Art and Design

The Strength of Shapes

We all know that newspaper is very weak. It flaps about and you can tear it easily. So can you make a stool out of newspaper? You can if you use strong shapes.

The strongest shape is the triangle. The inside of roofs is usually made of triangles. Tubes are also very strong. They are used to build bridges. If you make triangles with tubes you can build a stool of newspaper.

Cryfder Siapiau 1 / The Strength of Shapes 1


You will need sheets of newspaper, sticky tape and a board to make a seat.

  1. Roll a dozen sheets of newspaper together to make a tube and tape it along the join.
  2. Make more tubes, all the same length.
  3. Notice that the tubes are weak when you press the sides but strong when you press them end to end.
  4. Make a triangle out of three tubes taped together at the ends. Feel how strong the triangle is when you push it at the corners.
  5. Lay the triangle flat and join tubes from each corner to make a pyramid taped together at the top.
  6. Make two more pyramids the same.
  7. Lay a board across the points of the three pyramids to make a stool
  8. See if the stool can support a weight. If it can, try sitting on it!

Tips: Use newspaper without folds in it. Wrap plenty of tape around the corners.