Cardboard for Stools & Tabletops




It was a pleasant discovery to find out that old album covers can be opened up to create a large, 4 paneled piece of cardboard for the Totem Box table and stool tops.

You may or may not have noticed from my previous pictures that Stevie Wonder is gracing the surface of our Totem Box table. If my daughter does in deed learn to read from constant exposure to “Master Blaster” lyrics, I’ll be the first to let you know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Cardboard Table Tops by Amber

The album cover cardboard is pretty durable. It can recover from a spill as long as it isn’t left standing too long, but if you’re after something that you can truly pass a rag over, I suggest re-purposing shiny, plasticized paper shopping bags.

The plastic is not recyclable, but I’m pretty sure that these bags are processed without a problem at most paper recyclers. We are able to put them out here in Japan, and I pick them up from other people’s recycling piles for the odd project here and there.

While cardboard still rules, it’s nice to have options…

Cardboard Table Tops by Amber

Cardboard Tabletop by Amber

Cardboard Kid’s Chair Makeover

Cardboard Kid's chair remake by The Cardboard Collective

The Japanese book with the pattern for making these chairs is available in my Etsy shop.

Our beloved cardboard kid’s chairs are almost 3 years old. They’ve been in desperate need of a makeover for a while now, and I thought those of you who read the blog would be interested in seeing how cardboard furniture wears over time.

These chairs are regularly used as vaulting boxes by my two little ones so I can’t imagine a better stress test.

Cardboard Kid's chair remake by The Cardboard Collective

I started by addressing the corners that had worn, and cut small strips of cardboard to use as shims.

I glued them into the worn areas to give the chair corner rigidity again and reshape the edge.

Cardboard Kid's chair remake by The Cardboard Collective

Next I trimmed off any loose cardboard and traced the different pieces of the chair one at a time onto (new) post consumer cardboard and cut the pieces out. After some gluing and clamping, this is what we got:

Cardboard Kid's chair remake by The Cardboard Collective

Not bad huh? Almost as good as new……and the chairs will be even more smashing after we treat their exteriors to a new look:

…..catch that in my next post.


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.

Hashi Stool: Cardboard Chair Du Jour

We’ve been on a sort of hiatus this past week. Isis and Electra have both come down with massive head colds while I’ve been trying to get all our packages shipped to the States so that they make it back before Christmas. Pair those events with rain, 45 degree F temperatures, and bike and train as our sole modes of transport and at times the cookie was starting to crumble. The good news is that today the sun came out, we had an amazing day at the park, Isis cut her top front tooth (looks like her Christmas wish will come true) and we finished this awesome project that’s been in the works for a while. Click through the slideshow for tips on how to make a Hoshi Stool for your kids.

(If you are reading this in Reader, click back to the site for the slideshow and tutorial.)


This is a great project for anyone who wants to make something for a child by hand, but doesn’t have a wood shop, knitting skills, or a sewing machine. You can put this project together in the most studio of apartments, and put your leftover cardboard out (or collect the cardboard that you need) on recycling day. We used a total of 32 layers, but you can vary the width based on your preference.


Click the pictures above to download free PDF patterns for the Hashi Stool