Finding yourself in need of a new laptop stand? You don’t have to spend any money at all. Before you go shopping for a product that’s little more than a platform to elevate your computer off your work surface, check out this simple DIY laptop stand tutorial that makes use of a common waste material.

It might not look terribly impressive at first glance, but think for a second on how functional – and cheap – this basic laptop stand design is. It is highly portable, requires nothing you do not already own and costs next to nothing to construct.

DIY recycled cardboard laptop stand

The essential steps are fairly self-explanatory: collect a pair of scissors, a used cardboard box and print out the simple shapes you will need to overlay on the cardboard in order to begin cutting out the three pieces to create the stand. Since corrugated cardboard is surprisingly strong for its weight, just two pieces will effectively do all the work to support your laptop.

DIY make your own laptop stand

Fitting together like a puzzle, the recycled cardboard pieces require no glue or fasteners, which means they can come apart as easily as they go together for maximum portability and future reuse. Just slot them together and voila, you’ve got a stand that will last you a while and didn’t cost you a cent.

If you’re not crazy about the look of this one, it would be easy to take the idea and customize it to your liking, with a different shape or size. You really don’t even have to have the pattern or print out any pieces; you might be able to eyeball the example and reproduce it on your own.

The instructions for the version pictured here can be found in greater detail at Green Upgrader, and a slightly more complex (but cooler-looking) Steampunk version can be seen at Thingiverse