Perfect Paper Cube: Laying out a project using parallel line development

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Step 5: Joining the sides- Making Tabs.

This is the part that can get a little tricky.  To make it a little easier to understand, take a look at my pretty crappy sketch in Picture 1.  You can see the sides, top, and bottom labeled.  The problem now is how to join any corner that isn't just folded.  For example, Side 1is going to get folded around and attached to Side 4.  Its really hard to glue edges together, so we need to make a TAB.  What is a Tab?

Tab:  A small flap of material on something used to hold things in place.

We need one tab for each corner that needs to be joined.  That means there will be 3 tabs for the top (not 4, because the top is already attached to one side), 3 tabs for the bottom, and one tab for Side 1 to Side 4.

The tabs will be the length of the side of each box, which is 2 inches.  They will only be 1/2 inch wide, and need to have tapered corners (a trapezoid).

Lets start with the tab on the end of Side 4.  Mark a parallel line 1/2 inch away from the end of the last square as shown in Pictures 2 and 3.  Remember to MARK TWO ARROWS and MEASURE TWICE!  The angle on the edges is 45 degrees.  This is very easy to do- a 45 degree triangle has two sides that are the same length.  We know the tab is 1/2 inch thick, so we measure down 1/2 an inch and mark an arrow.  Just one this time, see Picture 4!  Line up the arrow with the corner of the square and draw a line as shown in Picture 5.  Repeat for the other side- see Picture 6.  Picture 7 shows the completed tab!

Now we need 6 more tabs- 3 on the open sides of the top, and 3 on the bottom.  Start by marking an arrow 1/2 an inch out on one side of the top, then move to the bottom and mark another arrow.  Draw a line to make two tabs as shown in Picture 8.  Repeat for the other side  Repeat for the other sides of the top and bottom, then add another tab on the top of the top, and the bottom of the bottom.  Clear as mud!?  See Picture 9 for a clearer explanation.  You should now have a rectangle on each open side of the Top and Bottom.

Last thing to do on this step!  Put the angles on each tab like we did with the first one.  We have another little cheat here to speed things up though.  Pick a corner, mark your first arrow 1/2 an inch in like we did last time.  See Picture 10. Line up your ruler, same as before, and draw a line from the arrow to the corner of the square, but this time continue the line through the next tab as shown in Picture 11.  Two birds with one stone!  One arrow to mark two tabs.  Repeat for the other side of the tab.  The bottom of the tabs on the sides has to be done the old fashion way- Measure up 1/2 an inch, mark an arrow, scratch a line. All done!  See what it should look like in Picture 12.  Repeat for the Bottom square.

See Picture 13 for the completed drawing!