Introduction: Analogue Yoshi (fabric Magic Folding Cube)

About: I think of odd things I'd like to make and if I can't find instructions on the web I try to remember to take photos of the make for an instructable. I think of many things but only start some and finish very f…

This instructable shows you how to make a fabric magic folding cube using a crocheted Analogue Yoshi game as the example.

You could also use fabric or knitting, I think knitting would be best but I can't knit well. Fabric is easier than crochet, I made those first.

This cube is decorated after the style of Yoshi's Woolly World (trademark) and has a Yoshi copied from a Faerie Rings video. It has a ribbon path that you follow by folding the cube round as you go and pockets containing prizes to collect.

The other cubes pictured are a red/blue fabric one and a multi-fabric one made for a #TextileArtChallenge project. The dolls are showing what great furniture they would make if you made them big enough.

Step 1: Magic Folding Cubes - How They Work

There are many magic folding cube instructions available

A few pages also for fabric folding cubes - try googling a video search for "fabric magic folding cubes"

And some educational ones eg

It helps to look at some videos before making your own. Knocking up a simple cardboard one or this quick & easy dice version also helps you to see what you're working towards.

Other names are 12-sided Cube and Infinity Cube.

Each cube is made from 8 smaller cubes. You can buy pre-cut cubes by post, ask a local upholstery firm to cut you a bagfull (similar cost but actual people to talk to), or cut your own from foam (quite tricky but doable).

The cube has 2 skins, an outside one and an inside one, when you tumble it inside out the outside becomes the inside & vice versa. Different sides become visible as you fold the cube out and round and in, it's soothingly mesmerising to handle.

The pictures show the skins laid out flat and how they look when they are being outside skins, one with the cubes tucked in.

The inside skin has to be folded in on itself before you can see how it joins onto the outside skin.

Step 2: Making the Pieces

The skins are each made with 8 squares and 8 rectangles. The rectangles are the same width as the squares and a little longer than 2 squares. The extra length allows for 'hinges' where the cube folds. For fine fabrics you only need 3-5mm for a hinge, for chunky crochet you need a row or two.

I managed to slice up a foam offcut with a bread knife for my first set of cubes but it was tricky and my cubes were a little wonky. I bought 2" foam cubes from an upholstery suppliers for subsequent projects, I just emailed them to describe what I needed and ask for a price, then collected them from the shop a few days later. There are cube suppliers online if you haven't got a friendly upholstery shop.

Step 3: The First Sewing Step

Sew the pieces together to make two skins, like in the picture.

If you are working with woven fabrics you can just pin them all to the foam blocks and sew them in place all in one step - there are videos on YouTube.

Step 4: How to See What Should Join Where

The series of pictures show the brown skin staying as an outside skin while the green skin is folded in on itself to become the inside skin. You should get a set of cubes with green on all their inside faces and nothing on their outside faces. The brown skin is then wrapped around the outside, lined up so that the cube will be unfoldable. Everything is pinned in place so that you can check that the cube folds inside out correctly.

Step 5: The Second Sewing Step

Now you need to sew the green edges to the brown edges, around the foam blocks. You can leave spaces along some of these edges to make pockets to hide prizes in. I managed to get about 20 pockets but if I did it again I'd only leave 8 spaces, as you get a pocket at both sides of the space.

Now you should have a magic folding cube you can play with to relax before the next step.

Step 6: Making Yoshi and Prizes

The Yoshi was from the Faerie Rings video "Crochet Baby Yoshi Tutorial", except I used plastic googly eyes.

The gems were from

The balls of wool were made by wrapping wool through a piece of drinking straw, putting a piece of heatshrink over, shrinking with a hair dryer and drawing faces with permanent marker.

Step 7: Fastenings and Decoration

The path is made by sewing fine ribbon along the cube surfaces and leaving long ends where it reaches the side of a pocket. Those long ends are then sewn into a loop with half a press-stud. Where two loops are press-studded together they make a bow that holds the pocket shut.

My path crosses from green to brown far too often, making the player have to fold the cubes open too often. If I did it again I'd make a very simple path that just crosses colours a few times.

The sides are decorated with buttons and flowers cut from daisy-woven tape. I drew faces onto felt circles and stuck them onto the daisies.

Step 8: Variations and Suggestions

This project would look great knitted. The 2 skins could probably each be knitted as a single piece.

The blue/red one has 3 blue patterned fabrics on one skin and 3 red patterned fabrics on the other skin.

The multi-fabric one has 24 different fabrics and has button fastenings with elastic loops stitched to it to hold it closed either way out.

Sewing press-studs to fine ribbon is REALLY fiddly, maybe velcro would be better, or buttons and loops.

If you could make assembled cubes about 3' wide they would make great nursery play furniture. Maybe they could be a mixture of fabric and wood with storage inside.

I'm on the lookout for small plain wooden boxes with lids (the sort people decorate with decoupage) that are properly cuboid. I think they could be made into a magic folding box of boxes.

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