How to Build a Cardboard Chest of Drawers
Cardboard accounts for 90 percent of all shipping packaging in the United States, according to the Earth911 environmental services company. When you recycle cardboard, you help prevent oil and sulfur dioxide from polluting the earth. You also free space in landfills. You can recycle cardboard packaging simply by using it for something else. Use your spare cardboard to make a durable chest of drawers.
Close the flaps on a 24 x 18 x 18-inch cardboard box and tape them shut. This will be the chest that holds the drawers.
Use a box cutter to cut along the edges of one of the long sides of the box. Remove this side to make the opening where you will insert drawers.
Cut a strip of cardboard 18 x 1 inches. This will form a padding and reinforcement for the inside-back of the chest.
Use a ruler to measure the thickness of the strip. Divide 2 inches by the number of inches the strip is thick to determine how many similar strips you need to make to make a padding 2 inches thick. Trace a strip onto a piece of cardboard to make the necessary number of strips. Repeat this process since you will need two pads, each 2 inches thick.
Glue the strips together to make two pads, each 18 x 1 inches and 2 inches thick. Glue the first pad to the inside-back of the chest, centered 6 inches from the bottom of the chest. Glue the other pad similarly, centered 6 inches from the top of the chest.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 to make four more pads, this time measuring to make a 3-inch padding for the inner sides of the chest. If you can't make pads exactly 3 inches thick, make them slightly thinner so that the drawers can move freely. Glue the strips together to make four pads, each 18 x 1 inches and about 3 inches thick.
Glue the first pad inside the chest on the bottom-left side, with its top edge 11 7/8 inches from the bottom of the chest. Repeat this on the bottom-right side. Glue each pad at the top of the chest similarly, with its bottom side 11 7/8 inches from the top of the chest. There should be a 1/4-inch space between the pads on either side of the chest.
Cut a piece of cardboard 18 x 18 inches. Slide it into the space between the two sets of pads inside the dresser to form a barrier between the two rows of drawers.
Close the flaps on two 12 x 12 x 16-inch cardboard boxes and tape them shut. These will be the chest drawers.
Use a box cutter to cut along the edges of one of the long sides of each box. Remove these sides to make the opening where you will place items into the drawers.
Draw a 1 x 4-inch rectangle on one of the short sides of each box, 1 inch from one of the 12-inch edges. Use a box cutter to cut out these rectangles to make handles for the drawers.
Slide one drawer into the bottom row of the chest and the other into the top row. Store clothing, office supplies or other lightweight items in the chest.
Things You Will Need
- Cardboard box, 24 x 18 x 18 inches
- Box cutter
- Two boxes, each 12 x 12 x 16 inches
- Cut poster board to fit the outer surfaces of the chest for a more finished look.