How to Make a Desk With Cardboard Boxes for the Home

Written by megan shoop
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How to Make a Desk With Cardboard Boxes for the Home
Recycle cardboard boxes into a compact desk. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you live in a dorm room's limited space or share a cramped study spot with siblings, fitting a desk into the area can be nearly impossible. Instead of struggling with a pre-constructed particle board desk, opt to instead construct one from cardboard. While this material may not seem like a prime choice, cardboard is lightweight and can be very sturdy if manipulated correctly. So push that old desk into the hallway and conserve space with a compact cardboard replacement.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2-foot-tall cardboard box
  • 3-foot-tall cardboard box
  • Packing tape
  • Corrugated cardboard sheeting
  • Utility knife
  • Hot glue
  • Cereal boxes
  • Plastic cups

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  1. 1

    Cut the opening flaps from your 2-foot and 3-foot cardboard boxes.

  2. 2

    Flip both boxes over and tape their bottoms securely closed with packing tape.

  3. 3

    Measure diagonally across the bottom of your 2-foot box from the bottom right corner to the upper left corner.

  4. 4

    Cut two pieces of scrap cardboard to the measured width and 2 feet long. For instance, if the diagonal measures 14 inches, you need two cardboard pieces 14 inches wide and 2 feet long.

  5. 5

    Cut a 1-foot slit lengthwise down the centre of each 2-foot cardboard sheet.

  6. 6

    Slide the slits together to form an X.

  7. 7

    Fit the X inside the 2-foot box. It should fit snugly.

  8. 8

    Create a similar X for your 3 foot box. These Xs are the supports for your desk.

  9. 9

    Draw a zigzag of hot glue over one of the sides of your 2-foot box and press the 3-foot box into it, securing the two together. This creates a low seat for you to sit on with your legs facing front. To write, turn to the side to reach the elevated desktop.

  10. 10

    Cut cereal boxes in half and reserve the bottoms.

  11. 11

    Glue the shallow boxes and plastic cups around the upper edge of your 3-foot box. They will be holders for desk supplies, notes and lightweight notebooks. Allow all hot glue to dry overnight.

Tips and warnings

  • Personalise your desk with paint, découpage paper and fabric, markers and stickers. You may mask the cardboard completely or highlight it for an eco-friendly grunge look.
  • You can weatherproof your desk by covering it with vinyl contact paper.

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