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How to recycle cardboard into furniture

recycle cardboard into furniture

Furniture and decor made of recycled material is very trendy.  We have put together some surprisingly stable and decorative ideas to recycle cardboard into furniture.

recycle cardboard into furniture

The topic of “upcycling” … ie: the transformation of waste or leftovers, occupies us more often. So we had already shown you what you can do everything from waste glass remains  or even from old travel suitcases .

This time we picked out cardboard as a material. You can always find some old boxes somewhere to make a shelf, a stool or a picture frame. For the lamp you need a spare laminate plank.

1. Recycle cardboard into furniture: Build stable wall shelves

recycle cardboard into furniture

Take a conventional cardboard box , paint the cardboard flaps with wood glue and seal it with tape from behind. Now turn over and separate the wings on the front. These are glued in.

From a separate box, cut out even more cardboard segments and stiffen the box with at least three surrounding layers. Likewise, you reinforce the back wall several times.

For a color accent, paint the edges with wall paint or paint. To reinforce the bracket, glue body washes into the corners with mounting adhesive.

2. Optical illusion: Build picture frames from kitchen rolls yourself

recycle cardboard into furniture

This picture frame does not show that they once were kitchen rolls in the past life. However, this is also due to the clean edge processing. We recommend that you sand the transitions of the individual parts with sandpaper of grain size 180 and finer.

For the golden frame you need mantle milk and pot metal. Alternatively, you can brush the roll with wall paint.

Here’s how it works: Cut the tubes in half with a fine saw. To prevent them from rolling away or crumpling when cutting, use a cutting drawer and a small screw clamp. Saw the parts on a miter  box or saw.

The four frame parts are glued with wood glue on a cardboard backing. The frame is coated with adhesive and then covered with metal leaf.

3. Recycle cardboard into furniture: build a stool from a cardboard box

Find a cardboard box the height of a stool.  That's about 45 centimeters, a bit lower for a children's stool.
Sufficient stability is provided by a stiffening cross, which is used in the seat direction.

Find a cardboard box the height of a stool. That’s about 45 centimeters, a bit lower for a children’s stool. Sufficient stability is provided by a stiffening cross (picture on the right), which is used in the sitting direction. Then close the box with the package strap.

The stool is padded with a volume fleece, which is available from 8 euros in the textile or furnishing store. Stick this with double-sided tape onto the cardboard and pull a self-sewn sleeve over it.

4. Upcycling lamp: glowing leftovers

recycle cardboard into furniture
As a last step, glue the battery light on.

Laminate flooring, wallpaper rest and battery light are required. Saw the form out of the board (laminate jigsaw blade!). Sand down edges, stick a spacer strip with mounting adhesive. Cover the “lampshade” with wallpaper.

Another spacer between umbrella and stand brings more depth. A picture frame holder holds everything securely on the wall. As a last step (picture on the right) stick the battery light on.

Find more great upcycling ideas in our Sustainability section

Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing and construction.

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