Cardboard creations

Cardboard creations

Most ‘do-it-yourself’ projects  involve a combination of card stock, paperboard, display boards and corrugated box board. These are inexpensive and can be bought at any corner store. The next step is to convert them into shelf totes, DVD holders, coasters...just give your imagination a free run, suggests Maya Girish.

Some of the most beautiful decor items at home are the ones taken up by the family themselves. It doesn’t have to be something perfect made out of really expensive items, it just has to be unique and made with a lot of interest and passion.

The main ingredient for some of the easiest and most useful ‘do-it-yourself’ projects is cardboard. Cardboard comes in many different kinds of thicknesses, shapes and sizes.

Most of the home DIY projects use a combination of card stock (heavy paper used for making cards), paperboard (thicker than paper and used for packaging), display boards (which stand on their own) and corrugated box board (salvaged from cardboard boxes).

These are inexpensive items and can be bought at any art or bangle store...you could even request cardboard boxes from the local shop or grocery store.

Boxes or drawers

I like totes for shelves. But shelf totes at the stores in India are really expensive! Why spend up to Rs 1,000 for an item which is actually a decorative box? Shoe boxes are really amazing. They can be made into totes, DVD or CD holders, a set of tiny drawers for knickknacks, etc.

Wrap the shoe box in pretty wrapping paper or paint it after giving it a white base-coat. You can use stencils or glitter or sequins...go ahead and create your unique design. Cut out handles if you want or just use it with the lid.

You can use these boxes on open shelves as shelf-totes or use them with the lid atop mantelpieces or bathroom cabinets. You can use them to store extra soaps, hand towels, toothpaste tubes and such like in the bathroom. They also add a splash of colour to the rooms.

For a CD/DVD holder, just use paperboard to make divisions the size of each DVD in the shoe box.

Then you can decorate it and line up your DVDs in it and place the holder in your entertainment centre for easy viewing.

The drawer bit is a little more difficult. You could use any readymade cardboard box without a lid and reinforce it with paperboard if necessary.

Then measure the size of the drawers you want, keeping in mind that they should be able to slide out with ease while at the same time, there shouldn’t be too many gaps.

Paint, wrap or draw to decorate the whole thing. In the UK, these cardboard drawers sell for about 5-10 GBP which around Rs 450-800.

Frames and wall decor

Paperboard can also be used to create beautiful picture frames. It is stiff and light, taking up less place when compared to the bulky wooden frames. You can paint it to look like wood, leave it looking natural or decorate it.

Wall decal tapes can also be use to make the frames look good. You could alo create beautiful wall decor with cardboard.

You could paint pictures, make hanging mobiles for the children, make fake ceramic-like or wooden-plates, etc!

Using thin cardboard rings and connecting them to each other, you could also make funky curtain-like room dividers!

To make coasters, you need to use thick cardboard. Paint or decorate it and then paint over the whole thing with a heat-resistant and spill-resistant coating or glaze. Then test to see if you can place glasses or dishes on it.

Using and cleaning up

I love working with cardboard because of the ease of cleaning. Cardboard is easy to manipulate and when you’re done, all you need to do is, sweep it all up. There is minimal wastage involved in these projects.

An easy way to deal with it, is to keep a plastic or garbage bag handy and periodically put all the clippings and shavings into it.

Wear and tear

The best part of this is the wear and tear. A large amount of money wasn’t spent and nor was a large amount of time.

So when these items fall apart, they can be cheaply and easily fixed or thrown away and replaced, without the feeling of loss or guilt looming over our hearts.

So don’t make big puppy eyes at all the expensive and easy-to-make-things you can’t afford. Get yourself some cardboard and do it yourself!

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