Introduction: Bandaged Rubik's Cube

About: Ashley hails from beautiful, sunny, Idaho--what am I saying? Ashley is actually a potato that has experienced intense genetic modificaiton. Idaho does not exist. I.D.A.H.O. is actually a top secret government…

It's not uncommon to come across some pretty cheap rubik's cubes nowadays! I was with some friends at the MIT flea where I came across a cheap rubik's cube. I ended up buying it for $1, and knew that I'd have to do something fun with it! After looking at a few different types of cube modifications, I settled on trying to put together this bandaged cube! After all, what else should you make from an old cube but a new one?

I have been interested in twisty puzzles for about 10 years now. Over the years my collection has grown, but it's always fun to try and make your own every now and then! Last year I came across a cheap Rubik's cube at the MIT flea*** for $1 and I knew I couldn't pass up this deal! I already have a pretty decent cube for speedcubing, so I decided to turn this one into a novelty cube! I had heard of Meffert's Bandaged Cube before, but came across it recently and knew that that was what destiny had in store for this cube.

This didn't take me long at all to make and you could definitely do it in a couple hours!

***As a side note: if you ever get the change to attend this monthly flea I would highly recommend.

Step 1: What You'll Need

You'll only need a few things to make your cube:

  • A 3x3 Rubik's cube
    • I bought a pretty cheap one, you're most likely not going to be doing any speedcubing so whatever you get your hands on should be fine.
  • 75mm x 75mm uncut vinyl stickers
  • An X-Acto knife
  • flathead screwdriver (or flat object for prying)
  • Scissors
  • Vegetable oil/Isopropyl Alcohol/Sticker goo remover
  • sandpaper (anything finer than 150 grit should be fine)
  • Superglue

Step 2: Get Started!

Get started by taking all of the stickers off of your cube. An X-Acto knife is your friend here to get all of the sticker bits and pieces off.

Step 3: Clean Your Cube

You're going to want to get as much of the sticker residue off of your cube. I didn't have any Goo Gone, though it would be great here. Instead, I first used a small amount of vegetable oil to get rid of most of the large sticky bits. After all of the sticker goop is off wipe down your cube again to get rid of the leftover vegetable oil.

I had some trouble getting the oil off, so I used Isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the leftover oil from the cube. Be extra careful here, because some of the plastic from your cube might be melted from it. You'll be fine basically as long as you don't dunk your cube in it.

Step 4: Take It All Apart!

Now grab your flathead screwdriver. Rotate the top face 45 degrees, place your flathead underneath the edge piece, and pop it out! The rest of the cube should be pretty easy to disassemble after that. You'll be left with a bunch of pieces and a core.

Take this opportunity to wipe down any extra oil or alcohol that may have gotten between the pieces.

Step 5: Get Gluing!

This is where you get to start gluing! Take note of this page as well, which shows how all of the pieces fit together.

In total you will need the following pieces:

  • 7x corner + edge
  • 4x center + edge
  • 1x center + edge + center
  • 1x corner

The easiest way to start this off is to grab 7 edges and 7 corners. Note how you can fit them together like they would be in the cube (check out the pictures to see how they fit). You're going to want to take your sandpaper and quickly buff out the surfaces that are accepting glue. Then add a few drops of superglue and press them together making sure that the edges are as aligned as possible. You can press the pieces against a table to flatten the planes to make sure that your pieces are expertly glued.

Repeat this edge - corner glueing process until you have 7 pairs glued together.

Now you're going to glue the edge and center pieces together. On 4 of the sides, repeat the sanding and gluing process.

Take another look at the link above showing the placement of pieces. It might be a little hard to see, but notice that where the orange and white centers line up creates the edge center edge combo. If you are spacially challenged I found that it helped to cut small pieces of tape and make "mock" stickers so that I could see exactly which pieces were which. Plus when there aren't any stickers on the cube it can be easy to forget exactly how it is oriented. You'll see these stickers appear later in my photos.

Finally, glue an edge piece between the two remaining centers.

Step 6: Piecing It Back Together

Now using that link I put before (also here), start putting your cube together. I found that it helped to construct one side at a time, until I had just a single edge piece left.

I had some issues with this part, and had to brute force my way through it. Occasionally a piece would separate from it's glued counterpart, and I would use this to my advantage, getting the last of pieces in and then re-gluing after (by squeezing the pieces apart and dropping glue between them). This ended up working out great for me.

Now step back and let the glue cure on your pieces. I'd just set it down and wait for 24 hours, or overnight. This way you don't finish up and then have stuff pop apart. This might be a good time to add your *fake* stickers so that you can remember exactly which side you had facing up.

Step 7: Cutting Your Stickers

Now that you've waited for your superglue to dry grab your stickers! I followed the layout given before exactly, so you'll need the following:


  • 4x double sticker
  • 1x single sticker


  • 4x double sticker
  • 1x single sticker


  • 3x double sticker
  • 3x single sticker


  • 4x double sticker
  • 1x single sticker


  • 3x double sticker
  • 3x single sticker


  • 2x double sticker
  • 5x single sticker

Using a measuring tool, figure out how big you want each sticker. My cube needed 16mm length for short sides, and 35mm length for long sides. This left a little bit of plastic overlap.

Using scissors or an X-acto knife, cut all of the pieces you need. If you want to get really fancy cut little radii on the corners of your stickers. I just cut the very very tip off, which made it look much better. This way if your cuts aren't exactly straight it is harder to tell, and your cube also has small radii on the edges so it looks closer to what you already had on there.

Step 8: Sticker It Up!

Now add your stickers! Having tweezers was really nice here. I have done a fair amount of sticker handling, and this is how I go about placing stickers without getting my hands all over them (or ruining them).

Grab one of your stickers, and carefully peel the back off, using your fingers or tweezers. Then, hold the sticker with your tweezers (feel free to stick them on!). Gently lay your sticker roughly where you want it to go, and then get it closer and closer. When you're fairly sure that the sticker is centered press down on it to get part of it stuck on the cube. Then gently remove your tweezers and press the sticker flat.

This general procedure has helped me to place a lot of stickers with minimal stress. Go ahead and figure out what works for you! Use the diagram to help you place all of your stickers onto your nearly finished bandaged cube!

Step 9: Scramble and Try to Solve!

That's all! Now that your cube has been all stickered up give it a whirl...but maybe take some pictures first, this one can be a doozy to solve!

If you have any questions about how I made my cube feel free to comment! Thanks for reading!

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017

Makerspace Contest 2017

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest 2017

Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Unusual Uses Challenge 2017