Introduction: Origami Tetris Cube

Picture of Origami Tetris Cube

Last year, I made a paper puzzle cube for a gift exchange. At first I wanted to make it with origami, but I concluded that would be way too much work, especially since I wasn't really good with origami back then and took really long to fold. But, things have changed. I started experimenting more with the things I folded, resulting in all kind of boxes, stellated octahedrons, paper hearts, spinning tops and a lot more. Every time I used modular origami, I used the same module.

So, when I looked back at my instructables and came across that paper puzzle cube, I realized I still wanted to make it with origami. I started by designing it in 123D. This is part of a bigger thing I've planned: making it out of paper, wood and printed. Using the new origami knowledge I have, I decided to finally make this Tetris cube. And again, I used the same modules as with all the other origami creations. But, there was one thing: I wanted to make it completely out of paper. No glue, no support, just the paper. So I did :)

I hope you like this project, if you have any suggestions or tips please share them!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For the Tetris parts you will need:

-18 yellow squares ( 4.5x4.5 cm)
-18 green squares
-18 blue squares
-18 light blue squares
-18 light green squares
-16 orange squares
-16 red squares

For the box you will need:

-12 squares (9.5x9.5 cm). It's also possible to use 6 squares cut in half.

Step 2: The Open Cube

Picture of The Open Cube

Most of the tetris parts are made using the same base: an open cube made with five modules.

How to make the modules can be found here.

Make five of the modules. Insert a triangle in one of the pockets as shown. Repeat this with a third piece, but also add one of the triangles of the first module to the pocket of the third module. When you add a fourth one, it doesn't really matter to which pocket you add the triangle. At this point you have a quite solid corner. Just add the triangle to one of the pockets and look which triangle can fit in one of the pockets of the fourth module. Repeat this one more time to add your fifth module. If everything went as planned, you should now have a cube with the top opened. I it didn't go as planned, try making a cube as shown here (step 4), but don't add the sixth module.

Step 3: The L-shape I

Picture of The L-shape I

Make three open cubes. You will use four eventually, but you have 18 pieces, so you can't start by making all four of them. Join two of the cubes by pushing them together as shown. Make sure all the triangles go in the pockets correctly. When you have joined the first two, open the top as shown in the fourth picture. Remove the upper module and add the third open cube using the came technique as with the first two open cubes.

Step 4: The L-shape II

Picture of The L-shape II

So, now you have an I-shape. Open the third cube of the I-shape as shown on the second and third image. Remove the module that you can see has come 'free' by opening the third cube. Use this and the other remaining modules to make another open cube. Add it to the third cube of the I-shape and make sure it's well-connected.

Repeat this for the light green and the blue modules to create two more L-shapes.

Step 5: The L-shape, But a Bit Different

Picture of The L-shape, But a Bit Different

Start by making two open cubes and joining them. Open up the second cube on the side and remove the module that's up now. Using this module, make a third open cube and add it to the second cube to complete your shape.

Step 6: The T-shape I

Picture of The T-shape I

Start by making three open cubes. Join two of them as shown. Open the top of the cube, remove the top module and add the third module.

Step 7: The T-shape II

Picture of The T-shape II

This step is quite tricky, so don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. Open the middle cube and put the triangles straight up. Make a fourth open cube and add it to the middle cube as shown.

Step 8: The Z-shape Part I

Picture of The Z-shape Part I

Make three open cubes. Add two of them as shown (and as you did for all the other shapes). Open up the side of the second cube and remove the module.

Step 9: The Z-shape II

Picture of The Z-shape II

Add a third module to the side of the second cube. At this moment, you will have the same shape as you made in step 5. But, it's not finished yet. Open the cube you just added as shown in the picture. Make a fourth open cube and add it to the open side of the cube to finish the shape.

Step 10: The Big Square

Picture of The Big Square

This shape is the only one that doesn't use the basic open cubes. Instead of that, stop when you have joined four modules. Make four of these shapes. Join two of them to create the first half of the square. Join the other two for the second half. The only thing left to do now is join the two halves. When you keep track of the triangles and the pockets, this shouldn't be too hard to do.

Step 11: Storage

Picture of Storage

To put the blocks away, I also wanted to make something entirely out of paper. I remembered this instructable on how to fold a diamond window cube and after some trying I found the size that perfectly fitted the building blocks.

The total size of my puzzle cube was 5x5x5 cm, the sheets of paper I used for the box was 9.5x9.5 cm.

To add the blocks to the box, take of the top layer as shown and add them. To close the box, add the four pieces you just took off.

Step 12: Done!

Picture of Done!

Here are some other views of the finished cube and the blocks.

I hope you liked this instructable, found it useful and maybe will try it yourself!


diesoz made it! (author)2016-07-01

This is my new favorite origami! I haven't made a box because my size is different. I placed a dime on top to show how big it is.

emilyvanleemput (author)2015-12-05

It definitetly is!

AdityaJain made it! (author)2015-03-26

Nice. Took me some time to make but it does worth it. I take my hats off to you

Wow, it turned out great!! Yes, it's most certainly time consuming but I'd say the result is worth the effort :)

BlobB1 (author)emilyvanleemput2015-06-06

I made it and it took me a week, of being in school, doing jobs around the house, and other daily things.

BlobB1 (author)2015-06-06

Can i make like 50 of these and then practice Tetris?

uberEpic53 (author)2014-10-21


that has got to be the best (repeat BEST) origami project i have ever seen!

i take my (paper) hat off to you...

Thank you so much!!

hometownbetty (author)2014-09-23

wow that is impressive!


NanoRobotGeek (author)2014-03-02

I have got to try this! maybe when i get more time =3

It does take a lot of time :)

poptartcat23 (author)2014-02-05

THIS IS AWESOME you should also enter it in the game. Life 4 contest, i can't wait to make this :)

Thank you so much! I would love to enter it, but entries for the game. Life 4 contest have to be published after February 3. This instruct able was published February 1 :) I would love to see your result and get feedback on possible issues!

sunshiine (author)2014-02-03

These are so cute! Thanks for sharing.

Thank you!

watchmeflyy made it! (author)2014-02-01

This looks great! I made something like this last year, actually. My version is called a soma cube, as the units aren't tetris ones; they're specific to soma cubes. I also used a variation of sonobe units to make this, but I didn't connect them like you did; I just made 27 cubes and glued the cubes together to form the puzzle pieces. It makes the puzzle sturdier (individual cubes are hollow as opposed to whole piece hollow), but it takes more units than your version and the cubes don't always line up as nicely as in yours. :3 I really love that your colors complement each other so well too.

Hi! The modules are slightly different I think, but yours looks great! I intentionally left modules out when possible, just to have less folding to do :) It's also possible to make the version I did sturdier: instead of only putting the triangles in the pockets, you could also glue them to place. The reason I didn't do that is that I was trying to make it completely out of paper. Indeed, since the cubes connect to make a shape, they line up better :) Have you also made a box for storage or do you just leave it like this?

I actually made this puzzle for my math teacher, but no, I didn't make a box for storage. He usually sets it on his table and lets my classmates toy around with it and discover new solutions (I'm surprised that everything's still intact after all the rough-handling xD). I wish I had made a box like you did, and I really love your design for it; I've made that ornamental cube before, but it never occurred to me to use it as a container of sorts.

pickleman1234567890 (author)2014-02-02

Wow that's insane

Haha thanks!

faiza007 (author)2014-02-02

you've explained every step so neatly..!! good job emily..!! i love it. :)

emilyvanleemput (author)faiza0072014-02-02

Thanks Faiza, I'm glad you like it!!

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2014-02-01

When I saw the main picture I knew it was yours! super awesome work, love the colors you used :)

Thank you so much Muhaiminah! The brighter the colours the better :D

welcome! so true, love bright colors :D

I actually wanted to make it using only bright colours, but I had only 5 :(. That's why I used the light blue and light green, the other colours were even less bright.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-02-02

I totally agree with Muhaiminah below, I thought the same, just loved the Idea :). Thank you so much for sharing.

Thank you Tarun, I'm glad you like it :D

lindarose92 (author)2014-02-01

Wow, is there anything you can't do with paper/origami?! Amazing!!!

Aw, thank you so much Linda!!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-02-01

I just suck at tetris, but this is still very awesome :D

Thank you so much!!

About This Instructable




Bio: Industrial Design student at Eindhoven University of Technology
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