Crafts

Crafts

Kids

Kids

Paper crafts

Paper crafts

Sewing

Sewing

Green

Green

Organizing

Organizing

Time savers

Time savers

Money savers

Money savers

Quick tips

Quick tips

Decorating

Decorating

Food

Food

Gift ideas

Gift ideas

Parties

Parties

Weddings

Weddings

Holidays

Holidays

Christmas

Christmas

Travel

Travel

 
   Create “magic” folding wooden photo cubes Posted by Chica 
May 8, 2008 
Chica
 

Toolbox

Have you ever seen those little desktop photo cubes that fold and unfold to reveal more and more pictures on each side? If you’re not sure what I mean, check out the video below to see one in action. Pretty cool, right? They fascinate kids and adults alike (myself included), and make wonderful gifts for just about any occasion — birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and more — and are especially nice for people who are hard to shop for. Besides that, they’re just plain fun!

Want to see a photo cube in action? Check out this video!

If you can’t see the video, try viewing it directly on YouTube.

These photo cubes are not very difficult to make, as long as you know the steps to follow. The instructions I’ve found online are lacking a lot, so I’ve taken some common tips for making these and added a lot of extra hints and instructions to come up with the detailed guide below for making your own. In case you want to work on this project away from your computer, I also created a PDF version of these Magic Folding Cube Instructions that you can download and print.

Gather the supplies

The first thing you’ll need to build this photo cube is 8 wooden cubes that measure 1.5″ on each side. You can often find individual wooden blocks at your local craft store, or visit our Amazon store where we sell sets of 1.5″ wooden blocks that are perfect for this project.

magic folding photo cubesBefore you start, be sure to check the edges of your wood cubes and sand lightly, if needed (we like these flexible sanding sponges) to get rid of any splinters. You may also want to use markers or paint to color the edges of the blocks, because they may end up showing a bit in the finished project. If you choose to do this, use a color that is complementary to your photos or something neutral like white or black.

Now this part is important — you’re also going to need some really strong double-sided adhesive to attach your photos to the blocks. This adhesive will end up serving as hinges between blocks, too, so you need to choose it carefully. I highly recommend using sheets of what’s often called “red liner tape”. We actually sell the perfect double-sided tape sheets in our Amazon store. This stuff is made up of a thin sheet of plastic that’s coated on both sides with a super-sticky adhesive. Besides being the stickiest tape I’ve ever seen, it’s also VERY durable, and thick and flexible enough to make perfect hinges between your blocks that won’t ever tear. You’ll need two 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of this tape to handle all ten of your photos.

Choosing and printing photos

You will need eight 3″x3″ pictures and two 3″x6″ pictures for this project. These photos can not be printed on typical photo paper, because photo paper is too thick to bend easily and won’t work for this project. Instead, you need to either have color copies made of your photos at the local copy shop, or print the pictures yourself on a thinner paper. We highly recommend you choose a 24-lb, bright white paper that has built-in smudge resistance, such as HP’s Bright White Inkjet Paper.

magic folding photo cubesI have one other tip that will help you with printing. When you print your pictures, if they aren’t coming out as bright or as you’d like, try telling your printer that you are printing on Photo/Glossy paper, rather than ordinary paper. This little lie will cause your printer to push out a lot more ink and your photos will be much bolder, giving you much better results.

Once you’ve selected all your photos and printed them out on proper paper, go ahead and cut them to size, but take note — cut each picture just a bit larger (about 1/16″ to 1/8″ of an inch) than the specified measurement. This extra little bit will help later when your photos have to span the gaps between the blocks. (Trust me, it’ll make sense when you get to that point.) If the pieces end up too big, you can always trim them later with a utility knife or scissors – better safe than sorry!

Preparing the photos

Now that your photos are printed and cut to size, you will need to back them with the double-sided tape. Peel one side of the backing off and arrange your photos on the sticky part you exposed, ensuring that the back of each photo is completely covered in adhesive. Trim the photos again to size. Don’t peel off the other backing layer yet!

magic folding photo cubesOnce all of your photos are cut and backed with adhesive, you’ll need to arrange them as indicated in the diagram below. Take note of the numbers in the diagram and assign these numbers to your photos. Then use a paper trimmer or scissors to cut each photo into squares/rectangles as indicated in the picture. For example, cut picture #1 into four squares, #2 into two rectangles, etc. Take care of the photos after you’re cut them, so they don’t get mixed up!

Tip: Since your photos are actually a little larger than the finished size, cut them from the center, rather than just measuring 1.5″ from one side. This will keep the extra paper on all sides, instead of just one or two.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Make a spacer

magic folding photo cubesAfter trimming your photos, you should have lots of scraps of paper and double-sided tape sheets. You’re going to use some of those scraps to make a spacer that will be used during assembly. Start with three pieces of adhesive that are about 3″ long and 1/2″ wide. Peel the backing off of each piece and stick the three of them together. Then cover the remaining two sticky sides with scraps of your photo paper. Trim the whole thing if needed to get rid of overhanging edges. What you’re created is a spacer that’s just a bit thicker that two layers of photos will be on your cubes. Just hang on to this for now. You’ll need it when we begin assembly.

Magic folding wooden photo cube spacer

Assemble the cube

With your photos all cut into the right pieces, you’re finally ready to start assembling the cube!

Start by lining 4 wooden blocks up into a square on the table. Then take the four squares of photo #1 and stick each one to one of the cubes, as seen in the diagram below.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

magic folding photo cubesThen take the other four wooden blocks and line them up into a square. You’re going to want to put one rectangle across the top two blocks and then another across the bottom, but wait! We need our spacer! Let’s think about this for a minute… later on, when our blocks are all covered in photos, they’re going to be a little thicker than they are now, right? If we stick a photo across two blocks without accounting for that space first, then later there won’t be room for the photos when we add them. So slide your spacer strip between the blocks, so that it sticks out where the arrows are in the diagram below. Then stick your two rectangles to the blocks as shown.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

You’ll also notice, as you try to make your photo reach across the two blocks AND the space, that there’s a reason I had you cut them a tiny bit larger than 3 inches! That extra size will really come in handy for spans like this!

Now turn the set of four blocks with photo #1 on them over, like this:

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Take the four blocks with photo #2 on them and place them on top of the four you just flipped, like this:

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Ok, time for our first tricky fold. Put your hands on the left and right side of your cube, grabbing 4 blocks with each. Lift the sides up so that the top (photo #2) folds in on itself, as seen below, with the pivot being the red line in the diagram. The result will be all eight blocks laying in a rectangle.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #3 to the tops of the eight blocks, taking care to use the spacer whenever covering a span of two blocks, as indicated with arrows below:

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Now fold the top four blocks down and the bottom four blocks up, with the pivot on the red line in the diagram. Your new photo #3 that you just attached will fold in on itself and become hidden inside. You’ll end up with eight blocks showing in a rectangle.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #4 to the tops of the eight blocks, taking care to use the spacer whenever covering a span of two blocks, as indicated with arrows below:

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Now fold the two leftmost blocks and two rightmost blocks up towards the center, pivoting on the red lines in the diagram. Your new photo #4 that you just attached will become hidden inside. You’ll end up with a cube shape.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #5 to the tops of the four blocks. You do NOT need the spacer anymore because the blocks underneath already have photos attached to them.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Rotate the entire cube to the left, so that photo #5 moves from the top side to the left side. You will expose a new surface with no photo on it.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #6 to the tops of the four blocks. Again, you no longer need the spacer strip.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Rotate the entire cube to the left, so that photo #6 moves from the top side to the left side (and #5 is now face-down on the table). You will expose a new surface with no photo on it.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #7 to the tops of the four blocks. Again, you no longer need the spacer strip.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Rotate the entire cube to the left, so that photo #7 moves from the top side to the left side (and #6 is now face-down on the table and #5 is now on the right). You will expose a new surface with no photo on it.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #8 to the tops of the four blocks. Again, you no longer need the spacer strip.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Rotate the entire cube to the left, so that photo #8 moves from the top side to the left side. You will now have photo #5 showing on top.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Now rotate again, this time towards you, so that #5 becomes the side closest to you and the top has no photos on it.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #9 to the tops of the four blocks. Again, you no longer need the spacer strip.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Rotate the entire cube towards you, so that photo #9 moves from the top side to the side closest to you. You will now have photo #7 showing on top. Now rotate again, towards you, so that #7 becomes the side closest to you and the top has no photos on it.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

Apply the pieces of photo #10 to the tops of the four blocks. Again, you no longer need the spacer strip.

Magic folding wooden photo cubes

The result

That’s it! You’re done! To view all the photos, just fold and unfold the cube, revealing a new side with every twist. You can display the cube with any photo showing that you want.

magic folding photo cubes

magic folding photo cubesmagic folding photo cubesmagic folding photo cubes

magic folding photo cubesmagic folding photo cubesmagic folding photo cubes

Now you have a custom photo cube that makes a great toy, gift, or even unique commemorative “album”. I made my mother a photo cube last year on Mother’s Day, with pictures of all of her kids and grandkids. Jo made one for her sister-in-law featuring pictures of the family dog. Because they will have 12 sides, you can also make a desk calendar out of them. Now that I think about it, they would even make a lovely, unique bridesmaid gift if made with pictures of the bride and bridesmaid together!

Update! How to achieve a glossy finish

Now that you’ve completed your photo cube, you may be noticing that it has a flat finish and you would like a glossy one. Because the cube needed to fold easily, you had to use a thin paper and couldn’t use glossy photo paper. However, we have developed a technique that will let you give your photo cube the shine it deserves, and also protect it from fingerprints and handling, making it last even longer. Check out our follow-up post titled “New glossy finish for our folding photo cube” for details.

98 comments so far:

  1. Chica said: (May 17th, 2008 at 4:18 pm)

    Hey folks, one more hint I just thought of. When you finish your photo cube, the pictures that will be on the outside six sides are photos #5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. So, if you want to have certain pictures show up on the outside, plan on using those pictures in these numbered positions.

  2. Rita said: (May 19th, 2008 at 9:35 am)

    I purchased a photo cube kit from Chica and Jo and the directions are SUPER easy to follow and the parts were perfect. I left a little too much border on my photos (it was more than Chica’s recommended 1/16″ of an inch) so be sure to have an exacto knife or Cutter Bee scissors on hand to fix any extras. My mom LOVED it.

  3. CheerMom said: (June 15th, 2008 at 10:50 am)

    My daughter and I made one of these for her cheerleading coach as a thank you gift with pictures of the squad throughout the season. She was thrilled with it! She said it was the most unique coaching gift she had ever received. Now all the girls on the squad want one too! Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Ross said: (June 18th, 2008 at 3:13 pm)

    Just wanted to thank you for the kit – it worked great and the gift was a huge hit.

  5. Chica said: (June 18th, 2008 at 3:16 pm)

    I’m so glad you are all enjoying this project and the kits. The best thing about these photo cubes is that every single person who sees one is amazed and says “You MADE that?” It always feels so good to say “Yes!”

  6. Romanda said: (August 15th, 2008 at 12:50 pm)

    Hi !
    Although I realize that your site tells us how to create the folding picture cube I was wondering if you may know a company that makes them? We are hoping to give them as corporate gifts and so would need quite a few (which elimates the possiblity of us making them lol)

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Romanda

  7. Jo said: (August 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm)

    Romanda,

    We found the following site that offers them for $12.85 for a minimum
    order of 500. I believe these are made of plastic though.
    http://www.freshnovelties.com.au/magic-cubes/magic-puzzle-cube.html

    If you are looking for a smaller quantity, we would be willing to work
    a deal with you to make them for you. Please let us know how many you
    would need and thank you for visiting our site.

  8. Chica said: (August 17th, 2008 at 11:43 am)

    Hey everybody, I wanted to let you know that I’ve just updated this post to include lots of new pictures, a tip for printing your photos, and a video of a photo cube in action. Be sure to check it out!

  9. Naughty Mommy =-) said: (September 23rd, 2008 at 9:13 pm)

    WOW!!! This ROCKS HARD!! I CANNOT wait to make this. I am going to devote Friday 9/26 to looking for the tape sheets locally. If I can’t find them, I will have to order them from OTC. I teach preschool and only have 5 kids, I always take tons of pictures, I might make these as gifts for the parents. If I do, I am pretty sure I will become EVERYONE’S “Most Favorite-est Teacher” ever…;-)

    Thanks for the info…
    ~me

  10. Naughty Mommy =-) said: (September 23rd, 2008 at 9:18 pm)

    Ok…I sooooo love the whole calendar idea…If one wanted to try it…how would one order the months?? Since there are only 10 pictures, some of the month’s are gonna have to play nice and share…which ones??

    Please advise…
    Naughty Mommy ;-)

  11. Chica said: (September 24th, 2008 at 7:27 am)

    Thanks for the great comments, Naughty Mommy! I’m sure your students’ parents will indeed love it if you made them all photo cubes.

    Good luck finding the tape sheets locally (I was never able to at a reasonable price). If you have a hard time finding pieces, remember that we sell kits in our store too :)

    For the calendar idea, you’ll want to make pictures #3 and #4, which are 6″x3″ rectangles, each display two square months. That will bring you up to 12 square months total, even though there are 10 pieces of paper.

    And you’re right that two months will have to play nice and share. Since pictures #3 and #4 are displayed lengthwise (see here, you’ll be able to see two months at once. As for which ones you choose, that’s up to you. You could pick two months that are next to each other (like May and June) so that they make sense when both viewed at once, or you can pick two that are far apart (like May and September) so that you get to shift your cube every month and give yourself a new view.

    We would love to see your calendar cube if you make one. Have fun!

  12. Naughty Mommy said: (September 24th, 2008 at 3:49 pm)

    Chica,

    Thanks for the rapid response!!

    I have a 50% off coupon from Michael’s that is BURNING a whole in my purse…I am going to run out today and price the cubes…whouldn’t it rock if I could get the blocks for next to nothing…? I guess I will find out once I get there.

    I am going to place my order with OTC this weekend for the tape sheets. I might also go into Photoshop Elements and play around with some pictures/calendars.

    As soon as I get all of the goods, I am gonna whip one of these bad boy’s up. I will post it when it’s ready.

    Thanks a BUNCH for sharing this WONDERFUL project.

    ~NM

  13. sammy said: (October 9th, 2008 at 6:10 pm)

    Hi I made this for my moms birthday and she loved it.

  14. maria said: (October 22nd, 2008 at 11:49 am)

    We made one for a friend’s 30th birthday – it was a big hit at the party!! TIP: we were in a rush and couldn’t find the Red Line tape paper, so we printed the pics from a color laser printer directly onto full-sheet labels (you can get them at officemax, etc). Inkjets generally have better photo-printing quality, but lasr prints have less possibility of smudging and that’s all they use at OfficeMax.

    Then, we made the spacer from scraps of the full-sheet label material. We stuck the pics directly onto the cubes, THEN we cut between the blocks as per the diagrams, with a utility knife, turning the cube upside-down to trim the edges. It came out real nice; however, I’m sure it wasn’t quite as “finished-looking”, as it could have been, had we cut the pics before sticking them on. Also, although we got the more ‘permanent’ adhesive-backed labels, I’m not sure how they compare to the Red Line.

    The assembly process took about an hour, start-to-finish, not counting the gathering and cropping of the photos on the computer.

    It was so much FUN!! Chica & Jo – thanks for the instructions, they were great!! We’ll be making many more photo cubes!!

  15. Chica said: (October 22nd, 2008 at 12:45 pm)

    Hi Maria! We’re so delighted to hear your story, and glad you had fun with the project.

    I admire your cleverness in coming up with the idea of using the full-sheet labels for printing your photos. You sure did make it work in a pinch, but I’m afraid I’m worried about how well your cube is going to hold up over time. The problem is that the adhesive paper is really thin, and as you fold the cubes over and over, you’ll find that the hinges will crease and probably tear :( The biggest benefit of the “red liner tape” is not just its super-sticky nature — it’s the durability. The tape is actually a layer of flexible plastic that’s sticky on both sides. You can NOT tear it (trust me, I’ve tried!), so your cube’s hinges are going to be much more durable and last for ages. I really do love your creative thinking, but I suggest using the tape in the future, if at all possible :)

    I am quite intrigued by your other idea of applying the photos first and then cutting them later with a knife. For your paper adhesive, I’m sure that worked quite well, but it might not be as easy to do for the thicker tape. I might have to try it out on the next cube I make.

    Thanks for posting your results and especially your assembly time. I’m sure our other readers appreciate the info! If you’d like to share photos of your finished product, feel free to add them to our new Flickr Pool.

    P.S. I realized my original instructions were brief regarding tape selection, so I’ve modified them a bit above to make it clear how important it is to use the right tape. Hopefully that helps our readers :)

  16. Lowell Nicholas said: (January 28th, 2009 at 11:19 am)

    Love this!

  17. Claudia said: (March 2nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm)

    Hi – Following Maria’s lead, I used sheet sticker paper as well and applied an 8×10 sheet of adhesive clear laminate to the top of each sheet, which not only adds strength to the hinges (which, as you noted, might be a concern with the sticker paper alone) but also has the benefit of making the whole thing glossy and water-resistant, in one easy step!! Worked like a charm and i was able to easily cut through the sheets after they had been applied. I made 25 for my son’s birthday party invitation, so avoiding all that pre-cutting saved time and prevented me from losing various bits in the process!!

  18. Chica said: (March 2nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm)

    Hi Claudia. That’s a good idea with the laminate. I’ve tried something similar once before, but found that the laminate was a bit too stiff to allow the blocks to bend easily, and it also wrinkled along the fold points, so I wasn’t very happy with the results. Sounds like it worked great for you, though. You must have had really thin laminate. Do you remember the brand?

    Thanks so much for sharing your results with us. I can’t believe you made 25 photo cubes. Wow! Using them as a party invitation is a fun idea. We’d love to see them if you’ve got a picture.

  19. Claudia said: (March 2nd, 2009 at 8:45 pm)

    I used Avery brand laminating sheets. To be honest, since they were for invitations and not for all posterity, I didnt mind too much if they wrinkled over time, But the extra one I kept has been duly handled by the 6yo birthday boy and seems to be holding up well with minimal wrinkling. I’ll post a picture soon.

  20. rosemary said: (March 25th, 2009 at 11:48 am)

    I followed your insructions but found that the edges of my photos stuck out beyond the cubes and needed trimming. I soon realised what you meant about the additional allowance but I think it would be clearer if you stipulated that the edges of each photo must exactly meet the outside edges of the cubes – and that the additional allowance must just span the cracks. I was a bit confused by your instructons there. Otherwise – very clear and well laid out. Thank you. Not an easy project and mine does not look professional even though I am a life-long professional ‘craftsperson’. I will keep trying!

  21. rosemary said: (March 25th, 2009 at 11:53 am)

    For what it’s worth – I prepared the pictures ( from a magazine) as I went along, to avoid confusion, and applied the tape to the cubes before removing the guard and pressing down the photo. I then cut through the cracks of the assembled blocks with a craft knife. I guess there are always more ways than one to skin a cat!

  22. Chica said: (March 25th, 2009 at 12:17 pm)

    Hi Rosemary. Thanks for the input! As you’ve suggested, it is really hard to describe exactly how big to cut those photos. It takes some practice to get a feel for it, but I believe you’re better off having pictures that are too big (that you can trim later) than not big enough.

    When I assemble a cube myself, I usually just leave the pictures extra big and stick them to the blocks, then trim the edges with a pair of scissors (OTC’s non-stick scissors are invaluable here).

    Your sure found a clever new way to stick the pictures on… tape first! Your tip about cutting the blocks apart with a knife sounds a lot like Maria’s method. There really are lots of ways to tackle the details of this project, and thanks so much for sharing yours :)

  23. Justin said: (April 26th, 2009 at 5:16 am)

    Wow, this is an incredible site. I have just discovered so many interesting articles. This cube is high on my next gift list. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Chica said: (April 26th, 2009 at 7:52 am)

    Thanks Justin, and welcome to the site! If you’re planning on making a cube, be sure to check out the photo cube kits in our store.

  25. Stephenie said: (May 18th, 2009 at 8:26 pm)

    I love this! Thank you for letting me know about you all being at the local scrapbook store, I love that store! Please let me know if you all do another demo somewhere I would love to see it!!! This is right up my paper crafting alley. =) If you all have a newsletter please sign me up!
    Hugs,
    stephenie

  26. Adam said: (June 30th, 2009 at 6:24 am)

    Thanks Chica and Jo.

    Made one for my girlfriend with pictures of our travelling trip.

    I have a few tips on how I made mine.

    Went to my local DIY shop and brought a square baluster (banister upright). I had to tweak the measurements but this choice of wood worked well and didn’t splinter.

    For the tape I had trouble buying the red-liner tape so instead I brought a roll of 1 inch wide very strong double sided tape. So long as you lay the strips on the pictures so that they don’t overlap and make sure you lay the tape perpendicular to a hinge it works great!

    Have now been charged to make another one for a family friends 50th!

    Thanks again

    Adam

  27. Chica said: (June 30th, 2009 at 7:11 am)

    Hi Adam! What a great gift idea. Thanks for sharing your tips. I love hearing the inventive solutions our readers come up with :)

  28. Fiona said: (July 16th, 2009 at 9:11 am)

    Wow, what an absolutely fantastic idea. I’m itching to have a go at this now.

  29. Teresa said: (October 30th, 2009 at 3:50 pm)

    I got my kit in the mail this morning, and I am happy with the way things are going so far…the kiddos needed a snack, so it’s break-time for me, too!

    I was thinking though…Could you coat the photos in glossy Mod Podge? It would seal the photo and keep it from getting worn, and it’s archival, too. I don’t think it would add significant bulk to the faces of the cube either.

  30. Chica said: (October 30th, 2009 at 4:48 pm)

    Hi Teresa! Glad you got the kit and are having fun assembling it. We have not tried a Mod Podge finish, so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out. My only concern would be the hinge areas, where the dried finish might crackle. If you try it out, I would just use one thin coat. And please let us know how it goes!

  31. Chica said: (October 31st, 2009 at 9:52 am)

    One of our readers, Sebastian, purchased our kit and used it to assemble a photo cube for his girlfriend as a gift for their one-year anniversary. He shared his photos with us and we’ve posted them in our Flickr group for readers’ projects. Check them out here, here, here, and here. Thanks for sharing, Sebastian!

  32. Paulette said: (January 29th, 2010 at 2:12 pm)

    This is really a wonderful ideal–Thank you. Do you have a shorter version of the cube.

    Thank you for this wonderful website

  33. Chica said: (January 29th, 2010 at 2:17 pm)

    Hi Paulette, and thanks for the kind words. Are you asking about a smaller cube, or a shorter set of instructions? :) If you want to make the cube smaller, you can use smaller blocks to start with. If you’re looking for shorter instructions, I’m afraid there are no easy shortcuts to this, and all steps are required. Good luck!

  34. Asdfjkl; said: (January 30th, 2010 at 10:09 am)

    Is it possible to use larger blocks? For a project we are planning to make 9″ x 9″ blocks.. do you think that would work?

  35. Chica said: (January 30th, 2010 at 10:23 am)

    Hi Asdfjkl; Theoretically this project would work with any size of block, as long as you follow the same steps. 9″ blocks sound incredibly huge and cool! I wonder what you would use as the actual blocks, though? 9″ wood cubes would be hard to find and also heavy. Maybe Styrofoam instead? Also, you would have a hard time finding double-sided tape sheets large enough to make the hinges on blocks that big. Maybe you could use duct tape to attach the blocks to each other, and then glue the photos on top?

    Whatever you end up with, we’d love to see it :)

  36. sandy said: (February 1st, 2010 at 5:50 pm)

    Hi,
    This cube thing is great but have any of you seen this done in a flat style? More like a card? I have seen it and would love to know how to make it. If you know how please let me know/send me a link.
    Thanks! I’ll check back. Great site, found it stumbling and will give it a thumbs up!
    Sandy

  37. sandy said: (February 1st, 2010 at 5:51 pm)

    Oh, I just read the huge “on foam” idea, how cool is that idea!

  38. Chica said: (February 1st, 2010 at 5:52 pm)

    Hi Sandy. Welcome to our site! I have not seen a flat style of cube like you’re described. Can you show us a picture of one somewhere on the Web? Maybe if we see one, we can figure out how to make it!

  39. dane said: (March 24th, 2010 at 7:39 pm)

    lo haré como regalo para mi novio de nuestro primer año este 12 de abril!

  40. Chica said: (March 25th, 2010 at 7:34 am)

    dane, que es una gran idea. Felicidades!

  41. Shirley said: (April 15th, 2010 at 10:15 pm)

    I am having a difficult time finding the red liner tape sheets. I ordered some from Consumer Crafts that looked like the right thing, but when they arrived, they were simply double sided adhesive. I tried them anyway……….I haven’t even finished with the coating and they are already wrinkling and creasing. Can you suggest a place to order the sheets? I plan to make many of these as gifts and need to find them at a reasonable price. I’ve already cut several cubes:) Thank you!

  42. Chica said: (April 16th, 2010 at 8:10 am)

    Hi Shirley. We sell complete photo cube kits our store that include the double-sided tape sheets we recommend. We have also just added individual tape sheets to our store, so you can purchase them directly from us if you like.

    You can also find great double-sided tape sheets at Oriental Trading Company.

    Good luck with all your photo cubes and we would love to see how they turn out!

  43. Shirley said: (April 17th, 2010 at 11:33 pm)

    Thank you so much! I found them at OTC and ordered them. The last time I looked, I only saw the kits at your store…..glad to know I can order just the adhesive from you as well:) I have made one and, needless to say, a big hit. I’m hoping my adhesive sheets come in because I am making them for Mother’s Day gifts from my 4 girls! Such a great idea………and the directions are great!! Shirley

  44. megalodon said: (June 13th, 2010 at 2:20 pm)

    Fun

  45. kh said: (July 1st, 2010 at 4:57 pm)

    wow chica your great

  46. sam mas said: (July 2nd, 2010 at 4:23 pm)

    hello there
    are you suppost to drill holls is the blocks because i did and well it does not look like the one in the picture.
    please help me

  47. Jo said: (July 2nd, 2010 at 10:27 pm)

    You are not supposed to drill holes in the blocks. The blocks stay together by using the red liner tape that we recommend (and which we include in the kits we sell in our store). I am afraid it sounds like you are going to need to start over with your blocks unless the holes are small and you can cover them with the tape and your pictures. If you like, send us a picture of what you have done and we might be able to help out a little more by seeing it.

  48. Julie said: (August 7th, 2010 at 10:57 pm)

    Hi, I have a question in regards to the spacer. I’m up to adding the spacer on the second photo. The instructions say to slide the spacer in with some of it sticking out- do we trim these? Do they span one block or 2 blocks? How do they stay in place?
    Thank you!

  49. Chica said: (August 8th, 2010 at 8:56 am)

    Hi Julie. The spacer is only used temporarily, to hold the blocks apart while you attach the sticky photo. It doesn’t matter if it sticks out or not, and you should not trim it. You will remove it completely after you stick the photo on, so it does not actually need to stay in place. Hope that helps!

  50. phyl said: (September 26th, 2010 at 1:17 pm)

    Oriental Trading no longer has the double sided tape sheets or tape for that matter.

  51. Jo said: (September 26th, 2010 at 1:20 pm)

    phyl, the tape is still available at Oriental Trading Company. Search for “double sided tape” and you’ll see it in sheets and rolls. We also have it available for sale in our store.

  52. Chica said: (October 23rd, 2010 at 1:37 pm)

    One of our readers, Lara, recently purchased a photo cube kit to make a gift for her friend who just got married. Lara shared her photos with us, which I’ve posted in our Flickr group. You can see them here, here, and here. Great job, Lara!

  53. ash said: (October 25th, 2010 at 8:29 pm)

    im building it in class is it hard to make?

  54. Jo said: (October 26th, 2010 at 8:56 am)

    ash, what type of class?

  55. darcymae said: (November 11th, 2010 at 4:58 pm)

    LOVE this project!! but i am wondering if the photos will run and smudge if any moisture gets on them. we have a little guy at our house that loves to chew on things and i would hate for them to be ruined if he got a hold of them.

  56. Jo said: (November 12th, 2010 at 12:33 am)

    darcymae, I am afraid that these will not hold up to little baby chewing. If you make one of your little man’s pictures, I would suggest giving it to a family member as a Christmas present or placing it on a high shelf!

  57. Phyl said: (December 5th, 2010 at 3:48 pm)

    I made 4 of these as gifts for my sons and son-inlaw for Christmas. I made my own cubes and can fully respect getting the kit. They turned out very cute. Knowing that they were going to be handled by little one’s, I covered all the pictures on the cube with mod podge. It actually added a little of an antiquey texture. I took this one step further for my grandson and made him a puzzle. The cubes all sit in a wooden “cigar” box. There are 2 photos and the rest of the sides have colors, the alphabet, the numbers and little critters. It is only one cube in depth. 25 cubes fit nicely in the box. I used my wood burning tool to make the letters and numbers. I used mod podge to adhere the pictures of the animals along with the photos. To make putting the puzzle together easier I glued the pictures on the inside of the lid. I used the wood burning tool to decorate the outside of the lid.

  58. Chica said: (December 5th, 2010 at 5:52 pm)

    What a great gift idea, Phyl! Did the photo cube still open and close okay with the Mod Podge applied, or did it the Mod Podge crackle along the hinges? We’ve tried embossing the cubes before to get a glossy finish, but I don’t think we’ve ever tried coating it with Mod Podge.

  59. Phyl said: (December 6th, 2010 at 8:39 pm)

    I did use the double sided tape to place the photos on the cubes. I used the Mod Podge over the photos to protect them from spills, sticky hands etc. The finish was not glossy, more matted. But it gave the photos a cool antique look.

  60. Candy Lover (: said: (January 2nd, 2011 at 12:07 pm)

    Hey guys! Thanks for the tutorial I’ve been looking for this like crazy ovre the internet, but thank God I found you!! So wohoo for both of us! :)

    Ok, so I have a little problem, maybe I’m wrong, but did you explain how we are going to make the hinges so the cube can have the proper movement because I didn’t see it! If you did please tell me where it is cuz I want to do this so badly!!
    THANKS AGAIN AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! ^___^ <3

  61. Chica said: (January 2nd, 2011 at 12:32 pm)

    Hi Candy Lover! So glad we were able to end your search with the tutorial you needed! The hinges between the cubes are formed by the double-sided tape itself. We use a really thick tape that is super tough and doesn’t tear, so it makes perfect hinges. If you can’t find good, strong double-sided tape locally, we sell it in our store. If you still have questions, just let us know.

  62. Candy Lover (: said: (January 3rd, 2011 at 12:19 am)

    Ok, what I meant was that if you explained how we are going to tape all the cubes together so they don’t fall apart. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about because I can’t explain it so good! lol xD

  63. Chica said: (January 3rd, 2011 at 9:50 pm)

    Candy Lover, the double-sided tape does more than just attach the photos to the blocks. It also spans across the blocks, joining them in the right places. For example, look at the diagram for photo #2 above. There are two green rectangles of photos that are backed with tape. Each rectangle will span across two blocks and hold them together, also forming a hinge where they meet. Hope that helps!

  64. Candy Lover (: said: (January 16th, 2011 at 4:37 pm)

    Ohhh ok!! Now I get it!! Thanks a lot! :D

  65. Stacy Hanbury said: (January 26th, 2011 at 10:09 pm)

    I made my first cube last night. I cut all pictues to size before applying the tape, then cut all photos as directed. I felt like I wasted a lot of tape. I found I cut them a bit too big and had a lot of trimming to do.

    I made a second one tonight and this time I cut all picture not quite so big, the applied to tape and then cut them to size. I also did not make the individual cuts before applying to cube. I applied the entire picture to the cubes then made my cuts afterward. This worked way better (for me atleast if you don’t count the slice to my thumb!) although when I got to the last 2 pictures I did cut them in half, applied then made the final cuts. This one came out near perfect, this time my only issues was when trimming the edges I actually cut a bit of the corner off of the cube! Go slowly when cutting once applied so you are cutting and not tearing.

    I intend to Modge Podge this one to get some glossiness to the photos, but I had a thought: can I Modge Podge the photos before applying them to the cubes??? This would solve the problem of the drying time however I was concerned the edge that are cut after application would not be coated.

    One thing I want to try to pay a little more attention to on my next one is which photos will be cut in which way. On one of my pics, it was cut into 4 squares and my honey looks like he is missing a tooth as the 4 corners met right in the middle of his smile!!!

    I can’t wait to make another, I am hopelessly addicted!

  66. Chica said: (January 27th, 2011 at 6:52 am)

    Stacy, thanks for sharing your results with us. Several people have told us they had good luck with cutting the pieces after applying them to the blocks. I’ve never tried it that way myself, but I’m glad it worked out for you! I haven’t tried using Mod Podge either before or after, so I’m not sure if that would work well or not. If you give it a try, please let us know how it goes.

    And I know what you mean about cutting the photos… I always try to choose the ones for each type of cut that work best with the layout. Sometimes you can’t avoid problems like people’s heads getting cut off though :)

  67. Apple said: (July 15th, 2011 at 1:38 pm)

    I think the flat project sandy asks about is similar to the Rubik’s Magic puzzle from the late 80s.

    https://www.rubiks.com/shop/product.php?pid=19

    I’d be interested in that, too! I spent hours and hours playing with my Magic!

  68. Chica said: (July 15th, 2011 at 7:44 pm)

    Apple, thanks so much for that link. I’m not sure how I missed it, but I don’t remember that toy at all! Looks pretty neat.

  69. Danae Pataki said: (July 21st, 2011 at 1:36 pm)

    Great! It gives me inspiration. I think I will also inspired by you and think about more new ideas.

  70. Laurie said: (October 29th, 2011 at 1:22 am)

    I love this and am on my way to your store to check out the kits. For the person that was looking for a flat version of this. There is a card called the never ending card. Here is a link to make one. http://www.cardmakingparadise.com/neverending%20card.html
    They are easy to make. Just like these cubes. Hope this helps.

  71. Sassy said: (January 3rd, 2012 at 9:43 am)

    they are so cute. i would love to make them and give them to my teacher’s
    Sassy

  72. Kitty said: (February 3rd, 2012 at 11:02 am)

    I used photo sticker sheets i couldn’t find double sided adhesive paper and then i used Elmer’s glue to strengthen the hold! it looks great! gunna dig out my embossing gun and emboss it today!

  73. John said: (February 9th, 2012 at 6:31 pm)

    I have seen other instructions using 3 – 3×6 photos and 6 – 1×3 photos….rather than the 2 – 2×6 and 8 – 1×3 photos as described above , anyone ever tried it with this configuration of photos?

  74. Shane said: (February 29th, 2012 at 5:51 am)

    This is phenomenal! Thanks for posting this! I’be been looking for these stinking things forever!

  75. Chica said: (February 29th, 2012 at 6:50 am)

    So glad we could end your search, Shane!

  76. chris said: (March 16th, 2012 at 3:26 pm)

    Is it possibles to purchase the magic folding cube already assembled but without photo’s??

  77. Chica said: (March 16th, 2012 at 5:46 pm)

    Sorry, Chris, but we don’t make the photo cubes for sale.

  78. Adam said: (April 27th, 2012 at 5:11 am)

    Hi Guys

    Just had to come on here and tell you my news.

    Have made a couple of these cubes as presents before but decided to make an extra special one recently.

    I found some of mine and my girlfriend’s favourite pictures together and made the cube …
    but with a difference.

    One of the cubes I had hollowed where I secreted a sponge, and in that sponge a slit holding an engagement ring!

    I can happily say, she said yes!! The cube went down a storm!

    Thanks again for a great guide!

    Adam

  79. Chica said: (April 27th, 2012 at 6:55 am)

    Adam, that’s a wonderful story! We love your creativity and thank you for telling us about it. We’d love to see a picture of your special photo cube :) Congrats on your engagement!

  80. Chica said: (May 9th, 2012 at 7:15 pm)

    Adam shared some photos with us of his engagement photo cube, and I’ve posted them in our Flickr group for reader photos. Way to go, Adam!

  81. Michael said: (May 13th, 2012 at 1:43 pm)

    Do you still sell the Folding Cube Kits. Can’t seem to find them in your store. Link please.

    Thanks, M

  82. Chica said: (May 13th, 2012 at 5:41 pm)

    Hi Michael. We no longer sell the kits in our store, but we sell the double-sided tape sheets here on Amazon and here is a good source for the wooden blocks.

  83. barb said: (June 16th, 2012 at 4:31 pm)

    I was given one of these for a gift and have been looking for instructions for YEARS! Thank you so much for posting this….and you did it on my birthday too!

  84. Chica said: (June 17th, 2012 at 12:06 pm)

    Barb, we’re so glad we could give you what you’ve been looking for, and on your birthday, no less!

  85. Nicholas Tang said: (September 12th, 2012 at 5:10 am)

    Hi, there.
    I am interested in the construction and design of this Magic Cube. However, I was warned by my friend that this design has been patented in China. Hence, I am afraid to make the cube for my wife. Are you aware of the patent?
    Nicholas

  86. Jo said: (September 17th, 2012 at 4:04 pm)

    As long as you are not making them for profit, you are fine. Patents all include instructions on how to make a project so if there is a patent on this, it should show you how to make it as well. We are not aware of any patents but we do not make these for sale.

  87. Katie said: (October 9th, 2012 at 1:56 am)

    Hi there!
    Can’t find the wooden blocks on Amazon anymore?
    Are they no longer for sale?

    This is such a fantastic project and very well explained. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for what you’re doing :)
    -Katie

  88. Chica said: (October 9th, 2012 at 8:24 am)

    Katie, I can’t find the blocks we linked to either… I guess they stopped making them. I don’t see any other suitable ones on Amazon, but you can find wooden cubes at your local craft store, or you can save some money by getting some 1.5″ x 1.5″ stock at the home improvement store and cut it down into blocks.

  89. Annette said: (April 10th, 2013 at 1:09 pm)

    I couldn’t be more delighted with this amazing project! I wanted to give my daughter a unique present for her 35th birthday when I found this page! WOW! There’s a “learning curve” to this but the final outcome was dazzling. I can hardly wait to give it to her. I assembled it at my workplace and my co-workers are already placing orders for me to make one for them too!!

  90. May Garcia said: (April 15th, 2013 at 1:25 am)

    Hi, my boss has publishing business, he asked me where we can buy the wooden cubes or plastic cube. Hope you can can help us.

    Thank you!

  91. Chica said: (April 19th, 2013 at 6:36 pm)

    May, we sell sets of wooden blocks here on Amazon that work great for this project.

  92. Rae said: (October 13th, 2013 at 5:54 pm)

    Wondering if you have ever tried to use Create a Sticker by Xyron as the adhesive.

  93. Chica said: (October 14th, 2013 at 9:11 am)

    Hi Rae. I have used the Xyron sticker machines for many things, and they have worked very well. However, for this project, we feel it’s important to use a double-sided tape that offers a substantial strength on its own. If you just use sticky paper, then the handling and unfolding of the blocks will eventually wear down the creases and the paper will tear. A layer of tape film, though, will form a non-tearing hinge under the paper that will give a lot more life to your cube. Hope that helps!

  94. Rae said: (October 15th, 2013 at 7:31 pm)

    Thanks for the feedback!

  95. amy said: (March 13th, 2014 at 5:56 pm)

    Im about to pick up all the supplies for this project…do you recall how many bottles of embossing powder you used? the bottle looks small and Im wondering if I need more than one? thanks!

  96. amy said: (March 14th, 2014 at 1:50 pm)

    omgosh, just went to order the tape and its out of stock…will you be getting more of this?

  97. Chica said: (March 15th, 2014 at 11:20 am)

    Amy, I don’t recall exactly how much embossing powder I used, but I know it was less than one bottle.

  98. Chica said: (March 15th, 2014 at 11:22 am)

    Hi Amy. Unfortunately, the quality of the tape that we were sent in the last batch from our supplier was not satisfactory, so we don’t currently have any in stock. We’re still looking for other options, but don’t expect to find one very soon. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some similar tape in your local craft store.

Have something to say? Please comment!

Please visit Chica and Jo at http://www.chicaandjo.com for even more clever ideas!