Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DIY magic folding photo cube

Photo cubes are always a popular room decor as well as a nice keepsake for gifting. When the photo cube is a folding and magically interactive then no words are needed to explain that. This is a quite popular DIY which I wanted to attempt making for a long time. Many tutorials online show it as easy as taking a group of 8 cubes and gluing the photos and making cuts here and there but I realized that it is not that easy to make. I failed many times and finally figured a solution. I will be sharing the steps I failed and what I finally did to make it work.Let's get to the making.

folding photo cube from dollar store alphabet blocks




Materials Required:
8 wood blocks of the same size. (I'm using dollar store alphabet cubes)
Copy paper
Tacky glue
Mod Podge(Optional)
Craft knife
Photos printed on a laser printer(If you are using Mod Podge)

Step 1: Stack a set of 4 cubes on top of another set of 4 cubes. Glue copy paper on each side to secure the cubes together. Glue one side at a time, allow the glue to dry, trim the excess paper using the craft knife and repeat the steps to cover other 5 sides.



Step 2: Now comes the important part of making slits to turn it into a magic folding cube. Decide which side to be the top part and follow the pictures shown below to make the cut for the outer part of the cube you just made in the previous step using a craft knife. 








For a better understanding of the slits. 


Step 3: Once you have made the cuts, place the cube in such a way that the sides are facing correctly, i.e top facing the top, left facing the left and so on. Now, hold the top cubes as shown and pull it apart so that you will get a set of 8 cubes as shown in the picture below. Cover it with copy paper and trim. 





Step 4: Make the slits in the first set of 8 cubes forming a rectangle as shown.Now, open the next set of 8 by splitting the center as shown. So that the top set of 4 and bottom set of 4 splits. 




Step 5: Cover the exposed set of 8 with copy paper and trim. Cut the slits in the next set of 8 as shown. Now, you should be able to fold the cube so that a set of 4 cubes lies on the top of another 4. 





Step 6: Now you will have two sides of an uncovered set of 4 cubes. Cover it with copy paper. And make the slits as shown. You should be very careful in this step as to which side you will be making which slit. For easy understanding, now the cube should the slits exactly as you did in step 2. So, side 1 after opening will be the top and side 2 after opening will be the bottom. 





Step 7: To ensure more security to the folds, use a piece of packing tape on all the folds on the cubes as shown. 

Step 8: Glue the photos to the cubes as desired.I would suggest using a single photo for a cube as the combined photos will be damaged as you fold the cubes many times. (discussed in detail, later in the post). Apply a coat of Mod Podge on top if you prefer. And your photo cube is done!! Pat yourself for the wonderful job you've done. :)









Points to be noted:

  • You can use different materials to avoid using copy paper or you could use something strong like super tape to secure the blocks and use copy paper on top to hide it. I used the materials I had on hand and also the materials which many people will already have or easily available to them.
  • There is also another advantage of covering the whole cube with copy paper as it gives a nice border to the photos in case a tiny bit of cube is exposed after gluing the photos. As the cubes I used is from the dollar store, the size of the cubes varies by few millimeters. 
  • I glued the pictures directly on to the cubes as shown in many tutorials online. It worked but when I started to fold the cubes, the pictures came off and also the pictures started creasing, leaving a white mark which eventually torn.

  • Also, when you glue the pictures and make your cuts, sometimes the knife slips into the wrong area ruining the picture. In order to avoid that I recommend cutting the picture first and then gluing it on to the cube. 
  • My second try was to paint the cubes white and then using a piece of paper as tape to secure the blocks. It ended up having the same issue of getting torn after folding the cubes many times.So, I thought instead of covering just a tiny bit, covering the entire block will work and it worked. As I was still doubtful I used a piece of tape for additional security. (As shown I Step 7)

  • I planned in such a way that some photos were going to cover two blocks of cubes (See picture 2 in step 8) and others just one. Since I faced the same issue of photos getting creased when folding, what I did was, scored the photos with the craft knife in the middle and split it into two half(See the picture 5 in step 8). I wish I have planned separate photos but I'm glad I found the fix. I should have followed the same technique I followed in making DIY mini pallet magnets
  • You have to print the photos using laser printer if you are planning to apply a coat of mod podge on top to cover the picture. Else, you can use just tacky glue to glue the pictures.
Here a short video of how the cube works:




What do you think about this photo cube? Have you attempted to make something like this? I am very excited how this turned out even though I failed two times. I am happy that I could able to find a way though, it took me a month long. (So little time as I am taking care of my 9-month-old son). Let me know your thoughts in the comments. As always I will be happy to hear from you.

Other photo DIYs you might like, 










4 comments:

  1. I love this project! Thanks for sharing,
    Sheila

    ReplyDelete
  2. How on earth do you think this stuff up?! This is so creative! I have family members who would LOVE this as a gift! Thanks for sharing this at the #HomeMattersParty :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your magic folding cube is such a fun way to display photos. It would be a great gift for Mother's Day and Father's Day, too. #HomeMattersParty

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really great project. I need to try this out with my mom the next time I visit her. #HomeMattersParty

    ReplyDelete

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