Kickstart Cardboard Furniture & Kids Imagination

Article by Paloma Basilio | 731 words

We all know the joke about when a small child receives a gift, they’re sometimes fascinated by the cardboard box it came in. I’m sure they love the toy that comes in the packaging, but children have very imaginative minds, giving them the ability to create different things out of some cardboard. One day the box can be a train, the next day it can be a house or maybe a table where they enjoy tea parties with their other toys. Children do not have any limits to their creativity.

How The Cardboard Furniture Company Came Together

With this in mind, a team called The Cardboard Guys has created “Kids Imagination Furniture.” The idea began as a senior project at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where Justin Farr and Jordan Kepler attended. “After learning that millions of tons of furniture end up in the waste stream each year, we set out to build furniture that didn’t contribute to the problem, but instead helped reduce it.” Using their “background in packaging and corrugated fiberboard,” Farr and Kepler set out to create “recyclable” cardboard furniture that was also “incredibly strong.” Shortly after graduation, the duo began working on the project full time. The third member of the team, Jake Disraeli, met them at a program in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo devoted to startups.

Justin Farr was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the specifics of their project development. Justin said that when they first began the project, the decor was adult size in order for them “to gain a better understanding of ergonomics, structural stability and application.” After they had completed the first prototype, they realized what they had created was perfect for kids.

How to Make a Cardboard Dresser Drawer

“Remembering how much fun a cardboard box could be as kids, we decided to use our designs to build the ultimate kids’ furniture set. To kids, our set isn’t just a desk and chair: it’s a platform for creativity and imagination. Fostering and encouraging this creativity in young minds is at the core of our mission.” So the team “shrank the size of the furniture and gave a couple sets out to a few family friends with kids. After a few weeks with the furniture, they went back to see how they liked the set, and needless to say, the kids loved it!”

Kids Imagination Furniture specs


The Creative Benefits of Kids Imagination Cardboard Furniture

The Kids Imagination Furniture set promotes individual creativity by acting as a blank canvas: children can do whatever they want with it. Parents will no longer have to worry about cleaning crayon off their child’s desk: this set encourages kids to draw on it. All of the pieces are reversible so when a child decides that they would like to create “new” desk décor, they can do so by simply turning over the pieces. The desk has cubbies so children can put away their painting tools and maybe a few toys. The desk and chair are very sturdy and can hold up to 500 pounds, ensuring that it can withstand the test of time.

“The Kids Imagination Furniture set is 100 percent recyclable and is made of from 40-60 percent post-consumer recycled fiber,” as the Kickstarter page explains. When children grow out of the set, it can be broken down and recycled. That way, it will “not contribute to the millions of tons of furniture waste.” As the team goes on to explain, “Everything will be manufactured in the United States.” In fact, the “trees used to make the cardboard are grown in the Pacific Northwest.”

The Kickstarter Crowdfunding Goal

The Cardboard Guys have brought their project to Kickstarter in hopes of raising $25,000 by March 27, 2015. By reaching the $25,000 goal, the Cardboard Guys will be able to purchase custom tooling, which will allow them to manufacture at a larger scale than they can now. The money will also allow them to afford their first large-scale production run. Pledges made of $20 will receive the Official Cardboard Corey Doll plus a 6-inch Cardboard Guys Sticker. Pledges made of $50 will receive The Fan Pack, which includes all of the previous gifts plus a Cardboard Guys t-shirt and three cardboard juggling balls. Those who donate $95 or more will receive a Kids Imagination Furniture set, along with other gifts.

For another take on this different kind of green movement, be sure to read up on Arvind Gupta and his mission to turn trash into toys.

If you would like to learn more about this project and how you can help, please visit

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