Introduction: Magic Folding Photo Cube

About: My name is Britt Michelsen. I am a chemical engineer from Germany especially interested in computational fluid dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work, I like to make stuff in my free time

Like probably every other mother my mum loves getting photos for Christmas, but in my opinion normal photo cubes or books are a bit boring.

Being fascinated by instructable member golics "Unbelievable! White Or Black. Crazy Paper Cube", I had the idea of combining it with photos. The pictures work as hinges, so that you can unfold more of them on the inside of the cube.

Every year we are celebrating Christmas with my whole family (including cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents). My mum organizes everything, so I took photos from last year, to thank her for that.

Step 1: Stuff You Need


  • 8 wooden cubes (best is a side length between 3 and 4 cm)


  • Printer
  • Box cutter
  • Ruler

Step 2: Select the Pictures

First you will have to find pictures that you would like to use, you need eight square ones of the length of two cubes and two images of the length of four cubes and the height of two. If you want you can put text on it, so that it tells a story.
Print them onto Self-Adhesive Film and cut them to the right size.

Step 3: Outside of the Cube

We are going to start with the outside of the cube. You will need 6 of the square photos. The second image shows, how to cut the pictures for the top, front and right side (cut along the green lines and fold along the blue lines). After you are done cutting stick them onto the cube.
Now turn the cube so that the front is in the back and the top in the bottom. Cut the pictures for the back, left and bottom as shown in the fourth picture and stick them on the cube.

Step 4: Inside of the Cube

Place the cube, so that the top is on the top again and open it as shown in the first picture.
For the middle you will need a picture that has length of 4 cubes and the height of two. Cut it and fold it as shown it in the second picture and stick it onto the cubes.
Open the cube as shown in the third picture, cut your second big picture as shown in the fourth image. Open it up in the middle again, cut a smaller image as shown in the fifth picture and stick it on the cube. Turn the cube around and stick the last picture on the cube.

Congratulations, you've made it. Please, don't forget to comment, rate and vote.

Step 5: My Try With Tape (by Mastover)

I have given this a try myself using tape and 3m 77 spray adhesive.  I found it does in fact work, but there are a few issues you need to watch out for.  Here in the States you can find the 3m 77 spray at just about any hardware store e.g. Home Depot or Lowes.  I used packing tape that I purchased at Walmart and blocks I found at Hobby Lobby.  I've included pictures of each. 

I began by finding pictures I wanted to use and put them into photoshop to resize to the exact size of the blocks and printed them on photopaper.  I planned to simply cover each picture with the tape then cut them out leaving a sealed picture.  Well, here is where I found my first issue.  The tape isn't wide enough to cover the full picture.  I had to decide how the picture would need to be cut then make the first cut followed by covering the halves with tape.  This was more of a pain, but worked fine.

My biggest issue with using the spray glue was that it is a contact cement.  You spray it on the block then spray the back of the picture and let both sides dry.  Once you are ready, you put the picture on the block and its stuck permanently.  It works great, but if you did like I did and spray all sides of the blocks first, you will have issues when trying to line up the blocks and attach the pictures.  You see if a block touches another block that has been sprayed, they too will be permanently bonded.  You have to use something in between such as tinfoil as I did.  (See the picture using-tin-foil below) It works, but you have to be Very careful.

Also, I would HIGHLY recommend if you go this route that you purchase a good cutting system.  I tried to use a razor knife and a straightedge, but the packing tape is very tough.  I had many issues with my straight-edge slipping causing the pictures to not fit the blocks correctly (see the pictures below).  When I try this again, I'll get an X-acto razor paper trimmer from Staples which costs about $15.  That way you get perfect cuts that will fit your blocks perfectly.

One last word of advice.  The photopaper with tape covering it is tough.  Before you would give this away you need to play with it a bunch of times to get the creases set between the blocks or the whole cube wants to unfold.  Just squeeze it hard and use it and you will find it works great.

I've included the following pictures that I hope explain further what I did.

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