DIY Project Turns Extra Cardboard Into An Artistic Bookshelf

I’ve moved over 12 times since first college. That’s a lot of shabby apartments, but it’s even more cardboard and newspaper. I never buy moving boxes, instead poaching them from liquor and grocery stores, but what to do with them after the move is always more challenging. Yes, recycling is always an option, but even that seems like such a waste when they only held my clothes and books for about a day.

Creative upcycling isn’t my strong suit, but that’s why the world has hackers like Lucas Ridley. An animator and filmmaker by trade, Ridley is also something of a DIY enthusiast. He recently posted a great video about an awesome looking bookshelf out of nothing but recycled cardboard boxes (and some glue and brackets), and if you’re looking for a way to turn trash into treasure, you’ve got to try it.


Image via Lucas Ridley

As this Hackaday review explains, the materials needed for this bookcase cost virtually nothing, but it’s a little heavy in the labor department. However, spaced out over a weekend, it probably wouldn’t been so bad. The process isn’t hard, just time-intensive: first, you’ve got to cut 23 pieces of cardboard into identical shapes. Ridley chose a cloud, but I’m sure a star, heart or plain old square would work just fine. Next comes a lot of layering, gluing, waiting and repeating. See more in the video below.

But when you’re done, you’ve got an awesome upcycled shelf that can be mounted on the wall without any bottom support. The result is a small stack of books that appear to be floating in air. I’m moving again in a few days, maybe I’ll try this one in my new place.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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