Corrugated Cardboard Challenge

Corrugated cardboard is a great and sturdy building material. What’s even better is that it’s super easy to come by--just check your recycling bins! So, here’s your challenge:

Make a stool or a chair using corrugated cardboard. Remember these tips and tricks as you begin building your furniture:

- Corrugated cardboard is strongest when the corrugate (the wavy mid-section) is vertical (or perpendicular to the floor).

- You can bend and cut corrugated cardboard. If you choose to bend it, try bending it along a table edge. This will give you a more crisp fold.

- Triangles are the strongest shape to build with because any force on them is evenly distributed among the three sides.

Here’s an example of a stool you could make using corrugated cardboard. What else can you come up with?

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Warning

    Be very careful and use parental supervision when playing with your cardboard creations!

  • Step 1

    Gather your materials!


  • Step 2

    Cut the cardboard into an 8” x 24” (20.3 x 61 cm) rectangle. Make sure that the corrugation runs parallel to the short side. If the corrugation runs parallel to the long side, your stool may collapse.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Mark the cardboard every 8” (20.3 cm) along the long side. Then, score it with your X-acto knife.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Tip

    Score means to cut the cardboard without cutting through it. It makes it easier to bend it.

  • Photo reference of how to complete step 6

    Tip

    Optional: Make your stool look more stool-like by adding cut outs so that the “legs” really look like legs!

  • Step 4

    Bend the cardboard along the score lines. Then, fold it into a triangle and tape the open side closed.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Cut a shape out of the remaining cardboard. This will be the top of your stool. The shape doesn’t matter as long as it is larger than your triangular base.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Done!

    Place the top of your stool onto the base and then pop a squat! You just made a cardboard stool

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6
    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

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