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.

As for the table top I ended up with the idea of using craft sticks as the top cover. Yep, craft sticks. Apparently I have a lot of those in my storage, remnants from my past projects (read mini cargo crates, mini wooden pallets, frame clock). I just cut the sticks into variable length and glue it horizontally on the top cover. It does use up a lot of craft sticks for this one. I ended up using 5 packets of it, a total of 250 craft sticks!

And there you have it, a cardboard box & a coffee table fuse into one! Actually it looks more like a chest table to me. Hmmm. Nevermind! Now I have my coffee table while keeping my storage compartment. =)


June 2017
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