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This project is a little puzzling. It took me a few tries to get it right, but WOW, we are in love with the result. Want to learn how to make the coolest magic puzzle cube you have ever seen? It’s a toy and it’s educational at the same time, because that’s the way we roll around these parts. (This post is sponsored by Elmer’s. All ideas are my own, however I received free product and compensation for my efforts.)
So, what is the Magic Puzzle Cube, you ask? It is a cube made of 8 smaller cubes that rotates and moves around creating different pictures as you rotate it. Since each cube has 6 sides, there are 48 sides when you combine them all. When the cube is folded up, 24 sides are visible, and 24 are hidden.
You can really get creative with this magic puzzle cube. We chose to use pictures of human anatomy to make it educational. A few other ideas I though of doing were plant & animal cells, chemical symbols, art prints, or family photos, or anything, really!
How to Make the Magic Puzzle Cube
To make this cool educational toy, you will need:
8 wooden cubes. Mine are 2 inch cubes, but 1 inch ones would work as well. You can pick them up online or at a craft store.
9 pictures 3 of the pictures need to be 4″ x 8″. The other 6 Should be 4″ x 4″.
Clear Packing Tape
Start by creating the hinges that make this puzzle move around. You will tape hinges in 8 different places. Look at this image to see where they go. There are 2 of each number and you will tape across the the blocks to combine the two numbers. You will need to tape on the front and the back of each set of blocks to reinforce them. Use smaller pieces of tape because you will need to glue on your pictures and the glue will stick to the wood, but not the tape as well. The hinges with the numbers 1 and 4 you will tape horizontally and the others (2,3,5,6) will be taped vertically.
Once those hinges are done, you will have two more on the top of the cube to combine them all together. Remember to tape from and back on all of them so they stay together.
When it is all taped, you will decide how you want the pictures to go on. This is the tricky part. You need to make sure that they all fit. You can download the ones I used here. They are scaled to the right sizes for this project.
DOWNLOAD: Anatomy Magic Puzzle Cube Graphics
Choose three of the long surfaces for your larger pictures and then the square sized pictures will fill in the rest. You will glue them down. Pay close attention to where the hinges are when you glue the picture on. Everywhere the hinges are NOT taped, you will make an incision with the knife so it can still be folded. Wait until the glue is mostly dry before cutting or the paper does not cut well.
After all of the sides are glued and cut, reinforce the pictures by covering them with packing tape or a thin layer of watered down glue. The glue will be trickier because you don’t want any sides sticking together, so I just used tape.
Now it will fold and bend in all directions and you have to match up the pictures on the cubes. IT is so fun an day kids couldn’t WAIT to get their hands on it!
Just a few shots from different angles. . .
Now, watch the puzzle cube in action!
Isn’t it cool?! We sure think so. I want to make a few more with all different pictures!