More Extraordinary Reuse Projects: 10 Creative Ways to Recycle Cardboard
May 4, 2009
Last week, we featured 10 projects that reuse and recycle plastic bottles – this week, we’re looking at some amazing things created with reused cardboard. From bridges and bikes to furniture and homes, cardboard is becoming a preferred material for innovative recyclable products. We’ve even included a few cardboard reuse projects you can make at home!
Giles Miller is a master of cardboard design. While he usually concentrates on furniture made of cardboard, these sustainable laptop cases were part of the 2006 London (re)Design Exhibit. Miller personalizes his bags with initials or logos, but you can make a cardboard laptop case of your own with this tutorial.
Nothing, a creative agency in Amsterdam, wanted an office that reflected their brand as well as their creativity – a cardboard office was the answer. Complete with cubicles, storage space, and a loft-style conference room, the Nothing Office is made entirely of cardboard. The blank walls were custom decorated with drawings after completion.
Sheffield Hallam University design student, Phil Bridge, created a working bicycle made of recycled cardboard. The bike is functional, but limited, and could sell for just $30. The cardboard frame is sturdy and completely recyclable, but probably not too durable in the rain.
Shigeru Ban’s recycled cardboard bridge is an amazing example of just how versatile cardboard can be. 281 cardboard tubes have been recycled into the frame of the footbridge and the steps are made from recycled paper and plastic – the structure is strong enough to support up to 20 people at once.
The YOC – Your Own Chair – is an entry from DesignBloom’s 2003 cardboard folding chair competition. YOC is a portable chair that looks like a shopping bag but provides the perfect resting spot wherever you go. The chair was created by Johan Carlsson of Denmark.
Bringing a whole new meaning to living in a cardboard box, this lightweight and low-cost house is made of 85% recycled materials and can be completely recycled when demolished. The roof is made with HDPE plastic to protect the cardboard house from rain and moisture.
How do you furnish a cardboard house? With cardboard furniture, of course! These miniature models are designed for lightweight use and can both be made at home. The cardboard cat chaise was created by oskay (tutorial) and several types of cardboard children’s furniture patterns can be found at FoldSchool.
If you’re looking for something a bit more grown-up, there are an assortment of designers that create recycled cardboard furniture. The desk and bookcase above were made by French furniture makers, Les Cartonnistes. You’ll also find a few Instructables on DIY cardboard furniture projects.
Cardboard can also be used to create amazing art and is the medium of choice for Mark Langan. This is one of many pieces Langan has created from nothing but recycled cardboard. Most of his cardboard art is designed for companies within the paper or recycling industry and features extraordinary logo art.
Gray Chang first made this working cardboard camera in 1983, modeled after his personal 35 mm at the time. The camera was repaired in 2005 after being damaged by vandals. A pinhole design, the camera requires total darkness to load and unload the single 4×5 sheet of film.