each other, side by side so they all stick together. Make 2 such sets of long tubes. Now you've used all of your long tubes and only the half sized 60 tubes are remaining.

Next, take a half sized tube and apply glue on all its sides except the top.

Take 1 set of long tubes you prepared previously and place this glue laden half tube between the 1st and 2nd long tubes of the set on one end. Press slightly so it sticks in the crevice of the two. Repeat this process until there are half tubes between 2nd and 3rd long tubes, 3rd and 4th and so on.

When you're done with placing the first layer of half tubes on the set, proceed with making a second layer again with half tubes. Repeat until you've made 3 layers, thus using around 27-30 tubes.

This structure will start acquiring a pyramid shape of sorts, hence there will be lesser tubes on top.

When you're finished with this set, take the other set and repeat the entire procedure.

Step 4: Tracing the Base

In the previous step, you've created a strong base with the short tubes. Now erect the entire structure on this base.

Place this base on cardboard paper and trace.

Cut the tracing.

Step 5: Forming the Supporting Sides of Shelf

Now you have a cardboard piece shaped something like a rhombus. Apply glue on one side of this piece.

Your structure is standing on the base such that you can see the top of all the small tubes. Apply glue on these tops.

Next, take the cardboard piece and stick in on the tops of the small tubes. Press and hold for a 1-2 minutes to secure bond.

Now you have what looks like the second picture above.

Repeat with the other set. These two structures will form either supporting sides of your book shelf. These are the 'height' of your shelf.

Step 6: Gluing Shelf Base/ Length

At this point, you're left with about 10 long cut tubes. Take one of them and apply glue on one end.

Place this glued end in the middle of the cardboard paper. Press tightly and hold for 3-5 minutes. Securing the bond here is very vital to the strength of the book shelf.

When it has dried completely, take 2 more long tubes and stick in the same way on either sides of the central tube. Apply glue on the stray ends of all 3 central tubes.

Erect this structure carefully.

Take the second set you had prepared and position it at the stray end of the central tubes. Stick the stray ends to the cardboard of this set, in the center. Press tightly and hold for a few minutes until all the glue is dry.

You now have the base where you'll keep books, but it is only three tubes wide which is not enough so we'll now start adding more tubes.

Step 7: Completing the Base and the Shelf

As before, take a long tube and apply glue on its sides and on the ends (as the sides will stick to the adjacent tubes while the ends will stick to the cardboard).

Place the tube next to the 'base' tubes in the center. Press to stick to this 'base' and tube ends to the cardboard.

Repeat until you no longer have any cardboard left to stick tube ends.

Let it all dry very well. Leave for about an hour to be sure.

You have just created your very own organic, superbly cheap and sleek book shelf!

Step 8: Putting the Book Shelf to Use!

Choose your favorite books and enjoy your new creation!

Step 9:

On a Budget Contest

Participated in the
On a Budget Contest

Guerilla Design Contest

Participated in the
Guerilla Design Contest



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    14 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Did you substitute gift wrapping paper or magazine paper for your tutorial photos?


    3 years ago

    Did you substitute gift wrapping paper or magazine paper for your tutorial photos?


    3 years ago

    I was getting bored after my exams so searched this website for something WOW. So thanks to you I got this awesome stuff to do as my bookshelf had started to overflow.

    Book Girl

    4 years ago

    what glue did you use


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That's a very good question. To make this structure strong, the tubes must be rolled as tightly as one possibly can and a strong glue should be used. This one can decently support up to 3.5 kgs of books. If one wishes to increase the kilos, more layers of short tubes should be added to the supporting sides and/or the height of the structure can be reduced.


    4 years ago

    Great use of newspaper!