How to Make Cardboard Hard Like Wood

Cardboards are generally used for packaging several materials, but it greater usabilities rather than just a packaging material. Cardboard boxes can be used for several DIY projects, and that’s what makes them special. They are sustainable, and with some simple techniques, you can make them as hard as wood. This means you can make almost anything you want when you have to get your cardboards partially or appropriately hard like wood.

It will allow you to make some lightweight furniture in a cost-effective way. Whether or not, there are several other aspects for which you are gonna need them turned hard as wood, and I am going to waste any time discussing the possibilities. So, leave all those things, and let’s see how to make cardboard hard like wood?

How to Make Cardboard Hard Like Wood 1

Before I learned about the usage of cardboard, I always thought they were useless material or could only be used for packaging purposes. So, whenever I moved from one place to another or bought some new items, I gathered the cardboard and sold them at a certain period of time.

But once I thought, why not use them rather than just throwing them or selling them out. I also searched like you and gathered some wonderful ideas about using these items. For this article, particularly, I have chosen to show you how to make cardboard hard like wood.

Summary: Cardboard can be made to feel like wood by using a few simple techniques. First, cover the cardboard in a thin layer of wax or oil. This will make the cardboard harder and more resistant to scratches. Next, use a sharp object to scratch the surface of the cardboard. This will create small holes that water can easily enter and cause the cardboard to become hard as wood.


Things You Will Need

  • PVA glue
  • Brush
  • Polyester resin
  • Plastic Cups
  • Safety goggles
  • Newspaper
  • Silicone mat
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety Mask
  • Resin Catalyst
Number of Items
Grafix Medium Weight Chipboard Sheets, 12-Inch by 12-Inch, Natural
Grafix Medium Weight Chipboard Sheets
Check Prices
Acid-free design
Number of Items
25 sheets
Cricut Heavy Chipboard, Brown, Pack of 5
Cricut Heavy Chipboard
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Perfect for 3d Crafts
Number of Items
5 sheets
Corrugated Cardboard ,Kraft Brown,
Corrugated Cardboard
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Corrugated Pads
Number of Items
50 sheets

How to Make Cardboard Hard Like Wood

You will need to apply glue to the surface of the cardboard. To do this accurately, follow the steps below.

Step 1

In order to make homemade slime, you will need to mix one part PVA glue with one part water. Once you have done this, choose a work area and spread a newspaper around it to protect the surface.

Use PVA Glue

Step 2

In order to make your own cardboard, you will need to mix together some ingredients and then apply it to a surface. Once you have applied the mixture, you will need to let it dry for at least two hours.

Step 3

If the first layer has dried out, you have to now apply the second layer on the cardboard’s surface. Don’t hurry while you apply this coat on the cardboard surface; take your time, and do it thoroughly. Make sure to apply the coat to the underside and inside of your cardboard. Once you complete applying the PVC glue, leave it dry again.

Use Many Layers of Cardboard

Step 4

Now you have to mix the glue and water again, but in a different ratio. This time, you need to mix two parts glue to every one part water.

Step 5

Next, you have to apply the third coat with this more PVC mixture. Like always, when you will complete, you have to give the required time to dry properly. While doing this, you will notice that your cardboard is taking a shiny plastic-like appearance. That’s the sign; you are heading towards the right place.

Step 6

After that, you have to create another mixture of PVC glue. Don’t get annoyed; it is all about the game of glue. The more glue you will apply, the harder your cardboard will become. But you have to maintain consistency; otherwise, the entire project can get ruin. You have to focus on the bottom and interior parts of your cardboard when you are applying the fourth layer of PVC.

Step 7

This is time to end up the process. I mean, you have to apply the final coat of PVC glue. Make another mixture of glue by maintaining the ratio of 2:1 and then apply all of them on the surface of the project. When this final coat dries, your cardboard will become harder than before. This is the end of the whole process of how to make a cardboard suit of armor. You should follow the steps very carefully for building up your own set of armor.


Okay, now you have to focus on applying a fiberglass resin coat. So, let’s see how you will do that.

Step 1

For this purpose, you have to choose your workspace in a well-ventilated area. Like the previous method, spread a newspaper on the floor so that your floor doesn’t get damaged during the process. After that, place the silicone mat and place your cardboard on that mat. As the cardboard has become hardened, it won’t stick with the silicone mat. By the way, make sure to wear safety glasses and gloves during this process.

Step 2

Now, take the polyester resin and mix it up with the catalyst. The amount of this mixture depends on your cardboard’s size, so use your eyeballs to ensure the perfect amount. Allow 17 minutes to set resin properly. I will recommend you to mix a little amount at the initial stage and then mix more if needed.

Take Polyester Resin and Mix It

Step 3

Once you have finished mixing the resin, take a brush, and start applying the resin to your cardboard’s surface. In this case, you may have to accomplish the process in two parts because you won’t be able to apply the mixture on both sides at the same time. So, finish the front side first and then start working with the bottom side. Make sure to apply enough resin so that no space remains empty.

Applying the Resin

Step 4

After applying the resin on the entire surface, you have to leave it for 24 hours to let it set properly. Once it is dry, you have to apply another layer of resin on the surface and then leave it for another 24 hours drying process. That’s it; your cardboards will now become hard as woods.

You can check it out to Make Cardboard Look Like Wood

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cardboard with dirt on it be recycled?

Yes, cardboard with dirt on it can be recycled.

However, you need to clean the cardboard and make sure that there is no paint or other chemicals on it before recycling.

You can either recycle the cardboard yourself by taking it to a local recycling center, or you can take it to your city’s recycling depot, where they will recycle it for you.

Is it better to compost or recycle cardboard?

Composting is the best option for cardboard because it will break down the materials into smaller pieces that are easier to digest.

Recycling is better than composting when it comes to paper, glass, metal, and plastic. However, recycling won’t help in breaking down cardboard material.

What happens when cardboard gets wet?

When cardboard gets wet, it can absorb water and swell. This is because cardboard has a high level of cellulose which acts like a sponge. The swelling causes the paper to tear easily, and then the ink on it will start to run.

Can you turn cardboard into wood?

Yes, you can make wood from cardboard. There are many ways to do this, but the simplest is to use the pressure cooker method.

Place a sheet of cardboard in the bottom of a pressure cooker and then add water until it’s saturated. Cook on high for about 10 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and turned into steam.

You will need to keep adding more water so that there is always enough liquid in the pot. The steam will turn into hot liquid, which will cause fibers from the cardboard to split apart, creating long thin strips of wood fiber with each pass through the boiler.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the above process is going to be way more helpful for you, and you won’t have to ask anyone how to make cardboard hard like wood. If you are still confused or got something more enhanced, let me know through the comment section. You may also read now.

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Jennifer Branett
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