Shape Changing Tangram Organizer With Secret Compartment




About: Dream. Inspire. Create. Because, Creativity never goes out of style! ;)

Inspiration for the storage cum decoration organizer has been taken from the Chinese puzzle, Tangram made of seven pieces (one parallelogram, one square, and five triangles) that can be arranged to match particular designs.

The Tangram (Chinese game meaning "seven boards of skill") is a dissection puzzle consisting of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. The objective of the puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap.

Choosing a unit of measurement so that the seven pieces can be assembled to form a square of side one unit and having area one square unit, the seven pieces are:
• 2 large right triangles 
• 1 medium right triangle 
• 2 small right triangle
• 1 square 
• 1 parallelogram 

Of these seven pieces, the parallelogram is unique in that it has no reflection symmetry but only rotational symmetry, and so its mirror image can be obtained only by flipping it over. Thus, it is the only piece that may need to be flipped when forming certain shapes.

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Step 1: Material Required

For making this interesting decoration piece, which also doubles up as a shelf for storage and organisation, one can use any material (which can take weight, if it's for storage purpose).
I have used thick white cardboard. And for attaching the pieces together, one can use nut bolts and shafts (like shown in the picture).
I have made the shafts with the same cardboard (you can also try finding them in the market, if you don't want to make them). I've made the shafts by cutting the cardboard in these shapes and punching both the corners (easy and quick)!

Step 2: How to Make These Shapes?

The attached picture clearly explains how these shapes can be made exactly.
Once you've cut the pieces, single punch the corners of all. This will help later for fixing them together!

Step 3: How to Convert These 2D Shapes Into 3D?

The basic idea of this organizer is to convert these 2D shapes into 3D by giving them a certain amount of height (amount of height is on personal preference).
Height can be easily giving by cutting flat shapes and attaching on the sides of the previously cut Tangram shapes.

Step 4: How to Fix These Together?

So, at this stage you have the 3 Dimensional Tangram shapes ready, along with nuts and bolts and shafts.
I have explained how to make the shafts in step 2.

Now, all you need to do is start holding the pieces in the  desirable shape and way you want, insert the nut from the inside of the depth of shape ..shaft both the pieces together and bolt them. Continue the same step for all the shapes until you achieve the desirable form!

The one I've made here is a sitting cat :)

Step 5: Ready to Use :)

After accomplishing the previous steps, just add a hook and you are ready to hang it. Or just place it somewhere.

Step 6: Bored? Change the Shape!

The best part about this is once you are bored of this shape, unbolt and create a new one!
I have created a few 3DS models for you to see.. Rest, creativity has no limits!
Explore materials! Explore shapes! 

Step 7: The Mini Organizer :)

For your smaller essentials, you can make the organizer in a smaller size which can also be used for playing the Tangram game!

Step 8: How to Add Secret Compartment?

- Cut another piece like the base of the shapes (a little smaller would be better).
- Punch this as well, exactly like the base.
- Hide you stuff (money etc.)
- Close it the duplicate shape you've made
- Nail the sides (I've used rivettes for this one since they're more easy to use)

Workshop Contest

Participated in the
Workshop Contest

Organization Contest

Participated in the
Organization Contest

Secret Doors and Compartments Contest

Participated in the
Secret Doors and Compartments Contest



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    20 Discussions


    2 years ago

    very cool


    5 years ago on Introduction

    If you had a piece of metal hidden benind the wall then by glueing large neosomethingiam magnets to the back of them then they could be easier to rearange.

    1 reply
    m bediSantaB

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi SantaB
    That depends on the material you are using. If you want a highly durable one, you can use wood (ply board). Mine is made out of cardboard, and can hold a couple of books and other stuff!
    Also, it wouldn't cost you much, just a little time consuming!


    5 years ago on Step 6

    Brilliant idea! My daughter and I love these puzzles. What a great concept for a 3D piece. Just initially, I can envision boxes made from varied hard wood panels. Your attachment is clever. Depending in the material used, I could see magnetic strips or Velcro as possible ways to attach the boxes. I'm sure there are many other ideas about that. The colored illustrations really bring the otherwise stark single color of the usual puzzle pieces to life. You should experiment more. You might have come up with a catchy marketable idea. Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply
    m bediMarkML

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thans alot MarkML. I love this puzzle too, that's what made me come up with this organizer! The attachment can be done with n number of ways, depending on material being used and the purpose one is going to use it for.
    I'd love to see your's too if you are planning to make one :)