Cardboard Coffee Table

Moving to a new house I was in need of a new coffee table. Having all the packing boxes lying around I thought why not I use these cardboard to make a table? At first I wanted to build the table from scratch – by using the cardboard sheets. Then I realized that I have one big cardboard box I use to store my stuff. It will be easier to modify that box to become a table than to create one from nil. However I was reluctant to lose my storage box for a coffee table so I decided to combine both – a storage box + coffee table.

The idea is to cut down the box height, add cardboard tube as support and use the box top cover as the table top. The table top can be slide open to access the table storage.

The design sketch.

As for the material, I use a huge corrugated cardboard box. It’s a half-slotted container (HSC) type which you remove the top cover. The cover is ideal to be turned into a table top. I decided to use cardboard tubes as the table legs and some cardboard angles as the guide rail.

The box.

The first step would be to trim the box and create the'beam' to support the table top. To make it easy I just folded the cardboard's edge and turned it into support beam.

The beam.

Next for the table legs. I simply removed about a quarter of tube's circumference. This will make the tubes fit in easily into the corner edges. 

The legs.

Making the table top consumed the most time in this project. Although the idea is simple, I have a hard time with the execution. What I did was cut the top cover into halves, fold it over into a cuboid shape, and then fill it with cardboard strips to strengthen it. This shape was then enclosed in another cardboard as the cover. The challenge is to make the two identical cuboids aligned with each other once installed. However, working with cardboard, even with all those measurements and calculations you tend to mess up with the final product. So in the end I completed the table top even tough the shape is not properly aligned and straight.

The table top.

The mechanism of opening and closing of the table top is simple. I use the cardboard angle is the guide rail, sliding it will open the compartment. An L-shape hole has to be made on the table side however, in order to make the guide rail to slide open. It’s not a prefect mechanism, in fact some time it won’t slide open easily. But as long as it works, I’m happy with it.

The sliding mechanism.

I’ve been in a dilemma about the table’s body for a while. I like white furniture so I intended to paint it whole white. So I covered the holes with putty filler and painted the box with white paint. But then it still looks too cardboard-ish so I get some wallpaper and stick it to the cardboard instead.

Cardboard Desktop Lamp II

This is a revisit of the Cardboard Desktop Lamp project that I did few years back. In this revision I made some design changes albeit the shape of the lamp remains the same. 

First, I make it bigger with total height of 284 mm and 274 mm width. That is around 60% increase in size compared to the first version. 

Second, I make this version as a type of convertible lamp; it can be use either folded or unfolded. Similar as the previous lamp, the unfolded lamp will open all the flaps and gives you a segmented light. Meanwhile the folded lamp is when the lamp remained folded and gives you a direct light. This gives an option on how to display the lighting based on your preferences. 

In contrast with previous design, I add in a so called ‘base support’; which is a piece of cardboard which holds the lamp in its folded or unfolded form. There are slotted tabs at the lamp base to fit in this support.

The material used for this lamp is still the same good old cardboard. I intended to use different material for this, which is poly-foam but in the end I didn’t have the time to realize it. Perhaps I’ll do that in the future version.

In previous version I used A4 craft paper to cover for the lamp. However due to the bigger size I coudn’t find bigger size craft paper for this project so I use A3 envelope instead. 

In folded form the bulb holder is fitted tightly onto the lamp while in unfolded form the holder will sits in the center void. This makes the holder to tilt when the lamp is unfold, and had to be fix manually to make it sit up right. Another flaw in the design I know, I have to think on how to improve this in the future version.

Here are the photos of the completed Cardboard Desktop Lamp II:

Shipping Container Tissue Box

It’s been a while since I last work on miniature project. I intended to make a miniature project with a purpose or function. After some thought I decided to make a tissue cover box in the shape of a shipping container. The idea is not anything new, you can find these shipping container cum tissue box at Amazon such as this one:
Decor Metal Container Shipping Tissue. 
Yes, this is the product name listed in the Amazon page.
(Photo Credit:

At first I draw the 3D model in Sketchup, then unfold and flatten it using Papekura to make the papercraft template. Soon after I found that my design is too complex and made it difficult to build with 200gsm paper.

The initial sketch of how the model supposed to look.

So I considered my design as a fail project and put the idea on hold until – a Google search months later lead me to lasercutcard website. They sell tabletop wargames accessories using laser-cut card stock, inclusive of a shipping container. What excites me is that how simple the design is, they use 1mm card stock to build up layers of detail.

Shipping Container by lasercutcard.
(Photo Credit:

About the same time I encountered this solution I found a blogpost about shipping container modeling. The plastic model was painted and hair brushed with extreme details that it looks like the real thing!

Guntruck Factory Shipping Container by miniaturecreationsbymatt72.

Based on lasercutcard design I draw a new set of templates for my tissue box. I’m going to use mounting board as the material, which left me with two choices. First, mounting board comes with multi-colored boards – I can just choose what color that I want and no further painting work is needed. Or second, I use the normal white-color board and paint it over with a rusty effect – just like the Guntruck Factory Shipping Container.

The revised design of the Shipping Container Tissue Box.

As much as I wanted to do the second option, I knew that I’m not good at painting and afraid that I might screw things up. In the end I made up my mind and go ahead for the second option. If I mess things up I can just build another one. That’s the beauty of cardboard/paper modeling. =)

 All the Parts.

Cutting up the Parts.

Building the Parts.

Next I painted the whole box white with Pelaka craft paint. Two layers of coating is enough because the board is already white. The hardest part for me is to paint the MAERSK logo as I need to use small brush paint.

Paint job done!

It turns out to look quite good and I’m so happy with it. But I’m not done yet. The biggest challenge is to add the rusty effect with only paint brushes, which I’ve never done before. Following online tips and the photos of the Guntruck Factory Shipping Container I tried my luck in creating a rusty shipping container.

First I add a grey tone to the box to indicates the wear and tear. Next I use the sponge brush to dab a little brown paint over the edges, holes and circles as this is the place where rust usually formed. Lastly I add a watered-down orange paint over the brown spots to complete the rusty effect.
And the final looks is truly amazing!! Well, at least it is for me. Lol =)

Modular Cardboard Shelves

Hi everyone! 

This will be my second post on cardboard furniture following my first project on this theme; the Modular Honeycomb Shelves. I’m planning to turn this theme into a series of project; so you can expect more post on cardboard furniture soon. I’ve been moving to a new home and I’m in need of new racks and shelves to put in my stuff. Having a lot of cardboard packaging boxes lying around the house I decided to recycle those into shelves instead. The idea came from a storage module designed by Dany Gilles.

(Photo Credit:

I use the same idea and design of that Stri-Cube to create my own template. I’ve made some changes with the design; the size is smaller, the interlocking system is simpler, and the number of parts is reduced. The best thing about this shelves is that its modular; and I love modular furniture. With modular shelves, I can build few shelf units at first, and I can expand it anytime I wanted to. Plus, its an efficient space saver. You can fit it anywhere you want, either on that small corner of the house or on that huge space inside living room.

As for the design, I removed the side support from the original Stri-Cube. The reason is that I want to have fewer parts to assemble a single shelf unit; as it can saves on material and time. The top and bottom support is important though, as it supports the weight of the items you’re going to put on that shelf. And since the shelves are going to be stack together anyway, I decided that the side support wasn’t necessary.

The material used are double corrugated wall cardboard for the body and support; since it is durable and tough. The front and back cover use a single wall corrugated cardboard sheet.

To assemble one shelf unit I need to cut out 14 pieces of parts. And for this project I only built 6 shelf units because I’m out of double corrugated wall cardboard. So total number of parts that I have to cut out from the cardboard are 14 times 6, which is 84 parts. Total number of hours to do that? One whole weekend. Lol.

The best part of this project is to assemble the shelf unit. You don’t need any glue, accept for the front and back cover. The rest of the parts are connected by interlocking each other.

Now that I have completed the shelves I can use it to store my books and other stuff. And I can add more shelves later on if I need to expand the storage. Stay tune for my other cardboard furniture project! =)

Hot Glue Rings

This is another project that I made for Instructables – specifically for the Glue Contest. The contest is about anything you make with glue, and my first plan is to make a fridge magnet with hot glue. To be exact I wanted to make Captain America shield fridge magnet. The idea is to shape the shield using plasticine, then make a mold of it using the common silicone caulk/sealant. After that I can melt the hot glue onto the mold to produce the shield. What I don’t anticipated is that plasticine and silicone caulk doesn’t mix well. It turned into a smelly gooey stuff instead. A curious reading afterward explains that plasticine contains sulfur which inhibits the curing of silicone. Failed experiment.

Did not willing to admit defeat I changed the silicone caulk with white PVA glue as the mold. It turned out that the glue took forever (I’ve waited for days) to cure. And I didn't want to bake it in the oven afraid of what the outcome might be. Failed experiment #2.

After finally admitting defeat I change the plan – what else I can make with hot glue? I was scratching my ring finger when the idea came to me – ring finger...yes, ring! So I googled a bit and found an awesome project by Allison Murray. She melt the hot glue with some swirl design and turn it into a ring. You can read more about it here

Putting my DIY hat on I try my hands at making the hot glue ring, only to encounter two big problems:

problem #1: Surface to work on

The original idea of making the glue ring is by melting the glue on a non-sticky surface, create your design, then peel off the hot glue from the surface. Some people recommend glass while others suggests the use of wax paper and parchment paper. However I found out that my hot glue seems to stick to everything – glass, wax paper, tiles etc.

problem #2: Design with hot glue

If you ever use hot glue, you would know that it’s hard to make a design with it. Even if you’re able to create a neat design with it, once you peel it off the surface the glue will stretch out and you end up with an ugly shape.

After testing with different surfaces I discovered that hot glue doesn’t stick to metal/aluminium surface. So the idea came to me that I perhaps can melt the glue on a piece of paper, then roll over a metal rod (i used a tyre wrench) on it. The harden glue is easily peel off from the rod. 

Next I used hair dryer to soften the surface and rolled over the rod again until it’s flat. 

With this “flatten hot glue” I can further shape it into a ring. I simply cut about 3cm of width of the flatten glue and bend it circle. Both ends are then melted together to complete the ring shape. 

Although I was satisfied with the ring I wish to decorate it further because it looks too plain. So I looked into my craft tools and realize that I might be able to use the craft punch to make a design/shape on the flatten glue I made earlier. But of course in order for the flatten glue to be inserted into the craft punch opening it had to be made thinner, and flatter. So I heat the flatten glue again and roll over the metal rod  - and do it over and over again until it was thin enough. With that I can use the craft punch to make a flower pattern and a motif punch.

The rings look fantastic by itself but I thought of painting it just for fun. I sprayed over a chrome color acrylic paint for the “punched” ring and hand paint the “flower” ring. It might not look like the real stuff but the hot glue rings does look fabulous! =)

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