Make: Projects

DIY Clothes-Folding Board

Fold clothes the way the pros do it.

DIY Clothes-Folding Board

If you are like me, you want to spend as little time folding clothes as possible. In retail stores, they speed up the process by using a folding board. A simple hinged board dramatically reduces the time that it takes to fold a shirt. You can make your own out of cardboard recycled from shipping boxes.

Here is a video summarizing the project.

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Steps

Step #1: Materials

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DIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding Board
  • The materials for this project are cardboard and duct tape. More specifically, you need six pieces of corrugated cardboard that are at least 9 inches (23 cm) by 12 inches (30.5 cm) each. I found pieces of the appropriate size in the form of three shipping boxes that I had in my garage.
  • The duct tape can be replaced by any other kind of tape. However, there is just something iconic about a project that is made from nothing but cardboard and duct tape.
  • The only tools that you will need are a sharp knife (such as a box cutter) and a ruler/yardstick (optional).

Step #2: Cut the Cardboard to Size

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DIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding Board
  • You need six rectangles of cardboard to form the base of the folding board. The dimensions of the cardboard pieces will determine the dimensions of the folded shirt. 9 inches (23 cm) by 12 inches (30.5 cm) is a dimension that is commonly used in department stores for large shirts.
  • Alternatively, you can just fold a shirt to whatever size that you prefer and use that as a template.
  • Measure and mark the outline of six rectangles of your chosen size. Then carefully cut them out with your knife. Try to keep the sides as even as possible.

Step #3: Tape the Panels Together

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DIY Clothes-Folding Board
  • Lay out the panels in a grid of three wide by two high as shown in the picture. Space them out so that there is a gap of about 1/4 inch between them. This gap lets the panels easily fold and move while in use.
  • On both the front and back sides, tape each of the panels on the top row to each of the panels that are adjacent to them as shown in the picture. Then your shirt folding board is complete!

Step #4: Use the Folding Board

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DIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding BoardDIY Clothes-Folding Board
  • Now you are ready to fold some clothes.
  • 1. Place a shirt face down centered on the board.
  • 2. Fold one side panel over and back.
  • 3. Fold the other side panel over and back.
  • 4. Fold the bottom center panel up and back.
  • If all went well, you should have a perfectly folded shirt in a fraction of the time it takes to do it without the board.

Jason Poel Smith

Jason Poel Smith is a helicopter tooling engineer. When he’s not inventing, he’s spending time with his amazing family.


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