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How to form cylinders and tubes from corrugated cardboard

This is a great way to re-use old cardboard boxes - putting them to work as creative projects. And it is very easy to do.

I also have a video tutorial on this technique at the bottom of the page..

(Note: Will is working on this tutorial right now! Thanks for coming over from youtube. Bookmark this page and check back soon!)





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About this build: This is a great way to re-use and re-purpose cardboard boxes. This technique just takes a paint brush and water you can make all kinds of things. You just separate one layer of paper off the corrugated cardboard. Then you can roll it and shape it. It will stay in the new shape once it dries.


Tools and Materials For this project:

  • Any corrugated cardboard
  • An x-acto knife (Wills favorite is here)
  • Ruler to measure
  • Water and a paintbrush
  • White Glue


About corrugated cardboard

Let's take a look at corrugated cardboard. It is a very simple yet very ingenious thing. It is a a sandwich of three levels. First there is a sheet of brown paper, then there is a sheet of corrugated paper then there is another sheet of flat paper.

That's it. And one of the beautiful things about it is that the glue that holds these three sheets together is water soluble. You can apply water to it and separate the sheets.

The three layers of cardboard

But to make tubes and cylinders we don't want to completely separate all of it. We just want to remove the top layer of brown paper. If you completely separate it the corrugated layer relaxes and loses it's corrugations. Notice how much bigger the corrugated layer is once we wet and remove it.

The three layers of cardboard


So to form well shaped tubes we just need to remove the top layer of paper. This will allow us to shape it nicely while not allowing the corrugations to relax.

The top layer of cardboard is removed


Okay, let's do this project and form some cylinders and tubes. You can also watch the video tutorial below.



Watch the video without leaving this webpage:


Lots of easy paper towel and cardboard tube projects

I have a lot of fun and easy projects for you to make with cardboard tubes. Cardboard tube projects