Origami Cube tutorial

I've been making a lot of these lately. 

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They're pretty addictive because they're like little puzzles. I'm never quite sure until the end if all the pieces will fit together, yet miraculously enough, they do. It's very satisfying. Kids love these cubes – both creating them and playing with them. They're lightweight and great for stacking or creating designs with. 

You'll start with 6 pieces of square shaped paper. I used standard origami paper about 15 x 15 cms or 6 x 6 inches, but you can use any size, as long as it's square. 

One tip: when doing origami, fold as precisely as possible and press down on the creases and folds to make them nice and sharp. That's particularly important with this cube. (I'll be doing other tutorials for simpler origami designs to do with younger children that are more forgiving). 

Fold it in half to create a crease, then open again.

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Now, fold each side down to the crease and press down hard.

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Now you have a rectangle. Turn the paper over (very important; you want the open fold to be on the bottom) and fold each corner towards the center so that you create a trapezoid. First one corner to the middle of the opposite side 

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then the other corner in the opposite direction.

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Next you will fold the corners of the trapezoid to the center on the opposite side so that you form a square. Make sure to press down on the creases hard. 

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Now release those corners. Repeat the above steps for each piece of paper until you have 6 pieces that look like this. 

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Now comes the fun part – assembly. Take two pieces and insert a triangle from one paper into the opening on the square of another paper. 

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Then insert a second triangle into the other side of the same opening.  Each opening in each square accommodates two triangles from other adjoining squares. Keep inserting triangles into squares until all the sides are connected and a cube is formed. 

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Here's an example of the same cube in different colors, and what it might look like once you've fitted three together. They will be loose but will stabilize as you add more panels.

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adding a fourth panel

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tucking in the last few triangles..

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You're done!

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27 thoughts on “Origami Cube tutorial

  1. OrigamiMommy

    Hi Jennifer! Please do try it with your boys – I’d love to know what they think.
    As for the photos – I asked a friend to fold while I shot the photos. I’ll probably ask one of my boys to help demonstrate next time.
    Christine

    Reply
  2. Laura

    This is such a cute project and the directions are very clear! I was thinking it could be fun to put a tiny surprise inside a little box, then fold larger ones to go around it – sort of like those Russian nesting dolls.

    Reply
  3. OrigamiMommy

    I love the thought of putting a tiny surprise inside. What a great idea! There are lots of folds for accommodating little treasures which I would like to put on the blog sometime soon – but they are usually flat, like an envelope.
    Christine

    Reply
  4. Tall Kate

    I finally tried one of these today, Christine. I need to make another since the children are having trouble sharing 😉
    Thanks for the great directions!!

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    We finally made one! I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the last piece, and I somehow had it squared in the wrong direction–so, I started over, did it all in reverse, and now we have a cute little box. Thank you for the great directions!

    Reply
  6. Kitten Muffin

    I’ve been making these since I was a kid too. If you make many more of the little pieces then you can make a star shape from 12 of them, or a humungous star from 30 of them too! The cube has three pieces making each corner, in the smaller star you just have four pieces making each corner, and with the larger star you have five. If you have six pieces then it makes a flat sheet, but you can make almost any shape by using different numbers of pieces around each point in the shape.

    Reply
  7. Moria

    ho wawoo!!!! the finished cubes looks amazing! and the tutorial is very much good looking and well explaind, thank you very much! gotta try this now:)

    Reply
  8. Abby

    i love these cubes! i made 5, I’m using them for missing pieces in a board game! thank you for the awesome tutorial!

    Reply
  9. Nathan

    Great instructions, but the shape in picture 5 is not a trapezoid; it’s a parallelogram. Thank you for the explicit detail!

    Reply
  10. Cute Ai

    Hi! I was looking for these kind of boxes on the internet becuase I forgot how to make these boxes. I was in Japan the last two years ago and my friend tought me how to make these boxes and when i came here in the U.S. I forgot how to make these boxes besides I was only 9 when learned how to make these now I’m ten i finnaly know how to make these origami boxes!

    Reply
  11. Samuel

    If you don’t turn the paper before folding the corners, you can then tuck in the corners you will get a piece called a Sonobe module. This module works the same as yours but is more secure, at least individually I am not sure about once you put it together.
    Sorry to seem like a smart ass bit I do a lot of modular origami.

    Reply
  12. Estrella Olmos

    i have been trying to find a way to make theses cubes and i finally made one!
    THANK YOU SO, SO, SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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