Be It Ever So Humble: 12 Amazing Things Made with Plywood

While furnishings and accessories made of solid wood have been king for some time, plywood is experiencing a comeback. It does, after all, tick all the boxes—it's durable, economical, and sustainable. Despite these attractions, plywood hasn't gotten much respect in the past, but that may be changing. Many builders, renovators, and DIYers no longer view it only as an economical last resort, but rather as a go-to material. Particularly as solid wood becomes more expensive, design innovators are turning to plywood. Their original plywood creations prove that this material should be looked at as a first-rate choice for your next project. We've unearthed a multitude of new uses for the material, but first let’s take a look at a classic piece that put plywood on the map.

By Sara Carpenter | Updated Aug 18, 2015 01:29 PM

Eames Molded-Plywood Chair

Eames Molded Plywood Chair

Topping our list is the often imitated but never replicated Lounge Chair Wood, the molded-plywood chair now known as the Eames chair, from seminal designers Charles and Ray Eames. Once honored by Time magazine as the best design of the 20th century, the sleek, innovative chair was created to be mass-produced and affordable, although the timeless design means that these come with a hefty price tag today.

Plywood Speaker

DIY Plywood iPhone Speakers

Here's a blast from the past with a modern vibe. When a pricey model caught his eye, designer Noel Davis decided to make his own update of the vintage Victrola speaker. After researching loudspeaker design, Davis used plywood and a laser cutter to assemble his own interpretation.

Related:  More Than Meets the iPhone—9 Add-Ons to Transform Your Mobile Device

Plywood Lampshade

Plywood Lampshade

A hanging light’s warmth is enhanced by the glow from its lampshade, in this case a modular pattern of shapes cut from plywood. The design was inspired by the contours of a spiral staircase.

Related:  Trending Now—Pendant Lighting

Plywood Bedroom

Plywood Floors

This plywood-filled bedroom demonstrates just how economical the material can be. The floors, accent wall, and nightstand makeover cost the owners a mere $200. If you're working with a bigger budget, consider applying a lacquer finish.

Related:  Wood Flooring 101

Patterned Table

Plywood Patterned Table

Plywood might very well be the main topic of dinner conversation at this table. This unique and customizable tabletop requires exact planning, a little staining, and precise cutting.

Related:  5 Ways to Get Perfect, Clean Cuts in Plywood

Plywood House

Plywood House Interior

Japanese firm UID Architects used plywood everywhere to create a structure that celebrates nature. An in-home garden and plenty of windows bring the outdoors in, while the plywood ceiling, walls, and structural elements offer a natural touch that many other materials would not.

Android-System Chair

Plywood Chair

A modern and futuristic take on the plywood chair, the Android-System Chair, by Bulgarian designer Konstantin Achkov, is composed of CNC-cut birch plywood parts. It's delivered in pieces that join together without glue, screws, or nails, so plan on some assembly time before you can sit down and take a load off.

Plywood Desk

Plywood Desk

A customizable desk can help you do your most efficient work, and making that desk out of plywood will ensure you stay within your budget. Take advantage of space below the desktop by adding shelves to hold supplies, books, and your printer.

Plywood Mini Camper

Plywood Mini Camper

This plywood-and-fiberglass electric camper car would certainly stand out among the vintage Airstream trailers that have made a comeback in recent years. The tiny car is equipped with everything you'd need for a weekend at the beach: a sink, stove, cooler, toilet, and bed.

Related:  Home, Home on the Road—10 Houses on Wheels

Plywood Console

Plywood TV Table

Ringing up at $40, this stacked-plywood media console can be constructed to perfectly fit your DVR, DVD player, and gaming systems. And the budget-friendly price tag means you can use the money you've saved on more movies or games.

Plywood Bike

Wood Bike

Dutch designers at Bleijh Industrial developed a plywood-framed bike in an effort to cut down on the steep shipping costs of bicycles. The bike comes flat-packed with assembly instructions. Word is, assembly is as easy as riding a bike.

Folding Chair

Wooden Folding Chair

If space-saving is paramount, we’ve found your best option for extra seating. Designer Leo Salom used a CNC router to cut plywood sheets into highly functional and attractive folding chairs that lie completely flat when not in use.

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