A Cardboard Glue Comb & Sneak Peak

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DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

DIY cardboard glue comb

I’m in the final stages of pattern testing my first cardboard furniture pattern! While my husband sweetly refers to this step as the first pancake, I feel like I have flipped so many many pancakes already!

Last week I was on a mad search to find a glue comb (oddly a tool that is uncommon in the U.S.) to put in (yay!) my new Amazon Affiliates shop. A putty knife was the closest stand-in I could recommend. Then my brilliant pattern-testing mother told me about the piece of cardboard she cut from the handle of a box to make into a glue spreader.

Wonderful, I thought, one less product; one less thing to buy. But I was surprised at how well this solution really worked when I modified it slightly by removing a strip of paper to expose the corrugations. Identical glue stripe-ing!

If you make a second glue comb you can use the two combs to clean each other before the glue dries, otherwise  just trim off the end and then cut another strip to make more corrugations.

OK, I’m in the home stretch now, hopefully I’ll have the pattern up any day now (whew!), and here’s a little sneak peak for all of you who follow the blog:

The Cardboard Collective

Brighten up Your Cardboard

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Winter is grey and cardboard is brown! I’ve been feeling the need to share some of my favorite ideas for bringing energizing color into your cardboard projects…

The Cardboard Collective

Layered columns of boldly colored Origami paper…

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

What I call Amazon Chevron. (Textured cardboard that requires a coat of decoupage glue.)

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Coloring book pages, kids can decorate them with marker after you’ve decoupaged them. These are from Tokyo Street Art Coloring book by my friend Chris B of a Small Lab. https://gumroad.com/l/tokyo-colour-in

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Water colors: Add a coat of decoupage glue to preserve the intensity of color.

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Tiled Chiyogami papers

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Spliced album covers.

The Cardboard Collective Decoupage

Cheerful graphics from the Produce Department.

And don’t forget all the good old decoupage ideas from around the web!

Stackable Cardboard Dressers for Kids

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Stackable dressers

My daughters are young and their needs are always changing. They wear a pair of shoes for 6 months then need a new pair.

They use a little chair, or a booster seat for a year or a month or 2 and then we have to replace it and either throw out the old one, find a friend who happens to need the same thing at the same moment we want to get rid of it, or put it on Craig’s List. (We have no charity shops here in Tokyo and limited recycling opportunities for large items.)

I find this kind of turnover exhausting. I wanted to create a dresser system for the girls that accomplished 3 things:

stackable dressers

  1. Recyclable so that we could recycle the whole thing, or just parts of it as the girls’ needs changed. I didn’t want the guilt of throwing away something that was perfectly good and I didn’t want the extra work of finding someone to take on our old stuff.
  2. Facilitates Independence. I wanted a piece of furniture that was easy to use and functional so the girls could easily pick out their own clothes and put them away starting from an early age (about 18 months-2 years ).
  3. Beautiful. I believe that the things in our life should be beautiful and functional. I want my daughters to value beauty, design, the arts, and momma moxie, so we tried to accomplish all of those things when we made the dressers. If you like hot pink and pattern as much as I do I hope you agree on our definition of beautiful….

The Cardboard Collective

To make the dressers, we collected kiwi boxes over the course of a few weeks, as well as beautiful papers; a mix of washi papers, origami paper, paper bags and Gallery Opening flyers.

I then decoupaged the papers onto the fronts of the boxes with water and white glue. I made a door in each box by cutting two sides about a ruler’s width from the edges of the box, and and then scored the bottom to create the door opening.

The doors of the dressers always stay shut and close easily. In a year and a half of using these boxes, the doors have never flopped open or gotten flimsy.

stackable dressers

The girls can easily open and close the drawers. By decorating each box differently they quickly have memorized what kind of clothing each box holds. (Only Dad is still struggling with this.)

Another benefit of these dressers is that they are not a hazard if they fall over in the event of an earthquake – an important consideration living here in Japan.

stackable dressers

If you’re wondering where you can get kiwi boxes, check out your local produce department. This past summer I wrote a post about how to find free cardboard here. We also use these boxes for storing our toys, puzzles, and art supplies. Yes, kiwi boxes are a definite favorite here in our apartment.

 

Dressing up Hashi Stool with Recycled Cardboard Album Covers

During our walk around the neighborhood on recycling day yesterday, we stumbled across two bags full of vintage cardboard album covers. Beatles, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack to name a few. A major find in the world of a self proclaimed cardboard hoarder; I new we had to extend the life of this technicolor cardboard pile just a little bit longer.

After getting the album covers home, we separated the “hinged” covers from the ones that had a single pocket. I went through all the pocket album covers and cut the parts with colors and typography that I liked into strips of varying widths.

To achieve the glammed up version of the Hashi Stool, I simply glued the various strips of cardboard from the album covers onto the stool and then cut away the  excess with scissors. Then I piled books on top and let it dry.

We used the hinged album covers to create what looked like a house of cards. (reminiscent of my favorite duo Eames’ House of Cards) The large size of the album covers made them easy for Electra, who is 2 and 1/2 easy to handle.

We also had fun making zigzag style fences; great for playing peekaboo with Isis.