Pop Up Corner Shelf





Introduction: Pop Up Corner Shelf

About: I love working with my hands and Instructable is just the perfect place for me to share and learn.

My daughter came to me wanting me to design and build a portable corner shelf for her small dorm room. She wanted something small and light so she can easily take it down whenever necessary.

A corner shelf that is light and portable which can be taken down and reuse anytime? That was a challenge, I thought to myself, to which I gladly accepted. I love recycling and with this challenge in mind, I know what to use. We have a bunch of tri-folds that my kids used during middle-school. I saved those in the basement, thinking that I will use them in the future. Today is that perfect day!

Step 1: Gather the Materials

1. New or used Tri-Fold Display Board

2. Straight Edge

3. Ruler

4. Marker

5. Box Cutter

6. Small screw (needed to to make a compass)

7. Paint

8. Foam Brush

9. Couple of nails

Step 2: Draw the Plan

I'm thinking of a Pop Up Card for my shelf idea. Pop it up to be used and fold it for storage.

I used Google Sketchup to figure out the exact dimension of my design. The design is based on the dimension of a half-sheet of Tri-Fold which is 4' x 3'. The dimensions are provided but they're very small as you'll notice in
the figure. Please don't hesitate to message me for the exact dimension.

I chose a 3-tier shelf for my design, however the design is very flexible that you can have any number of tiers big or small. If you don't have a lot of space, a single tier shelf might be appropriate. If you want the shelf to stand on its own, a thicker board like a foam board should be used for stability. As a good example, you can have a free-standing shelf in an office cubicle which rests in one corner of an office table.

Step 3: Layout

Transfer the Sketchup layout onto the tri-fold. I used a piece of cardboard and small screw to draw the arc(ordinary compass is too small). Using a box cutter, carefully cut the dashed lines. Don't worry about the unnecessary marks as you'll paint over it later on.

Step 4: Paint

I painted the shelf to create a good impact. You can go crazy on the paint and choose whatever color you want. You can even glaze it to have a two-tone paint. My daughter's favorite color is Lavender so I used it to color the shelf. You don't need to paint the whole underside, just paint the part that will be shown which are the top of the shelves.

Step 5: Hang and Enjoy!

Tadah! This is the best part. You can hang the shelf as soon as the the paint dries. I just used a couple of nails to hang it on the corner.

Some thoughts -

This design is unique, simple, yet very effective. Even kids can do this with the proper adult supervision since it involves using a box cutter. However, the design can me modified to make it look more elegant.

The shelf is unbelievably strong even if is made of cardboard. If you feel like you need something stronger, double it by gluing another sheet of tri-fold.

I feel very good about this project because I upcycled something. The paint that I used is a sample paint from the big box store. The foam brush has been used from previous projects. This project basically cost me nothing. The look on my daughter's face - Priceless!

Papercraft Contest 2015

Runner Up in the
Papercraft Contest 2015



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    17 Discussions

    Awesome idea! I love taking "garbage" and creating something rather that spend money at a store for the same results. Do you have any more inventions you could share?

    1 reply

    Thanks Erinmom! Yes, I'll be posting some ideas soon.

    this is mind-blowing! i'll have a try some for my son's bedroom :)
    i got some coroplast board, it may be sturdier and child proof than cardboard :)

    1 reply

    Thanks Riffifi! Coroplast might be an excellent choice. Please message me if you make one for your son.

    good job, I will definitely use this in my dorm. :P

    1 reply

    Thanks Frankie! I would be glad to send you the exact dimensions.

    Awesome! Does it need to be fastened to the wall or can it stand in the corner on its own (assuming it is tall enough)?

    1 reply

    Thanks earlyflyer! Yes, it can stand on its own on the corner. This would be perfect in an office cubicle, sitting on top of the table in one of the corners.

    This is a clever shelf design; I like it a lot!

    You've got a couple of empty steps hanging on there at the end . . . you can edit and delete those if you wanted to ;)

    2 replies

    Ah, looks nice and tidy now! :)