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Picture of Cardboard Tube Cabinet

Cardboard Tube Cabinet

The Background

Story 1:

I'm working in a huge company. We have to print a lot in different DIN formats. From time to time these paper rolls are empty. What is left are strong Cardboard Tubes. Some of them are used as Mailing Tubes and the rest is stored next to my office before they are thrown away.

I see these tubes every single day and I often think "These tubes are so cool and just too good to be thrown away". Now it is the time to use them. I saved them in my office and brought them home.

Story 2:

My kids have a huge collection of Lego bricks. And on every birthday and Christmas is getting more and more. At the moment the Lego is "stored" in a huge box. If you want to build something new, you have to search for it. Maybe you find the right brick, maybe not. So it would be cool to create a storage system for the most needed bricks.

Story 3:

As you maybe know, I'm a huge cardboard fan. I recently created two projects (Card Feeder and Card Sorter).

To cut a long story short, I want to combine the three stories and create a cabinet with drawers out of Cardboard Tubes. As I said before, I had access to some tubes, but sadly these are not enough. I needed at around 17m of tubes during this project. Luckily I found some very cheap tubes with the perfect size of 455mm.
Perfect size? Yes, If you cut a DIN A0 paper roll in half, you will have ~455mm.

Let's go!
In this Instructables I want to show you - How to built a cabinet out of Cardboard Tubes.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools and Materials



  • 17m Cardboard Tube (25x 455mm, 64mm diameter)
  • 4x 1000mm M6 threaded rod
  • M6 lock nut and M6 hex nut
  • 3mm Cardboard
  • PLA filament (not on the picture)
  • Solvent-containing adhesives (UHU HART)
  • 12x O-ring RO3
drewscreen4 months ago
Great 'Ible! And really a beautiful outcome! You've really updated the idea of log cabin(et). One recommendation though, you might edit the tool list to start with 3D printer and table saw. I very excited to try this project, but without those two essential tools, it would be a much longer project.
theguymasamato (author)  drewscreen4 months ago
Hey, thank you.
You need the big machines only for the drawers, because they are a bit special. If you want to create only the cabinet, you need only a drill.
Maybe you find a good solution to build the drawers without using this machines.
hugheswho6 months ago
Beautiful piece of furniture. I once visited the Shigeru Ban temple/church in Taiwan made from cardboard tubes, which this reminds me of. Would love to see more cardboard tube furniture.
theguymasamato (author)  hugheswho6 months ago
Thank you very much.
I just searched for some pictures of the Shigeru Ban temple.
Awesome architecture. Thanks for this information.
Tura Street7 months ago
Very nice. I have so much cardboard laying around, I may try this. Thanks for sharing.
theguymasamato (author)  Tura Street7 months ago
If you create a cabinet, please share it.
CraftAndu7 months ago
Awesome project and nice photos!
theguymasamato (author)  CraftAndu7 months ago
theguymasamato (author) 7 months ago
Thanks a lot.
yrralguthrie7 months ago
No doubt a post by a man. No wife is going to allow that in her living or kitchen area. Maybe the kids bedroom. lol

I save those things also...but I also save shipping boxes...and I use them in my shop, not in the house. grin
Maybe you could paint or stain it to match your "decor"? lol
theguymasamato (author)  jeanneambro7 months ago
Yes. Acrylic paint and Cardboard fit really well together.
In another project I glued leather to these tubes.
Cardboard is really handy.
theguymasamato (author)  yrralguthrie7 months ago
Yes you‘re right. :D

It‘s the kids bedroom.
jeanneambro7 months ago
So clever, I will definitely have to give this a try. thanx for sharing.
theguymasamato (author)  jeanneambro7 months ago
Thanks. If you build it, please take care of my thoughts in the „The End“ step to create a better version.
Fun! I like that it looks like lincoln logs :)
theguymasamato (author)  Penolopy Bulnick7 months ago
Now that you mention it, ... yes you‘re right. I did not notice that before :D
2hess7 months ago
Nice project. Have you thought about putting an instructable about your jigs to drill and cut the tubes into the new "Tools"-contest?
theguymasamato (author)  2hess7 months ago
No not yet. But I think I will do that. Thanks for the tip.
Auroris7 months ago
Cool project! You've already got my vote
theguymasamato (author)  Auroris7 months ago
Thank you very much.
Schabenstolz7 months ago
Great design! Could be well from a spaceship. :D
theguymasamato (author)  Schabenstolz7 months ago
:D thanks.
Kink Jarfold7 months ago
An absolutely brilliant use of discarded tubes. Who would've thunk it? YOU! Masterfully done. --Kink--
theguymasamato (author)  Kink Jarfold7 months ago
Thanks a lot.