Cardboard Table

This project offers two options. The first will provide instructions for making a small table from card stock for a doll. The second has instructions for sizing the pattern for a larger table made from cardboard and suitable for a child or an adult.

This project is rated: MODERATE

Materials needed:
  • Card Stock
  • Scissors or Craft Knife
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Sabre saw
  • Paint

Project Instructions

  1. Print the pattern at right for making a small table on card stock.

  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. (Also cut out the 4 triangular pieces.)

  3. The dashed lines indicate where the pieces are to be folded.

  4. The legs each have two slots that are to be cut. These slots must have a width that is approximately two thicknesses of the card stock.

  5. The large piece is the table top and its supporting under structure. Lay that piece on a flat surface and fold upward along the dashed lines.

  6. When properly folded, the short pieces will be vertical and touching. The parts with the triangles will be sloping and the bases of the triangles (in pairs) will be adjacent.

  7. Next, prepare the legs. Fold along each fold line.

  8. Then open the piece(s) and fold only along the center line.

  9. On each piece, tape the open ends together. Each leg then can be opened into a diamond shape.

  10. Insert each leg into the triangles in the supporting structure of the bottom of the top. The slots in the leg pieces are to fit over the vertical pieces and hold them together.

    Your table is complete. Turn it over and set it on its legs.

Cardboard Tables
Card Stock Table pattern
Card Stock Table

The second option for making the larger table is a little more difficult. This option is provided so that you can make your table a different size (even a full size table that you can use as a desk, dining table, etc.) However, I suggest you begin by making a small table using the pattern. You will familiarize yourself with the steps and have a table to fit in with other doll house furniture.

Project Instructions for Larger Option

  1. Print the pattern at right for the table pieces that include the relative dimensions. In this pattern, the critical dimensions are given in terms of the length (L) of the cardboard you are going to use. In the case of doll house furniture, your main concern will be the size of the table top and the height of the legs. You have complete control of these dimensions. The width of the table top will be what ever you want it to be. However, you will use the depth of the table to calculate the length (L) of the cardboard that you will need and you will use that to determine other critical dimensions. Choose the depth (D) you want the table to be and divide it by .426 to get the total length (L). (L = D / .426).

  2. Cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard that has a width, W, and a length, L, you have chosen. (Note: Cereal boxes are a good source for cardboard for this smaller practice project.)

  3. Then cut out two leg pieces that are rectangles that have the height dimension that you have chosen, the width of the pieces is to be .812 of the length, L.

  4. Using the printout with dimensions, lay out the top piece and the leg pieces, and transfer the cut lines and the fold lines, using the dimensions in terms of the length (L).

  5. Cut and fold as in the first project instruction above to make a table.

Cardboard Table pattern

Making a Full-sized Table

To make a larger table, you will need corrugated cardboard to make it sufficiently strong. And there are a few extra steps to make a table larger than the basic pattern.

Your dimensions may be dictated by the size of the cardboard that you can obtain. You will need 3 (optionally 4) pieces of cardboard. You will need a large piece of width (W) and Length (L) for the top. Then 2 pieces that are rectangles with height (H) and width .812 of the length (L.) Optionally, you may want to add a piece for bracing. This piece will have a width that is the distance between the points of the triangles plus 6 inches. Its height should be about one half the height of the legs.

  1. Use the pattern above that includes the dimensions to layout the cut lines and fold lines on your cardboard pieces.
  2. If you are making a brace, draw a fold line 3 inches in from each edge of the brace piece.
  3. Note that the slots in the legs must have a width equal to two thicknesses of your cardboard.
  4. Tape the open ends of the legs as described in the project instructions above. Since this is a large table, initially only tape the legs at the top and bottom.
  5. Corrugated cardboard is more rigid in one direction than the other. Layout the top piece of your table with the corrugations in the length (L) direction. The legs should have the corrugations running in the same direction as the height of the legs.
  6. A note about cutting. Corrugated card board is harder to cut than thinner cardboards. I recommend using a saber saw with a knife type blade. You can use a utility knife, but you will find it easiest to use it in a sawing motion.
  7. Fold and assemble the table in the same manner as used for a small table as above for the practice table.
  8. If you have made a brace (recommended,) fold it along the fold lines at right angles to the center part of the piece. This can then be inserted into the openings on each leg.
  9. If you plan on disassembling the table for storage, tape the open edges of each leg, just below the brace. If you will not be disassembling the table, you can add tape to hold the brace in place and also add tape to hold the legs to the top.
  10. Your cardboard may have some unwanted markings on it. You can cover these by painting the entire piece. If you are particular about the looks of the table, you might also bind the cut edges using tape before painting.

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