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! =)

Modular Honeycomb Shelves

Hi folks! Today I’m going to share with you something out of the norm of this blog. Instead of doing craft, lets do a DIY furniture. Yep, we’re talking about furniture here. Made of cardboard.

This is actually a project that I did for a contest in Instructables for Cardboard. You can read more about it here. I wouldn’t get into construction details here, you can read the full steps in the Instructables instead. So I came out with this idea when I was trying to design a shoe rack. I chose honeycomb structure because – well, its just look so cool. Honeycomb shelf/rack  is common anyway, you can find several design as per below:

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit: Handmade Riot)

(Photo Credit:

My problem is to get the right material for it. Using wood is out of the picture since I do not have power tools, and I’m bad at woodworking. So I turned to my favorite material, cardboard; and tries to figure out how to turn it into a shoe rack. The idea is to glue together 2 layers of cupboard in order to make it stronger. Then i remembered this photo about an IKEA hack.

(Photo Credit:

In which several box shelves attached together using just a paper binder clip. Now that’s a brilliant idea!

Using the paper clip, I can built multiple hexagon shelf as a single unit and attach it together to create a honeycomb shelf. What’s better is that I can rearrange the shape as however I want – so  it can fit in any space.

The next problem is making a cardboard hexagon shelf. After a few trials and errors I came out with the idea of sandwiching a corrugated cardboard with a normal cardboard. This will turns the cardboard as a wood plank shape. The corrugated cardboard will provide the structure’s strength, while the cardboard will give the smooth surface that I need.

It turns out that the design does works – but in small size. Meaning that it would not be suitable for a shoe rack, so I turned it into a modular shelf instead =p . There are two reasons why I cannot make it any bigger. One; the larger and longer the cardboard is, the less stable the structure is. This is of course can be solved by adding more layer of cardboard, but then came reason number two. Two; I was bound with the clamp width of the binder clip. I’ve searched for the largest binder clip that I can found, and even that only have a maximum of 1 inch of clamp width. So in order to attach two shelves together, the thickness of the single shelf cannot exceed half an inch. Since I was restricted with the thickness of the cardboard, I went ahead with a smaller size of the shelf unit.

The final dimension is; 266 mm length x 187 mm height x 150 mm depth.

At first I want to cover the shelf with some colored or pattern paper, but in the end I paint the whole thing to protect the cardboard. Before that I have to fill in the gap between the joints using a putty filler. I just use the normal filler found in the hardware store, and surprisingly its working well with cardboard. Sanding with sandpaper was later needed to smooth the surface. For the final finishing I used acrylic spray paint.

And here are the finished product.

This is the magical item that binds it all together =) .With it I can freely organize the honeycomb shape.

Gift Packet [Template]

Today I’m going to share a free printable: a simple template for red packet/envelope. For those of you who don’t know what a red packet is, it is a gift (usually money) in an envelope presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings, holidays and festivals. It originates from the Chinese culture but have been adopted well in other culture throughout the Asia. And for that reason I've named this template as a Gift Packet.

The gift packet design itself is fairly simple, it’s an envelope with a size of a dollar bill. You can download the template here:

Now that you got the template here's what you need:

 - Scissor
 - Art knife (or a normal cutter/pen knife)
 - Glue
 - Wrapping paper (or any pattern paper)

And here is my suggestion on how you use the template. Print it out on a thicker paper or a card stock, cut it out and use it as template. Then trace this template on your wrapping paper. A roll of wrapping paper can do up to 5 or 6 number of this packet.

In my case I use a clear cover sheet as the template.

My recommendation is that when you trace the template do it on the blank side of the wrapping paper. It will save you from having to rub the pencil mark than if you did it on the patterned side of the paper.

Cut out the wrapping paper, fold according to the line and glue it, and you’re done! It’s that simple.

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