Picture of Photo Block Puzzle
These photo blocks make a great gift to a loved one or friend and are a  fun way to interact with your favorite photos.  At home in your hand, on the coffee table, or displayed on a shelf, they call to be played with and enjoyed.  This particular 3 x 3 block layout displays as few as 6, and as many 54 different photos, but you can scale the project up and make more blocks to display even more photos and make the puzzle harder to assemble. 

This project took only a few hours to make, would be great to build with kids or first-timers in the shop, and was a great custom gift for the holidays.

Step 1: Dimension Wood on Table Saw

Picture of Dimension Wood on Table Saw
The photo blocks were made from an old Fir 4 x 4 post that was sitting outside in the shop yard.

Using a table saw, we cut the 4 x 4 down to approximately 3" by 3".  You can choose whatever size you'd like as this method is totally scalable - just make sure that the length, width and depth of the blocks are the same so you end up with perfect cubes.
Himura21 made it!1 month ago

I made a 4-cube variant for my friend's birthday, she absolutely loved it. I noticed that when cutting the cubes a part, I had a bit of difficulty because of the glue I was using, but I sorted that out using bricks as weights to really stick the picture well to the cube.

Thank you.

Bilegt made it!6 months ago

Hey I made it. Check out my version, it is even magnetic :)


Thank you for your instructables and idea.

reggie reggie7 months ago


Jan_Henrik1 year ago

Very cool!

It's great:)
donkeyknee2 years ago
nice desigin
msutton12 years ago
Awesome project!! Just finished mine for my girlfriend for Valentine's Day. I used only 4 blocks instead of 9 (lack of time, resources, etc.) but it came out just as beautiful! Great instructable!!
molar2 years ago
3 sets of this and you have a rubic cube :D
SHIFT!2 years ago
Oh man this brings back a lot of memories. Whenever my family would go to science museum gift shops, I'd always spend hours playing with these!

One suggestion I have is, for the much larger images, only cut three sides of each block. This will give you an awesome foldable picture puzzle!
Ceefa2 years ago
This is a great instructable and would make a really wonderful gift. I suppose the main issue is to make sure that your table saw and drop saw blades are at right angles to the bench surface or that would put the whole cube out of alignment. Thanks for sharing this idea.
jlambert2 years ago
Very nice, but I don't understand the Puzzle part.
Very, very cool. Will definitely attempt on my end, although with a table saw this becomes a little tricky. Maybe I'll go with smaller beams (2"x2") and have more cubes.
sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks for sharing your hard work! I hope your day shines!
PACW2 years ago
Very very nice. Looking at the pics for step 13 I could almost feel the knife jumping it's groove and slicing the photo. I still have difficulty with concepts like "slow and steady" and "a light even coat". Things like this inspire me to try harder, thank you!
Great idea. I plan to take pictures from my newest nephew's first year for a first birthday present.
chabias2 years ago
Nice job! At first glance, I thought it was a Rubik's cube.
Ninzerbean2 years ago
Incredible! I am going to make this project for sure. What a great idea for a vacation memory.