Welcome to my cardboard craft blog

Whether you are just plain bored or simply too broke to purchase other materials; cardboard is free! Cardboard is such a versitile craft medium that you can make just about anything from it. All you need is a little knowledge about different construction techniques to ignite your own art passion for cardboard. This blog is intended to show the construction techniques I use in my own cardboard crafts. When you learn the secrets of creating strength with cardboard you can create whatever you desire. From simple items like picture frames to extremely large pieces of usable furniture; it will all be possible. Travel along with me as I show you the secrets hidden within the cardboard. Go green or save a tree or just to keep it out of a landfill.... whatever your choice of phrases.... start creating your own cardboard art. If you find this blog helpful, please recommend it to your friends.

If you are new to this blog it's best to read the numbered labels first. ie: 1 - What do you see? 2 - Tools you need etc.

In those labels you will find the basic information you need to get started making your own cardboard furniture and crafts.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breakfast bar - section 2 - step 7

Now that my breakfast bar section 2 is constructed, and the joins are all taped, it's time for a paper coating.  I prefer to use old phone books for my paper because it's thinner and easier to apply.  I also want to keep phone books out of a landfill whenever I can.

I tear the pages into irregular shapes so that when my paper coating is finished there are no hard edge lines.  Hard edge lines will create ridges where paint will build up and look bad.  I also overlap them when pasting down.  I go over the corners (from one side to the other) with the paper to create a smooth corner.



A paper coating should be done over the whole thing.  Top, bottom, inside, outside.... the whole thing.  Why?  Mostly for strength but it also creates a good base for painting.  It covers the manufacturing coating on the cardboard and creates a bonding area between the cardboard and the paint used to finish the piece. 

The paper coating also covers the ridges you see in the cardboard.  This means the finished piece will look more like wood and a lot less like just cardboard.



The paper coating will cover areas where you find labels that can't be removed.  The labels have hard edges.



The paper coating will smooth out dints and dings like this one.



It will smooth out the area where the paper tape is applied.



It's best to apply wall paper paste on the cardboard instead of on the paper.  It creates less mess and uses less paste.  I use a 2" paint brush.  Paint a thin coat of paste on the cardboard, lay the paper on the pasted area, and brush it down with the paste coated brush.  This covers the paper with paste and it's ready for the next piece of paper. 

It's best to use a very light coating of paste because too much will cause the cardboard to warp.  Can you see how the ruler is angled up in this photo?  This is because I was in a hurry and used too much paste in this area.  The paste has water in it which reacts with the paper of the cardboard.  I got a bubble from all the paste.  I believe this will flatten out when it dries completely.... but why take the chance?  Don't make the same mistake I did.  Cover a small area and move to another area while the first one dries.


You may find the paper coating crinkles up when you paste it to the cardboard.  Don't worry about that.  It will be fixed later.  Quite a bit of the crinkles will flatten out as they dry.  I deal with what's left after drying.

I prefer to put two coats of paper on my pieces.  It does take longer to do two coats but the piece will look much nicer and last much longer when finished.  The way I think about creating the cardboard furniture is this..... if I take the time to create it in the first place, I need to take the time to do it right.  I want my pieces to be as long lasting as any furniture made from wood.  I'm not just making a homemade cardboard thing.... I'm making a custom made piece of furniture that can be handed down from one generation to the next if carefully cared for. 

I use two different color pages for my paper coatings so I know where I've been.  The first coat on my breakfast bar is using the white page phone book.  The second paper coating will be done using yellow pages. 
It may be several days before I post on this blog again.  Applying the paper coating takes time and right now I don't have a lot of time to devote to cardboard crafts. 

1 comment:

Trish said...

Good advice about letting the paste dry completely for each bit. Again, I'm impatient, I would have slapped on a double layer (or triple) without thinking about bubbles and warping. :(
Yes, Furniture. Permanent, not temporary! Great tip about two different colors of paper to tell you which layer you are on!
All the directions and advice is a HUGE help! I want to start working on my piece now, but I have to head to work. Wah!! :)

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