Modular Honeycomb Shelves [Template]

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.

I built a total of 6 units of hexagon shelves, which in my opinion is the minimum number to create a nice honeycomb shelves.

I do concern about the strength of the joint, which was only held by glue. I will improve this design for better stability and strength, and hopefully I can make it bigger. Because I still need that shoe rack =)

.:update on Dec-2016:.

This project is finalists in two contests in Instructables:

  • Third Prize for the Cardboard Contest 2016
  • Runner Up for the Dorm Hacks Contest 2016
Although I didn't win the first prize but I'm fully satisfied that my craft project has been recognized abroad! =)
Thanks to all the voters , supporters and the judges.


October 2016


updated on April-2020

The free template for this project is now available. Please click on the image below to be re-directed to the download page.

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