One of our most popular projects is our “magic” folding photo cube, which is a really fun way to display lots of photos and makes a fantastic, personalized gift for just about any occasion.
The one drawback to the design, though, is that you have to print the photos on thin paper in order for them to bend, but thin paper offers little resistance to wear and tear and fingerprints. Jo and I have thought about this problem for a while and have come up with a great solution… embossing!
Start by assembling a photo cube according to our previous directions. When you’re all done, grab some clear embossing ink, some clear embossing powder (in a “fine” or “detail” variety), and an embossing heat tool.
Dab the ink pad thoroughly on one side of the cube, taking care to cover the entire surface.
Before the ink has a chance to dry, sprinkle it liberally with clear embossing powder and shake off any excess (let the excess fall on a piece of paper that you can fold to funnel it back into the container to use again).
Use the embossing heat tool to melt the embossing powder, turning it into a clear finish.
Give it a minute to cool down, then move on to the remaining sides of the cube and repeat the process until the entire cube is embossed.
The finished result will be a glossy look with a texture that’s almost like an orange peel. Don’t give in to any temptations to put a second or third coat of embossing powder on the surface in order to smooth it out — doing so will cause a build-up that will crack on the hinges and cause the cube to not fold properly.
This glossy finish will help protect your cube and make it last longer, and it’s crystal clear. Cool, huh?