Introduction: Cube Map String Lights

I enjoy finding different ways to use string lights to decorate different areas of the house. I also find that we tend to build up a number of rental car maps from our trips. Even with the use of GPS I always still ask for a paper map just in case when traveling. :) In addition, while on road trips, one of the activities the kids enjoy is making different origami creations. So, I decided to put all these ideas together and created the Cube Map String Lights.


  • Paper Maps
  • String lights
  • Ruler/straight edge
  • small screw driver
  • That's about it - pretty simple

Step 1: Making Multiple Origami Cubes - First Cut the Maps

Start by cutting your paper maps into squares. In this case I cut the maps into multiple 6" & 5" square shapes. It helps to be as precise as you can when cutting the squares.

Step 2: Folding #1

First fold the square in half horizontally, then open the fold and repeat vertically then open (picture 1).

Second fold the square diagonally, then open and repeat along the other axis then open (picture 2).

After making these four folds, bring the folds together in somewhat of a pyramid shape (picture 3)

Then flatten the pyramid (picture 4)

Step 3: Folding #2

For this step I have labeled some of the corners to help with the description.

With the flattened pyramid take corner "A" and fold to the top (picture 1 to 2).

Then fold corner "B" and fold to the top (picture 3).

Next flip the triangle over and fold corners "C" & "D" in the same way (picture 4 to 5).

Now you should have a diamond shape - on to the next step.

Step 4: Folding #3

Now that you have a diamond take corner "E" and fold to the center (Picture 1 to 2).

Now fold the opposite side in the same manor to the center (Picture 3).

Next flip the paper diamond over and repeat on the other side (picture 4).

On to the next step. we are getting close.

Step 5: Folding #4

I think this is the most difficult part. This is where you might want to use a small Flathead screw driver or toothpick to help fold the corners into the flaps as described below.

You will want to take corners A, B, C & D and insert them into the folds created in the last step.

In picture 1 you can see how corner "C" is folded into fold "E".

Repeat this step on corner "D" (picture 2).

Flip the paper over and repeat on corner "A" & "B" (picture 3)

---------Next step

Step 6: Folding #5 (last Step to Create the Paper Cube)

After you have folded all the corners into the fold your paper should look similar to picture 1.

Look at the top point and the bottom point. One point should have a small hole in it. Take that end and quickly blow into it. This will expand the paper cube! (picture 2).

Now it is time to add the cubes to the string of lights.

Step 7: Add the Cubes to the String of Lights

So now that you have made multiple cubes, you can add them to the string of lights. I like to use the light strings with the very small LEDs (the box I got for this called them "LED wire lights"). These also have a very stiff wire and that helps in feeding the lights through the cubes.

So - first you will need to cut a very small hole in the cube on the opposite side of the hole where you blew into the cube.

Then simply feed the wire through each cube one at a time. If the holes are small enough the cube will stay in place on each LED light. If the holes are too big then you can easily add a little clear tape to keep the cubes in place.

Once you have all the cubes placed, turn off the room lights and turn on the string lights. The cubes will light up in multiple different colors depending on the map colors for a very cool effect.

Have fun!

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