How to make a cardboard cube

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a square out of a piece of cardboard is a simple exercise. Turning that two-dimensional object into a cube with three dimensions requires a few more steps and a bit more ingenuity. Once you understand the basic concept, you will be able to make cubes of varying sizes for teaching or decorative purposes.

Place the cardboard on your work surface.

Using a ruler as a guide, draw a 3-inch-long line close to one edge of the cardboard.

Draw a 3-inch line at a 90 degree right angle to the end of the first line. Use your drafting triangle as a guide. Using the drafting triangle is imperative. Each corner of the square must be exactly 90 degrees for the cube to fit together correctly.

Draw a third 3-inch line at a 90 degree right angle beginning at the end of the second line.

Draw the fourth side of the square by connecting the free ends of the first and third lines. Use the ruler as a guide. Check both angles formed by this final line with the drafting square.

Draw five more squares using the instructions in steps 2 through 5.

Use a utility knife to cut out your six cardboard squares. Cut carefully, as close to the lines as possible. Cardboard will quickly dull the edge of a blade. Change blades in the utility knife if the cardboard begins to tear while you are cutting.

Place the first cardboard square flat on your work surface. Place another square against each of the four sides of the first. You should now have a small cross pattern with equal sides.

Place a piece of tape on each of the four seams between the five pieces of cardboard.

Turn the entire piece over. The tape will now be on the bottom. Fold up the four sides to form an open box. Tape the four seams on the outside of the box to hold the sides together.

Place the sixth cardboard square over the open top of the box and tape it in place.


You have just turned six square pieces of cardboard into a cube. This can be repeated with less cutting by undoing the tape on your cube and using it as a pattern. Lay four squares out in a row. Place one remaining square on the right side of the row on one end. Place the other remaining square on the left side of the row at the same end. Trace this pattern. Mark the joints between the pieces for fold lines. Cut along the outside lines, fold along the seam lines and tape.


You will be cutting the cardboard directly on top of this surface. So, don’t use a piece of finished furniture for this project. Utility knives are very sharp. Use caution while handling any cutting implement.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Flat work surface
  • Straight edge ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drafting triangle
  • Utility knife and replacement blades
  • Tape
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About the Author

Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.