View Full Version : Cardboard Uke

10-30-2011, 04:34 PM
Just finished up my first "build." I had a lot of shipping boxes sitting around the house, so I decided to put them to good use.


1 x large amazon.com shipping box
1 x staples office paper box
1 x bottle of wood glue
1 x back of notebook
12 x brass cotter pin
2 x mini hinge
1 threaded brass rod
4 x bronze (all they had) flanged bushings
4 x cheap tuners
1 set of martin uke strings
2 x brass screws (leftover from an ikea project)

Here's a video... you'll have to excuse the playing... its my new song I'm working on.


10-30-2011, 05:14 PM
Haha, this is awesome! Nicely done!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-30-2011, 05:46 PM
I usually pass on any thread with "cardboard" in the title but you've impressed me with your efforts. If you did that well with cardboard, build your next one out of wood and really blow our socks off.
(I wonder if this uke would get around the Lacey Act? In any case I'm going to start saving my boxes.)

10-30-2011, 05:59 PM
I think as long as she keeps the receipts from the amazon and staples boxes she should be in full compliance with the Lacey act.

The uke looks awesome by the way!

10-30-2011, 07:14 PM
First post - Welcome to UU. First build - Impressed!!

10-30-2011, 08:05 PM
Very nice! Well done and welcome to UU!


10-30-2011, 08:41 PM
...should be in full compliance with the Lacey act.

Ah yes, and you can even deduct all your costs as "office supplies" - way to go! Impressive work, especially for a first build. Now, where did I put those amazon boxes....

10-30-2011, 09:30 PM
No Way!! That is AWESOME!! Congratulations for ''thinking outside the square''! It sounds better than a lot of other ukes out there!! :)

Welcome to UU - we look forward to hearing more of your songs - that one is great!


10-31-2011, 02:18 PM
Thanks for all the positive feedback. I thought I might post a couple pics from the building process....


Rick Turner
10-31-2011, 03:47 PM
Brazilian cardboard...that's the stuff!

10-31-2011, 03:57 PM
How did you bend such thick sides without cracking?

10-31-2011, 04:12 PM
How did you bend such thick sides without cracking?

No bending required. I cut a template (traced from my kala soprano), and just stacked layers of cardboard until I got to the thickness I wanted (I think it was 13 layers).

10-31-2011, 04:26 PM
Time to install a pickup! lol

11-01-2011, 05:01 AM
Cool, Any pictures of the neck?

11-01-2011, 03:03 PM
Cool, Any pictures of the neck?

The main part of the neck is made from 11 layers of thin corrugated cardboard (staples paper box). For the head, I added 3 more layers on either side to widen it up. I used a mortise and tenon type construction. I only have a couple of pictures from before it was put together. Also on the head, I reinforced both the faces with some cardboard from the back of a notebook, which gave a smooth surface to attach the tuners.


11-01-2011, 03:22 PM
Great undertaking. It even sounds damn good (what type of strings work with cardboard?).

11-02-2011, 07:44 PM

11-02-2011, 08:57 PM
Good design, how about the sound?

11-03-2011, 03:34 AM
Pretty clever use of materials. I was wondering why the frets stuck out on one side...but I see how you used the cotter pins now.
I'm not sure the sound will start any big fads. But as a project its very cool!!

Vic D
11-03-2011, 05:32 AM
Best cardboard uke I've seen so far. Love the tune. A biodegradable ukulele made from scraps... huh... it's so MacGyver.

11-19-2011, 02:09 AM
I made an instructable for anyone who is interested in seeing the details....