How to Make a Cardboard Chair that Holds Weight

Updated July 20, 2017

You can furnish your home inexpensively if you make your own furniture. Cardboard is an item you can get free from many stores as they unpack stock. Just gather many boxes with at least 2-by-3-foot pieces of cardboard or larger. Patience, a lot of glue, a few screws and time give you a strong and attractive chair with this craft. And all it costs you is for glue and screws.

Collect many boxes or large sheets of cardboard. This chair takes 150 to 200 pieces because you stack the cardboard pieces flat on top of each other to create it. You can make it a short or tall chair according to your size.

Draw a template to go by on one 2-by-3-foot piece of cardboard. This will be for the pieces from the floor to the seat. You can create square corners or rounded corners. All the pieces just need to be exactly the same shape. Rounded corners make the piece more sleek and refined.

Cut your pieces with the band saw using your template. Draw your template onto each cardboard piece with a pencil. Cut at least four at a time and glue them in place.

Stack the bottom four pieces straight on top of each other, brushing glue all over the top of each piece and stacking them, pressing firmly so the glue will adhere. Apply glue all over the top of each piece all the way to the edges. Each time you take a break from gluing to saw more pieces, put the glue brush into a Ziploc bag so it won't dry out.

Screw three screws into every four pieces of cardboard after gluing and stacking. Put a screw on the right and left sides and in the back, 2 inches away from the edges. Every time you put screws in, move forward or backward 4 inches from the last screw's area, staying 2 inches from the edge. That way, you won't put a screw on top of the last screw under it.

Start with the fifth piece of cardboard laying it on the glue 1/8th-inch forward from the last piece of cardboard. The sides should still be even. Lay 30 pieces in this manner, coming forward only 1/8th -inch with each piece of cardboard. This gives a gradual forward shape to the leg of your chair. Remember to put three screws in for every four pieces of cardboard.

Lay the 31st piece of cardboard back 1/8th-inch from the 30th piece. Continue this with the next 30 pieces. This makes a gradual backward shape for the top of the chair leg. Move no more than 1/8th-inch for the very gradual forward and backward progression. This gives the chair a nice shape.

Put the next four, eight or 12 pieces stacked straight on top of each other, glued and screwed in, according to how tall you want the seat to be.

Draw a new template from the old one. Keep the outside of the back wall and side walls identical to the old template. Draw a big "U" shape 4 inches thick to create the arms and chair back. Draw the new template on each 2-by-3-foot piece of cardboard. Saw several "U" shapes going by the template.

Glue the first "U" piece to the seat. Match the outside walls to the outside seat walls. Stack three more, gluing between each one and screwing four at a time. Keep stacking the "U" pieces and you will see the arms and back forming. Make the back and arms the height you wish. Sit and measure the height to yourself. Just glue the top piece on and do not screw it in. Press firmly. Let the glue dry completely for a couple days before using. Leave natural or spray paint a glossy colour. Let paint dry completely.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-3-foot cardboard sheets
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Band saw
  • White glue
  • Sponge brush
  • Ziploc plastic bag
  • Glossy spray paint
  • 2-inch screws
  • Electric screw driver
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Anita Billings has been writing since April 2009. Hundreds of her articles appear on eHow, with expertise in piano, decor, landscaping, crafting and travel. Billings received a diploma in business merchandising from King's College in 1974.