Cardboard Shelving!

Painting my smallest shelf :)
Painting my smallest shelf 🙂


I don’t what it is, but I love creating things from cardboard. Well, I decided I wanted to make myself small shelving but didn’t want to use wood, so cardboard it is!

Do you need a small shelf to display your items at a craft fair, or on your bedroom dresser or to hold things in your home office? Well, I have a fun project for you! I have created shelving with regular cardboard and I’m here to show you how it’s done.

Things you need:

  • Cardboard and/or small cardboard boxes
  • Cardboard tubes (mine are from a plastic Saran wrap
  • Cardboard corners ( I got mine from a pallet at a warehouse shipping/receiving department. They were kind enough to let me take them off their hands.)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Black Marker
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Glue/ or 1 cup of flour and approx. 1 cup of water.
  • Newspaper or packing paper
  • Sponge brush or large paint brush
  • Spray paint, clay or acrylic paint

First you will have to see if you can find small same size boxes that will be cut lengthwise to have an average 2″ depth. Here’s the selection I’ve found at home. You can build your own little “boxes” but it does take longer to make sure all are the same and such. Lucky me, I kept a few boxes all the same size.

Next you have to get your hands on those cardboard corners you see on retail shipping pallets. I previously had some knowing they would come in handy one day ;P Once you figure out the height you want all your shelving to be with the pallet corners. Get your measuring tape and mark with a marker
Also, next time a Saran wrap rolls is empty save a few for this project. Here’s my complete collection.

Now the fun part! Set up your hot glue gun to be ready and arrange how and where you’ll like the placement of the shelving. Once you figured that out, get gluing!

Keep going 🙂

Done! Great work!
Now to soften the corners and edges of the cardboard itself, I decided it would best to cover in a layer of paper-mache or mod podge. I picked paper-mache. I cut strips of packing paper/newspaper, 1 cup of white flour and 1 cup of water. I used only enough water in the flour until I was happy with the consistency, which wasn’t too thick or too thin. This process took a long time to complete all my little shelf units. I didn’t time myself accurately, but I think 6 hours total and broke that up in three-day time.

Once your little shelf unit dries you can now do the next fun thing, painting!
I painted in three different colors, three different paint, and two different ways.
I decided to use up a spray can of blue, one I painted all in clay paint and the other I mixed clay paint with an acrylic paint.

Loved the light yellow I created for my smallest shelf unit!
This process was fun for me, but again it took a bit of time. I believe it took me approx. 3 hours to paint all my little shelves, but I did it in a two-day time. I let the all dry each overnight.

Finally, if you want to protect them even more, coat them with mod-podge 🙂 You can get the original mod-podge or the matte finish, both will look great 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My new set of shelving are complete and it was fun creating them. I hope you have fun too making your set of cardboard shelving. 🙂
Thank you for joining me and I hope you will visit, Cutefluff, again.