Make a Cube with 12 Sides

This cube defies geometry and logic. Choose from 2 very different versions: a 2015 calendar, or a Rubik’s cube. The calendar shows one month per side — yet all twelve months fit on the 6 sides of the cube! The Rubik’s cube comes scrambled, but even though the cube is an empty box, with three quick rotations it can be solved.

Rubik's-loop-250The trick behind this beauty is a completely new folding technique, inspired by my fascination with the traditional “Jacob’s ladder” toy. My (patent pending) technique allows a single box to have two different patterns. This cube has 12 sides.

Make one for yourself!

cube-calendarStep 1.

Download the template from makepopupcards.com. Keep reading these instructions, or watch the video tutorial for the calendar. Since the Rubik’s cube is the same box with a different pattern, you can watch the video to understand how to make either of the designs.

Step 2: Print

calendartemplateThe template has 6 pages. Print the document DOUBLE SIDED, on three sheets of light card stock. If your printer doesn’t duplex automatically, flip the pages manually; pages 1 and 2 should be on the first sheet, pages 3 and 4 on the second, and pages 5 and 6 should be on the last sheet of card stock.

The calendar comes in 2 versions, a European one formatted for A4 paper starting the week on Monday, and a US version on letter sized paper with the week starting on Sunday.

The Rubik’s cube is only formatted on letter sized paper, but you can print it on A4 without having any important parts missing or cropped. I wasn’t able to test this, so if there’s a problem (especially with both sides lining up), let me know and I’ll make an A4 version.

Step 3: Cut

cutrubiksThe template comes with a cut and fold guide, a scaled down version of the pieces with lines (solid for cuts, dashes for valley folds and dots for mountain folds). You can use a regular pair of scissors to cut along the solid lines. Cut on the side of the sheet with instructions. The reverse image is formatted with an extra bleed, in case your printer doesn’t feed the paper in precisely.

Step 4: Fold

Score the fold lines by firmly drawing along all the dotted and dashed lines (shown on the cut and fold guide). Scoring crushes the paper along the fold line. This is an important step which allows you to get a nice clean fold.

To score I use an old ball point pen emptied of its ink, but you can use any tool which has a pointed but blunt tip, like a stylus, a knitting needle or even the bones they sell in art stores just for the purpose of scoring. The idea is to crush the paper along the straight fold line (use a ruler!) without piercing it… In this case, since all the fold lines are over printed areas you can use a working ball point pen… the lines you draw will not ruin the pattern.

calendarfold
Fold strips marked A, B & C using a valley fold along the dashed lines, so you end up with the two pieces pictured here.

rubiksfold1Rubiksfold2

Step 5: Glue

Glue the two parts together by gluing A to A, B to B and C to C.

I prefer white glue because it’s the most durable and strong for paper, but be careful to use just a tiny drop or it makes your paper buckle.

glue flatSee that gap between the two parts? It’s supposed to be that way, don’t try to push the pieces any closer together.

Step 6: Fold and glue some more

Fold all the sides of the box (mountain fold — so the pattern is facing out).

FinishfoldGlue sides D though G to their corresponding letter (D to D, E to E etc).

EXTRAS:

The downloads come with a few extras: a matching gift label, and a sliding strip which can be used to keep the box sealed shut and show the week (for the calendar) or get a different pattern (for the Rubik’s cube).

Cut out the extra pieces (you might need a scalpel knife to cut the interior window in the calendar’s strip) and fold them according to the pictures below:

cutlabel foldlabel poplabel

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