Got a spare cardboard box lying around? Learn how to upcycle it into an aesthetic DIY arched side table in a weekend! Affiliate links in post.
Hello, lovely humans, and welcome to the third edition of my trash to treasure series. For the uninitiated, this series is exactly what it says on the tin – we take literal trash and upcycle it into cute home decor.
Rather excitingly, today we are stepping away from small projects and creating DIY arched side tables that can be statement pieces in your home decor. (In fact, those of you who follow my blog would’ve already seen these bad boys in action in my office makeover!)
But most impressive? These side tables are made of cardboard. The structure is quite literally a cardboard box! I saw this tutorial from Oh Oh Deco and had to test it out for myself…
Want to catch up on the other crafts? Here’s what you’ve missed so far . . .
I created two versions of this with different-sized cardboard boxes – and both are sturdy enough to comfortably act as a side table! Going a bit taller didn’t affect the structural integrity, which was my main concern. In fact, the taller table is my personal favourite!
Before we jump into the how-to, I do want to say:
Some tips on DIY plaster side tables:
- These work great as decorative side tables, but not for heavy use. What I mean by this: don’t use these as a coffee table you’re going to put your feet on. While the structure can take it, you might chip off parts of plaster with repeated heavy-handed friction. (Although, again, using a sealant would help with this.)
- The tables hold up well! (With proper care.) The coffee table is a bit battered after two months of heavy use as it’s also doubled as a dining table, a la selling all my furniture to move overseas. However, the decorative side table? Thriving. So cute.
- Yes, they’re surprisingly sturdy! Admittedly, this was my main concern – how solid would a glorified cardboard box really be? Turns out – pretty bloody solid! These comfortable hold plants, books, art prints and all kinds of home decor goodies.
What You Need:
- Cardboard box to use as a base
- Spare cardboard for reinforcements
- Joint compound
- Plastering tape
- Heavy-duty tape
- Hot glue gun
- PVA glue
- Stanley knife
- (& Ideally, something to seal like a spray adhesive)
How To Make:
I definitely recommend watching along!
- Flip your box upside down so that the open side is on the floor.
- Tie string around a pen and tape the string to the centre of the box’s base. Swing the pen to create an even arch. (Check out the video tutorial for what I mean here!)
- Use your Stanley knife to cut out the arch shape – then use it as a template to cut out an equal arch on the opposite side of the box.
- Cut off the bottom box flaps on the sides that now have an arch. The remaining two sides should be left as “feet”.
- Flip your box upside down and glue the cardboard flaps at the top down securely (this will be your tabletop).
- Once the glue has dried, measure the height and width of the inside of your box, then cut pieces of your spare cardboard down to size. To ensure your box is sturdy, you want one piece of card for every 6cm of length of the box. (So if your box is 30cm long, you’ll need 5 pieces of card to reinforce.)
- Using the same arch shape you cut out in step 3, cut out arches in the bottom of each piece of cardboard.
- Use hot-glue to secure the top of the cardboard – one piece for every 6cm.
- With the remaining card, create supports between each of the internal dividers and hot glue them into place. You should now have a rough table shape!
- To create the base, cut a piece of cardboard down to the size of the width of the table’s arch. While doing this, ensure the card lines are horizontal – this will make the cardboard easier to bend.
- Bend the card to create a rounded shape that will act as the base of your table. Use PVA glue to secure so that you can move this around as you need. I find taping everything down also helps to get a crisp shape!
- Once this is dry, cut the remaining flaps on the feet of the table down to size and glue them down. You will now have the shape of your table!
- Move your table onto a covered surface and cover it in joint compound. If you use tape, it’s a good idea to use plastering tape over the top to help the joint compound adhere.
- Lastly, seal with a spray adhesive or your sealant of choice.
Pretty fun, right? I honestly can’t believe that these were made from cardboard boxes – but they turned out wonderfully cute. Would you try these at home? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!