Introduction: Fortune-telling Cube

About: Retired from biotechnology company, PhD in Biochemistry (MIT).

OK, dust off that old Rubik’s Cube that’s been sitting around since the 1980’s. If you haven’t solved it by now, you probably never will! This Instructable will give you a way to recycle that old Cube into a fortune-telling device. The good news is that you won’t have to solve the Cube to get it to work; you just have to mess it up it. Step 1: Without looking, randomize the Cube. Step 2: Open your eyes and read the phrase on the top edge. Step 3: Next, follow the pointer to the middle cubie and read it. (It may be topsy-turvy, but you’ll be able to read it.) Step 4: Follow the new, pointer to a corner cubie and read it. (It, too, may be topsy-turvy, but you’ll be able to read it.) The three phrases together make up a legitimate message. (See the Figure.) This is kind of like the Magic 8-Ball (the inspiration), however there are 3,456 possible answers (24 edges X 6 centers X 24 corners) rather than just the 20 you have with the Magic 8-Ball. (Sadly, the fortunes are no more accurate.)

Full disclosure: This Instructable is variant of a popular one I submitted way back in 2010: “The Fortune-telling Cube” (the original one). If I get the votes (hint, hint), I’ll let the judges decide if this one is unique. The changes include: 1. The faces are all new (e.g. the color scheme of the Fortune-telling Cube now match that of the Magic 8-Ball; black with blue-gray text). 2. The stickers are now much easier to print out on to a full-page label sheet. 3. There is an option to make shiny, smudge-proof surfaces for the stickers. 4. There are four “Bonus” cube faces included for a ”I-Love-You Cube” – with a red and white heart theme; a fun “It’s All About You Cube”; a “Number-randomizer Cube” – for creating random numbers from 1 to 3,456 (or from 0.000 to 1.000, if you subtract one and divide by 3,456); and a “DIY Cube” – for making your own fortune-telling cube.

Step 1: Making the Cube

Use your old Cube or buy a new one (for as little as $7, or less, if you shop around). Old Cubes have stickers for the colored faces. You will have to peel-off all of the stickers and then clean-off the glue residue with some solvent before applying the new stickers. (See Figures 1 and 2.) New Cubes have permanent, plastic faces (and a great, smooth action); these are ready to go. Just sticker-over the colored faces. Print out one of the templates (below) onto permanent, full-sheet label-paper. (See Figure 3.) I use Avery 8165 from OfficeMax (probably from elsewhere, too). Make them glossy and smudge-resistant if you want (also below). Cut out the squares using a sharp pair of scissors or, better, a paper-cutter. (See Figure 4.) Please be careful; watch those fingers! Peel off the protective layers and stick the squares onto your naked cube. Be certain that the edge labels point to the center; the centers and corners may be any orientation. You’ll soon get sick of fiddling with the backing paper and sticking on the new labels but persevere, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Step 2: Fortune-telling Stickers

Here are some examples (Figures 1-4) and the fortune-telling stickers (in both MS Word and PDF formats). These are yes/no/maybe phrases and have a look similar to that of the Magic 8-Ball (blue-gray text on a black background). Allow plenty of time for the page to dry, as these are mostly all-blac

Step 3: Bonus Cube Stickers

Here are faces for four bonus Cubes: 1. The “I-Love-You Cube”. Warning: it’s kind of mushy with hearts and a red-and-white theme (Figure 1). (I made this for the 2018 Instructables Valentine Contest; but that contest never materialized!) 2. The “It’s All About You Cube” (Figure 2). If you have a sensitive ego, you don’t want to do this one. 3. The “Number Cube” – for generating random numbers from 1 to 3,456 (Figure 3). (Why not? You might want to have a 1D3456 die for Dungeons and Dragons someday.) Subtract 1 and divide by 3,456 for random numbers from 0.000 to 1.000. 4. Finally, a “DYI Cube” – a template for making your own phrase-randomizer.

Creating your own scripts is a lot of fun, but it’s not as easy as it seems. If you aren’t careful, your sentences won’t come out right. The starting phrase is usually the subject (with modifiers). It’s important to stay consistent with the subject. Make them all first-person singular (“I”), second-person singular (“you”), third-person singular (“he/she/it”), first-person plural (“we”), second-person plural (“you”), or third-person plural (“they”). If you pick third-person singular, try to avoid “he” or “she” by using “he/she” or “the person”, “one of you” etc. Start with a capital letter. The middle phrase is usually a version of the verb “to be” (with modifiers). The ending phrase is usually a restatement of the subject. It can be an adjective (“The person/is/smart.”) or a noun (“The person/is/a jerk.”). End with a period. If you put in negatives like “not”, decide where you are going to put them, and be consistent. E.g. put them only in the ending phrase. (“The person/is/not a jerk.”). If you put them in two different places, you may end up with nonsense. (“The person/is not/not a jerk.”) Above all, keep the phrases concise! (There is not much space on the cube faces.) For the original Fortune-telling Instructable, a member (SiderAnne) suggested, in a comment, to make a Haiku Cube (the “Hai-kube”). Go for it! You can do better than I (“A beautiful bird/good news, it appears to be/hopelessly in love.”??)!

Step 4: Glossy, Smudge-resistant Covers (Optional, But Recommended)

If you want, you can make your cube faces glossy and smudge-resistant. Just get some 2”, clear packaging tape. First, cut the stickers crudely into strips, leaving a margin all around. Tack a piece of tape by one end down onto the table top; use tape guidelines for where the 2”-width will be (Figure 1). Then slide the strip under, between the marker tapes, and smooth it out with the clear tape on top (Figure 2). If you screw up (it’s easy to get wrinkles), just print out a new sheet and start over. Finally, cut out the little squares with a sharp pair of scissors or, better, a paper-cutter. (Again, please be careful and watch those fingers!)

Trash to Treasure

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure