Turn a Shoe Box into a Laptop Stand

Since the lockdown started all those months ago, I (and perhaps you) have become familiar with Working From Home. It started off “ok” but as the lockdown continued, my initially prepared working area’s bad ergonomics began to annoy me. To fix my screen viewing angles, I placed my secondary monitor on top of one of my desktop speakers and placed my laptop on a shoebox to raise it’s screen as well.

That worked but the downside was that I still used the laptop’s trackpad quite often for gestures so I wanted it closer to me while I was using the wireless keyboard and mouse. For this, a more traditional “wedge” laptop stand would be ideal.

So I went onto Takealot, found the Mounts and Stands section and bought an appropriate stand, the end.

Ok, no, that doesn’t sound at all like what I did 😂.

Here’s what I did:

What I used

  1. Shoe box
  2. Ruler
  3. Marker (or anything that can write on cardboard)
  4. Scissors (or anything that can cut cardboard)
  5. Tape

The Process

Enter the classic blue adidas originals shoe box, the previous home of these guys.

Open it up, bend down the tabs, push them through and unhook the cardboard on both sides.

Flatten it out, draw the cut lines (seen here in black marker) and use your scissors or craft knife to cut away the extra cardboard.

All cuts done and ready for assembly.

After cutting, flip the box over and start assembling it inside out.

Reinsert and secure the side tabs.

Flip up and tape (what was) the front flap to the newly-cut sides.

Flip the box lid over backwards et viola! You now have a laptop stand! This will work for any laptop that can fit in the shoebox lid (probably most 13″ laptops eg. Dell XPS 13, MacBook Pro 13″ or smaller) and seen here is my tiny HP Mini.

However if you have a laptop too wide to fit, there are a few more steps. In the box lid, use your fingernail to lift the tabs..

..then fold out and flatten the lid. Cut along the black marker lines.

Then bend the front lip over the other way…

… press it into place …

… and then secure it with some tape.

After adding more tape to reinforce the structure, we have a stand that can hold a larger laptop (seen here is a MacBook Pro 15″).

Post-Build Summary

I’m quite happy with this build. It transformed a box very similar to what I was already using and made it much more functional for free. Using very simple tools also makes it quite easy for you (yes, you!) to follow along and build your own. Tag @kavisblog if you post your creations to Instagram.

An additional cardboard engineering challenge would be to turn the box into a stand without using any tape and instead cutting out new tabs and slots to use for the assembly. I only noticed the potential for that solution once I’d already cut away too much cardboard. I’ll definitely be trying to do that if I make another one.

The Future

It would be quite nice to have a fancier adjustable version made out of wood..

If you have any questions/would like to share your experience with building stuff out of cardboard, please leave a reply below. To get an email when I write another post, please click here to subscribe. Thanks for reading!

The actual shoebox I’d been using for a few months before building this stand! (Also, sneakers at full retail is for suckers, don’t @me🙅‍♂️)


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