Friday, June 21, 2013

Cardboard is Rad

Today is a good day. It's the first day of summer AND my dear friend Bindy is coming for a visit tonight, the night before our other friends will join us for an overdue communion of the sisterhood. I've arranged to have my ex cover the kids on Saturday to free us up for all the communing.

Of course, I already feel guilty to be missing a precious night with the kids and have thought about how I will make it up to them on Sunday, but that's the motherhood curse - if you're not feeling guilty on a daily basis, you're clearly not a mother.

Wait, reset. This post isn't about the constant mother guilt. This post is about cardboard.

I am happy to announce that I have realized a decade-long dream to make something out of cardboard, full on repurpose style. It all just came together so beautifully.

It started with the couch bed I ordered from Overstock for the last time Bindy and our friends came to town, way back in February. After using the thing for less than a week, one of the legs fell off. My ex tried redrilling the holes. The leg fell off again.

I requested to return the couch but Overstock had the convenient excuse that the couch needed to be shipped back in an actual box so they could see just how crappy it was firsthand. Huh. I did have a lot of freaking boxes in my garage, but I did not have the right box. My 7-year-old Violet had moved into the original box for a few days, installing windows and a door. It was not in any shape to ship a whole couch anymore.

Then it hit me. This was what I had been waiting for all along. I certainly had a lot of boxes, and even though I initially planned to replace the couch leg with something made from pallets, once I remembered I didn't know anything about working with wood, it had to be cardboard.

I asked my 9-year-old Daisy to help me because this project is totally her. I had her try out the exacto knife on a pizza box. She cut out a picture of a pizza oven and disappeared. Two hours later, Daisy emerged from her room with a pizza joint she had made, with bar, several pizza options, and snazzy lighting.

So yeah, my project isn't even as cool as that.

It took me a week to figure out what to use for a stencil. I learned you need a sturdy stencil to trace the shape for the layers from one of the many amazing cardboard blogs out there. You'd be surprised how fascinating cardboard can be once you dive in.

My project was simple because I'm craft-challenged and lacking in spatial intelligence. But what I can do is trace, so for a few days, I traced the shape from the top of my kitchen stool over and over, cutting each piece out with a large exacto knife, until I had enough layers to hold up one end of my couch. After giving up on a worthless glue gun, I used your standard white school glue between the layers.

And there you go. I'm already working on other cardboard legs to replace the ones that came with the couch. But you can sit on the thing without it tipping wildly to the side for the first time in weeks.

It isn't even about offering Bindy a seat on my couch: it's about offering her a seat on my journey of repurposing. I canNOT wait.


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