Introduction: Photo Cube - Frameless, Cheap and Easy!
I made this as a birthday card for my sister, but it's also a great cheap way to display photos without having to buy a frame. It would also make a lovely personalised bauble or gift box.
Step 1: What You Need
The first thing you need is six photographs to make your cube. They will end up cropped square in the middle, so to make sure I got the crop I wanted I used the attached mask in photoshop to make all my images fit the same square.
You will also need a knife, cutting board, double-sided tape (glue if you prefer), metal safety ruler (don't risk fingers!) and something to score with. I used a parchment tool, but an empty ballpoint pen or something similar would probably do. This is to make sure you get a good, clean fold in your prints.
Step 2: Marking Out for the Scoring
Measure the height of the sqaure photo and work out how much to subtract from either end of the width. On 6x4 prints, this will be an inch, or 25.4mm, so mark this at either end, top and bottom.
Step 3: Score the Prints
Here you can see the parchment tool in operation, making a nice indentation rather than the cut scoring card with a knife would make.
Step 4: Cut Off the Corners of the Flaps
Now cut off the corners of the flaps, so as to make it easier to stick together later on. What you can't see in this picture of course, is the hand firmly holding the ruler so that the knife doesn't fly off accross the print and into your leg.
Step 5: Fold the Flaps
Now you can see where things were going with the scoring and cutting. Note the difference between a perfect corner on the left and the slight excess on the right corner. It's better to err on this side though, otherwise you might cut through the square which will show.
Step 6: Stick on the Double-sided Tape
Now stick the tape on the flaps, getting as close to the edge of the square and into the corners as you can. The bits of tape will ideally be trapeziod-shaped, which just means alternating diagonal cuts. You can make up too-short tape with little parrallelograms.
Step 7: Lay Out the Cube Net
Here's the science bit: lay out the sides of the cube, paying attention to which pictures will end up next to each other and where all the flaps will attach. If you havn't made any paper cubes from a net before it might help to image search for "cube net", print one out and try making it so you understand how the sides join up.
Step 8: Stick the Flaps Down for the Net
Now peel off that tape backing and get sticking! To do a neat job, it's best to look at the front edge where the pictures join rather than doing it from the back.
Step 9: Fold It All Up!
This could be the hardest part, I don't know as I have so far left it flat so I can put it in an envelope. That's where cube-making practice comes in handy. You might need to use a pin in the corners to push down the last flap
The final product is very light, so it's a good idea to put in a ball or blu-tack, a penny or somesuch weight so that it doesn't blow accross the room with the slightest breeze. You could also tape a little loop of string inside poking out of one corner to make it into a hanging cube; from the ceiling or even a christmas tree!