Paper Magazine File

Introduction: Paper Magazine File

About: Although I love all art in general, some of my favorites include photography, constructing practical stuff out of duct tape, and sewing up a storm. Before buying something I think twice about it, then usuall...
What can you do with paper? Paper is flimsy and fragile when flat, but after being rolled up and hot glued to a lot of other paper tubes, paper is remarkably strong and sturdy. Paper tubes open dozens of doors to projects, given their strength and density. Therefore, I decided to construct my own Paper Magazine File out of nothing but paper and hot glue! With this splendid paper project, not only will you have a beautiful conversation piece, but also a convenient way to store your magazines, books, and papers!

  • 70 sheets of printer paper
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Scotch tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife (not pictured)

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Step 1: Rolling Up the Paper Tubes

First, make 70 paper tubes using the following process:

Grab your pencil and a sheet of paper. Put the pencil on the corner of the paper and start tightly rolling the paper up with the pencil inside. Once it looks like your pencil is about to be concealed entirely by the roll of paper, slide it out and keep rolling tightly until you have rolled the entire paper up. Hold the tube with one hand as you rip a piece of tape with the other. Stick it to the roll, covering up the end on the outside. Place the tube aside and reach for another sheet of paper.

Because this process is tedious, I recommend listening to some upbeat music to keep the paper rolling!

Step 2: Gluing the Side Panels

Next, hot glue 23 paper tubes together to create a panel. To do so, start with one tube, and squirt hot glue down one side. Take another tube and stick it to the first tube, holding the pair together for a few moments to create a tight bond. Repeat this process until all 23 tubes are glued into a flat panel.

Repeat this step to create a second panel of the same number of paper tubes.

Step 3: Cutting the Panels

Now it is time to cut the side panels you have just made. Take one of the panels and, using a ruler and a pencil, draw a straight line down one jagged end of the panel. Try to make this line as close to the bottom as possible in order to save space. Next, grab your scissors, and cut along this line carefully. This should be fairly easy, because the paper tube is thickest on the middle where the paper has been rolled around numerous times. On the ends, the paper has been rolled once or twice, making it easy to cut with just scissors.  If any trouble should occur with hard-to-cut hot glue dots, simply cut them with an X-acto knife or put the tip of your glue gun on the glue dot to melt the glue once again. You should now have a straight edge.

Next, with the jagged ends facing upward, measure 4 inches up from the bottom of the panel on the right side. Mark the spot with a small dash. Now, look at the jagged top of the panel. Measure 12 inches up the side and 4 inches from the left top, and draw a similar line as you did for the bottom edge that is 4 inches wide. Now place your ruler with one end on the top 4-inch mark and the other end on the lower right side of the panel's 4-in tall mark. Hold the ruler as you draw a thick diagonal pencil line connecting the marks. Do this multiple times to get a bold line.

After you have marked the panel accordingly, start cutting along the line at the lower right mark with scissors and your X-acto knife. This can be difficult, especially since the middle of the tube is the thickest part. Work carefully to saw through the layers of paper. I began with a standard X-acto knife and then switched to one with a thick handle and a square-like blade because this knife could punch easily through the layers. Continue along the line, ripping off the upper tubes as you go. Once you get to the horizontal edge line, you can return to using your scissors. You have finished cutting your paper panel!

Repeat this step for the second paper panel. After you are done cutting, you may want to erase your pencil lines for a cleaner look and touch up your glue joints.

Step 4: Gluing the Small Panels

Next, grab 8 paper tubes. Hot glue these tubes together as you did before. You should have a small panel. Make 2 more of these small panels until you have 3 equally sized panels. On each panel, draw edge lines as close to the top and bottom as you can. Cut along these lines until you have straight edges on each panel.

Step 5: Cutting the Small Panels

Out of your 3 panels, one will not have to be cut, as it already has the correct measurements. It should be about 12 inches tall. The second panel should be cut to about 10 inches tall. Mark a horizontal line as before with your pencil, and use a combination of scissors and X-acto knife to cut it. The third panel should be cut to 4 inches tall. Unfortunately, vigorous sawing with your knife in the near middle may cause some glue joints to pop off and tubes to come loose. Apply more hot glue where needed to ensure a strong panel.

Step 6: Assemblage

Now it is time to assemble your Paper Magazine File! Position the 5 pieces as I have in the picture shown. The bottom piece is the 10-inch tall small panel. The back piece is the tallest small panel. The front piece is the 4-inch tall small panel. The sides are the largest panels. Position them with the shortest end facing the front.

Take the back piece, and hot glue it to the back of the bottom piece. This is the hardest piece to glue because you have to wait for the glue to dry for it to be self-standing. Grab a trash can or box and lean the back piece against it. Next, glue along the bottom's side edge and the back's side edge facing you. Pick up the side and stick it firmly to the two pieces. Once this is dry, you can place the magazine file on the table with the side you just glued facing down. Touch up the glue joints with more glue for strength. Now glue along the opposite two edges than you just glued, and stick the second side down. After doing so, you can set the magazine file upright. To glue the front, squeeze hot glue onto the three inner edges, and push the short 4-inch tall front into place. Hold it there for a minute, as this finishing piece will want to pop out or bend due to the support it is adding.

Step 7: You Are Done!

Congratulations, you have finished your completely paper magazine file! Notice how strong and sturdy it is. Fill your Paper Magazine File with magazines, books, papers, and folders. It will be a conversation piece of art in your house as well as a convenient storage container. You could even make one for a friend! Enjoy!

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