A few weeks ago, my son came to me about a science project that he had for school and asked for my help. The project was about making a soundproof cardboard box.
Soundproofing a cardboard box is a popular science project that also can be useful if you’re recording music, as you can use a cardboard box as a guitar amplifier.
Don’t worry about this type of DIY project, as soundproofing a cardboard box is pretty easy and cost-effective. You’ll only need a few materials and tools, such as sound-deadening materials, Styrofoam sheets, a tape measure, scissors and glue.
How to Soundproof a Cardboard Box
1. Choose the Right Materials and Tools
There are many different materials and tools you can use for this project, but I’ll only suggest the ones I’ve used personally and have had positive results with.
To make this project possible you’ll need:
- A cardboard box
- Soundproofing materials
- A styrofoam sheet
- Glue or a spray adhesive
- A tape measure
- A pair of scissors
After gathering your tool and materials, it’ll be time to begin.
2. Get a Cardboard Box
You can either get a cardboard box or make your own at home. You’ll be able to obtain a premade cardboard box if you search around local stores in your neighborhood. If you can’t seem to find the exact size you’re looking for, then it’s best to get one in the closest size possible. As long as it’s a good fit for what you want to soundproof, you’re in good shape.
However, if you’re a handyman (or woman), you can follow the below tutorial to make your own large box from cardboard sheets.
You can get cardboard sheets online, and once you have the cardboard box ready, it’s time to move on to the next step.
3. Insulate the Box
Once you have your cardboard box, you’ll use the Styrofoam sheets to start the soundproofing process. Styrofoam will add more density to the box, which will make soundproofing material attach itself to its surface effectively.
The first thing you’ll need to do is take some measurements. Measure the interior walls of your cardboard box, and once you do that, measure and cut the Styrofoam into 12 pieces (two for each wall of the box) with a utility knife. Keep in mind that you may only need 10 pieces if your goal is to leave one side of the box open.
However, if you have a bigger cardboard box, then it’s best to add a double layer of Styrofoam, which means you’ll need 20 or 24 pieces.
4. Install the Styrofoam Sheets
Next, it’ll be time to glue the Styrofoam to each wall of your cardboard box. I suggest that you first apply the glue to the box and wait a few seconds. Following that, you can then place the Styrofoam sheets over the walls of your cardboard box.
For better results, you can use a Styrofoam adhesive instead of glue. There are many different Styrofoam adhesives to choose from, but the most effective one is the 3M Styrofoam Spray Adhesive.
5. Apply Sound-Deadening Material
This step involves placing sound-deadening materials over the first layer of Styrofoam. If you aren’t comfortable with the results after you finish, then you can simply add another layer of Styrofoam sheets. These sheets will act as a protective barrier for the soundproofing material, and they’ll also add more density to the box and help reduce the echo inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use egg cartons to soundproof a cardboard box?
The answer is no, as an egg carton isn’t able to block noise at all. A cardboard box’s walls are already thin enough, so using another thin material, such as an egg carton, isn’t the best idea.
2. Can I soundproof my cardboard box from the outside?
Yes, you can. This might be the best idea if your cardboard box is small. You can follow the same process outlined above, but you must keep in mind that it won’t look as pretty. In regard to soundproofing and getting the maximum result possible, though, it’ll work the same.
3. Can I use acoustic foam instead of the sound-deadening material?
Yes, of course you can. In the article, I mentioned that I’ll only recommend materials that I’ve personally used myself, but you can add any material you’re comfortable with. The motive is to create a thicker barrier between the walls of your cardboard box and the exterior of the box. The main reason why I recommended the specific sound-deadening materials above is because they’re quite affordable and they work well.
4. Can I use my cardboard box to convey food?
Sure, but for this purpose, I recommend that you use the sound-deadening materials mentioned in the article above.
Well, that’s pretty much everything you need to know when it comes to soundproofing a cardboard box effectively. Now, you can place a microphone inside the box and experience high-quality audio while the box obstructs nearby sounds, or use the box to cover the blender while it’s creating noise in the kitchen.
If you want to go further, then it’s best to add extra layers of Styrofoam and soundproofing materials. You can add some on the outside as well—it’s all up to you! We wish you the best on your soundproofing journey.
If you have any questions, please let us know by leaving a comment down below. Meanwhile, you may be interested in our article about the best sound-deadening materials that you can get at an affordable price.
image: Wikimedia Commons