Magic cubes is a set of nine (9) cubes all connected on certain edges and it can be compressed so all the cubes have sides touching other cubes or none of the sides touch. For this project, you will need three (3) sheets of paper to make the cubes and one (1) or (2) more sheets of paper (depending on how you use the strips of paper) to connect them if you wish to use strips of paper to connect them rather than tape. I prefer a combination of both. Strips then tape to make it stronger.
Step 1: Selecting Paper
I used some papers I had lying around my house. They are 8.5x11". You can use rectangular papers (just try not to get too big or too small, I have done that and they are hard to fold) but we are going to make them into a square for this.
If you have selected square paper, skip the next step.
If you have another method of making the cubes or you know how to make these cubes, skip to step 6.
Step 2: Squaring the Paper
To make it a square, have your paper portrait . Fold the top left corner to the right long edge. Line up the top edge with the side edge and crease (Image 1).
Next, take the excess on the bottom and fold it over to line up with the piece you just folded over. Crease it (Image 2). Cut that rectangle off then unfold the triangle to reveal the square (Image 3).
Step 3: Making the Grid
In this step, we are creating an 8x8 grid with the paper by folding and creasing. After every fold, you will be creasing then unfolding the paper in this step. Start by folding in half both horizontally and vertically (Images 1 & 2). Then fold the bottom edge up to the middle crease and repeat that all the way around and you will have a 4x4 grid (Image 3). Now fold up the bottom edge to the first crease. Do that all the way around the paper. Then fold the bottom edge up to the 1/4 crease (should be the second crease from the top) (Image 4).
Your paper should now look like image 5 with the 8x8 grid folded into it.
Step 4: Making the Strips
You have made an 8x8 grid but your strips need to be 6x1 so you need to take off an 8x2 section (Images 1 & 2).
After that, you will want to start taking off 6x1 strips (Image 3). SAVE THE 8x2 SECTION. I suggest using the fold and tear (adding moisture with water or saliva to the crease will help) or using a paper cutter or a metal ruler and a knife to cut these. Scissors will leave you with curved lines and in my experience, they don't cut on the line even if you want them to when your line is a fold. From this piece, you will end up with eight (8) strips (Image 4).
Now take your 8x2 strip and cut off a 2x2 section from the end (Images 5 & 6). Then cut the 6x2 section into two (2) 6x1 strips (Image 7). From one (1) paper, you have made 10 strips (Image 8).
Step 5: Creating the Cube
You will need three (3) strips for each cube (Image 1) and eight (8) cubes total.
In image 2, you see two strips laid down (paper clips are just there to hold the strips for the picture and will not be used in this project). The horizontal strip MUST be on the bottom. There are three (3) squares on the left, one (1) under the other strip, and two (2) on the right. The vertical strip has four (4) squares on top, one (1) above the other strip, and one (1) on the bottom.
Image 3 shows the third strip starting with one end on the right as the strip wraps around the others. To do this, you will need to fold the strips up around the overlapping squares. The other end should end up in the front of the cube (Image 4).
Now there are three pieces of strips sticking out the top. Image 5 shows that the one that has one (1) square up gets folded in. Image 6 shows that the one that has two (2) squares sticking out gets folded over that and tucked into the opening on the other side.
Images 7 & 8 show the last piece of a strip sticking out going into an opening on the bottom.
Images 9 & 10 are what you should've ended up with.
Repeat this step until you have eight (8) cubes (Image 11).
These strips can be tucked away the other way, the longer one first, then the short one and the one with two (2) squares last. I suggest doing it that way if you want to use strips to put them together.
Step 6: Connecting the Cubes
Arrange them as they appear in image 1 above.
Tape each edge to the edge that touches it. If you are using extra strips from making the cubes, weave them through the openings in each cube to connect them like image 2 above.
Step 7: Play!
If you have successfully made the cubes and connected them correctly, you now have Magic Cubes. If you play with it too much, the paper will wear and tear. You can either replace it or tape it. Tape will wear and tear too. When I make these, I use paper then reinforce them with tape.
Have fun! I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!