How to make a cardboard room divider

Written by karen sweeny-justice
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How to make a cardboard room divider
A room divider could separate these beds into two distinct areas. (Interior of the hotel room image by PaulPaladin from

Room dividers aren't anything new. The first were used in China as far back as the fourth century B.C. Made of heavy wood, ancient Chinese room dividers weren't very movable. Light weight, transparent dividers were created by the Japanese and imported to Europe in the 1500s as trade with the east grew. In addition to being practical for creating areas of private space in larger rooms, today's dividers can become works of art.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mat board, 32 by 40 inches
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Wrapping paper
  • Spray adhesive

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  1. 1

    Lay mat board so that it is 40 inches wide and 32 inches tall. Mark a vertical line every ten inches apart starting from the left side on both sides of the mat board.

  2. 2

    Score the first and third pencil lines on the front of the board by gently running the knife along the lines. Flip board over and lightly score the second on the back. You do not want to cut through the board.

  3. 3

    Fold the mat board on the scored lines, bending the first fold toward you, the second away from you and the third toward you. The mat board should be able to stand on its own.

  4. 4

    Repeat the steps on another piece of mat board, but score the second pencil line on the front, and the first and third lines from the back. Bend on the scores making a reverse of the first cardboard panel.

  5. 5

    Cover the two panels using spray adhesive and wrapping paper, overlapping the scored seams so that the interior colour of the cut mat board does not show and wrapping over the edges on all sides.

  6. 6

    Choose one mat board for the bottom section of the room divider and cut a seven inch slit that is 1/8 of an inch thick in the centre top of each scored panel.

  7. 7

    Hold the uncut cardboard top section and insert the bottom of its panels into the corresponding top slits on the bottom board.

  8. 8

    Trim any loose edges around the slits and repaper if needed to conceal the inner mat board colour. Set in place and enjoy the privacy your new room divider provides.

Tips and warnings

  • In lieu of wrapping paper, use adhesive-backed contact paper.
  • Do not place the room divider near open flames or place in an area where there will be a breeze as the divider could easily tip over.

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