How to Make a Cardboard Chair That Holds Weight & Looks Chic

10 Materials
1 Day

In today’s DIY project, we are going to make a cardboard chair. Not only does this cardboard chair hold weight, but the design also looks chic and modern. It’s easy and cheap to make, and only requires a few materials (including a lot of cardboard!).

You can apply this technique while making any piece of furniture or home decor. In fact, you may have seen my DIY cardboard couch that I created using the same method. Follow along with this step-by-step tutorial, as I show you how to make a chair out of cardboard.

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Tools and materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric scissors
  • Glue
  • Roller
  • Masking tape
  • Spray glue
  • Foam
  • Fabric
Inspiration for the DIY cardboard chair

This is the chair I am using as inspiration for my project.

Making the base for the chair out of cardboard

1. Measure & draw parallel lines

Cut out a piece of cardboard approximately 20 x 30 inches. Down the shorter sides, measure intervals of 2 inches, then connect them together with lines, as shown. This will be the base for our chair.

Measuring an L shape

2. Cut out L shapes

Next, take another piece of cardboard of the same size, and measure approximately 7.5 inches inward, then draw a line.

DIY cardboard chair project

On the opposite end, measure 14 inches up.

Measuring with a tape measure

On the line you just drew, measure 12 inches up.

Connecting the marks together

Connect these marks together.

Cutting out the L shape

Cut the smallest piece out using electric scissors to create an L shape.

Step-by-step DIY cardboard chair tutorial

Trace and repeat until you have 33 L shapes.

Spreading glue on the L shape

3. Glue 3 pieces together

Next, we’re going to glue the pieces together, grouping them into 3s. Apply glue to one side of the cardboard and spread the glue out evenly.

Sticking cardboard pieces together

Then, stick one piece of cardboard to another. Repeat so that 3 layers are stuck together.

Taping the edges

Add tape to the edges for extra stability.

Repeat until all the cardboard pieces are stuck together in groups of 3.

Applying hot glue to the base

4. Glue the connecting pieces to the base

Apply hot glue along the lines of the base piece.

Sticking the connecting pieces to the base

Then, stick the L-shaped pieces to the base with connecting pieces between them. The connecting pieces should be approx. 2 x 20 inches for the back and 2 x 12-14 inches for the seat.

How to make a chair out of cardboard

This is what you should have so far.

Measuring the seat for the cardboard chair

5. Make the seat, back, and front

Place a new sheet of cardboard where the seat will go, Measure the size you need with a marker and cut it out.

Sticking the seat down

Apply hot glue along the top edges of the connecting pieces, then stick the seat down.

Sticking the back of the seat

Repeat the same for the back of the seat…

Sticking the front of the chair

…and for the front. Add tape where needed.

Covering the chair in spray glue

6. Cover the cardboard chair with foam

Spray the cardboard chair with spray glue.

Draping foam over the chair

Then, drape the foam over the top.

Folding the foam at the edges

Fold the foam around the sides and glue it in place.

Covering the chair with fabric

7. Upholster

Cover your cardboard chair with your chosen fabric, and neatly fold the edges in.

Sticking the folded edges in place with hot glue

Hot glue the edges in place.

Gluing the bottom of the fabric to the base

Glue the hanging bottom pieces to the base of the chair, too.

DIY cardboard chair

Cardboard chair

Here’s the finished cardboard chair!

DIY cardboard chair design

It goes great with my decor, including my pool noodle couch.

How to make a cardboard chair that holds weight

For those wondering, yes, a cardboard chair really can take a lot of weight!

What do you think of this DIY cardboard chair design? Let me know your thoughts and feedback about this project in the comment below.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Nita Nita on Feb 20, 2023

    Why not put foam padding down before the batting?

  • Kuntreprinces Kuntreprinces on Feb 20, 2023

    What kind of glue gun are you using?

  • Theresa Theresa on Feb 19, 2024

    Where do you get all of your cardboard

Join the conversation
5 of 23 comments
  • Jeanne Jeanne on Feb 20, 2023

    I am trying to remember, I don't seem to get their email anymore, but it was a newsletter specifically for re and up cycled items. Come to think of it, I haven't seen it in some time, but I will keep an eye out for it.

  • CaliGal CaliGal on Feb 20, 2023

    I love your ingenuity, very inspiring. I made a “garden stool” from 10x10x3 cardboard boxes I rescued from a life of trash and discard… I stacked 7 of them and taped them together using packing tape. Inside each box were foam inserts for shipping small gifts items sold at the store I found these boxes at. I am in process of wrapping this with natural jute rope. I’m deciding on a pattern to give interest to the piece. Since this would be ruined using it on my patio, I’ll be using this as a accent piece indoors with a plant on top and/or as a small table for company adding an additional place to set their beverage. The only thing I purchased was the rope for approximately $15.00.