Origami Cube NYC Style




first of all ...

3000 hits in two days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks to all ...

rate this instructable please!!!

i was living in NY and saw this cube inside a subway booth on the 7 line (46th st)
and for days i wonder about the structure until one day i found the way to build it ... yes!

so , is not my original idea, but looks cool!!!

materials ...
6 used metrocards (nice to make another projects and is free!!)
your hands ... lol
2 oz of patience or 10 min of spare time

i have tried business cards and they work too!

good luck.

Step 1: Basic Fold

1.- six used metrocards
2.- fold to find center
3.- do not mark the crease too deep
4.- fold lower corner to meet center (paper clip is just a holder for the picture)
5.- fold the opposite way to make a hard crease
6.- fold top corner, then fold the opposite way to make a hard crease
7.- you will have this 4 triangles in one square
8.- press top and bottom triangle with one hand while pressing the right and left triangles with the other hand
9.- press hard to make as flat as you can
10.- this shape we need
11.- fold an the other side to get a symmetrical shape
12.- fold all cards to make six pieces

Step 2: Know the Parts...

front and back view in detail

identify the "flat" area or "triangle" on the sides
this will be inserted on the other parts.

Step 3: Basic Construction

i think is very clear...

the piece has sort of a candy wrap shape
two triangles on the sides and two slots on top and bottom.

triangles slide into slots.

Step 4: Locking On

the pieces have to lock on the next one with no effort needed
if they tend to separate
a.- you made a sloppy fold
b.- folds are too tight or to loose

a+b really simple
a+b+c is simple once you join them togheter

at the end all three pieces are lock in place .

Step 5: Over Then Under, Over Then Under

secret to assemble is to know all flaps goes first under (A piece ) then over ( B piece)

a goes under b
b goes under c
c goes under a

c goes over b
b goes over a
a goes over c

Step 6: Final Step

assemble all parts but one, locking into each other.
applying same principle on all sections (is really simple, trust me)

then we get to step one on this part

1.- 5 parts locked in
2.- add remaining part (this will be tricky at first)
2a.- use the 2 oz of patience... parts will start to separate assemble them back again and be gentle!
3.- lock first one end , then move to the opposite one middle parts will fall in place
4.- lock slots on the last part and notice the lapped over triangle
5.- make a crease in the middle of triangle
6.- fit through slot place thumb on the outside and press to make triangle flat again (inside)
7.- i knew all along... you can do it!!
8.- finished
9.- rinse and repeat ....

my next xmas tree will have this all over it ... (not)
and i will hang one on my rear view mirror ... (not)

lol have fun and if you need directions send me a message.

please comment and rate.



  • 1 Hour Challenge

    1 Hour Challenge
  • Beauty Tips Contest

    Beauty Tips Contest
  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest

105 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

This would work hella well with monthly Muni passes in SF! And then of course you'd have a rainbow, since the colours are different every month! Too bad I'm a million k's away nowadays.
Cool instructable!


10 years ago on Step 6

This is brilliant: you can do this with pretty much any rectangle of card, I used some playing cards from a dead deck, which is more difficult since they are less flexible, but it is really strong when you complete the final folds.

6 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

hes right about the rectangles. just did this with business cards 


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

i tried this with playing cards it just falls apart. now i ruined a good deck of cards.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I actually meant that I did this with cards from a pack with some cards lost/missing, so the pack was useless anyway. Sorry, I should have been a little more specific about that one :\


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

yeah i knew what you ment but i figured hey sounds cool i'll buy a pack at the dollar store. but it didn't work it just falls apart =[


Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

NYC metro cards are extremely stiff, stiffer than any of ur cards


10 years ago on Introduction

Two things: 1. This can be made with any rectangular sheet of paper. 2. It is not pure origami, but it is modular origami.

5 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Actually, it is 'pure' origami. The only kind of origami that isn't 'pure' is any kind that involves cutting, gluing, taping, or ripping. This is just pure folding. In fact, an old Japanese origami enthusiast friend of mine does a lot of modular origami.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

nope ... it can not be made from "any" rectangular sheet of paper... you need a square shape in 45º angle dead center or the next piece will not fit in the "slot" if you use pure origami when folding the first piece (or all) and you use no glue ... will the final product still be "pure"??? it IS pure origami ... and modular origami as well ... (where you asking or making a statement??)


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Um, yea, you can make this with any 6 rectangular pieces of equal sizes. There are variants for rectangles too long, and those that are too short just don't hold together as well as the perfect 1:2 rectangle. It is not pure origami, as pure origami consists of one square piece of paper, with no cuts, no glue, or no other additives (such as other pieces of paper). Now, it is possible to make what you showed in your tutorial with one piece of square paper, given it is large enough so it is easier to fold those intricate parts. Perhaps after I steal a camera I will make a tutorial on how to do it. Eventually...


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

See the link in my post below - I've made an attempt at doing this. Have even folded it with a tiny (~5cm square) piece of paper but isn't recommended! I put together a photo sequence to complement the original instructions by Thoki Yenn, which I found to be almost indecipherable. :)