Gelli print photo cube


What a palaver!  You may recall that the other day I was trying to find a tutorial for a folded Origami corner to create a cube.  I found it but the person who originally asked for it found a different version of it – that one matched what seemed to be the method I mentioned (from a no-longer-available HGTV tutorial.)  Well, the written “instructions” (and I use that term very loosely – having MADE one it makes sense, but they are pretty sketchy if you don’t do a lot of origami!) were there but the two accompanying videos were not. It wasn’t much like the original one she showed a photo of, but did a similar thing in an easier way, resulting in a much more stable end product.

I am glad I watched it when I first saw it cause for some reason I can’t make the video load – not here, not on YouTube, not on Pinterest.  I am going to leave it in place as it might just be a temporary blip but if it DOES come back I would highly recommend watching that video, if you are a visual learner.  It’s very good.  I’m adding step-by-setp photos because I am using a Gelli print on heavier than scrapbooking paper and there is one extra step that I found helped.  And I changed how you do the bottom of the cube so it sits flatter.

I am not using 6 x 6 squares to begin with.  That makes sense if you are using scrapbooking paper, cutting a 12 x 12 sheet into four equal squares, but I am using a print from an 8 x 10 Gelli plate.  There is a basic ratio for the elements so you can adjust them to make a cube of any size.

  • Size of starting square = X
  • Size of cube sides = 1/2 X
  • Size of insert = 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge = 1/2 X minus 1  1/8 inch

So starting with a 7 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 7 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 3  1/2 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (3 1/2) minus 1 1/8 inch=  2  3/8 inches

Starting with an 8 inch square

  • Size of starting square : 8 inches (X)
  • Size of cube sides: 1/2 X = 4 inches
  • Size of insert: 1/2 X minus a sliver off two adjacent sides = 4 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
  • Size of hinge : 1/2 X (4 inches) minus 1  1/8 inch=  2  7/8 inches

Jeez – Math. Ugh.  Hope I got it right!

1. Print five or six Gelli Prints on 120 to 160 gsm cardstock (lightweight) – I did five and made the bottom of the cube solid. Cut your prints (or paper/card) down to a square (mine are 7 x 7)

2. Cut 12 hinges and 6 inserts to match your print size.


Insert = 3  1/2 inches minus a sliver off two adjacent sides
Hinges =  2  3/8 inches

Fold the hinges in half on the diagonal


3. Fold all six of the 7 inch squares the same:

  • Fold in half then unfold
  • Fold the two sides in to meet the middle fold then unfold


  • Rotate and repeat – at the last unfold you will see the sheet creased into 16 squares


  • Flip the square so the PATTERN SIDE is UP.  Fold each corner into the middle and unfold


  • Flip PATTERN SIDE DOWN . Add a bit of double-sided adhesive in the four corners then fold each corner in to meet the closest score line



  • Fold the two sides in to the middle


You will now collapse this.  But use your bone folder (or blunt butter knife or fingernail) to really crease each fold.  This is more important on the heavier paper

  • Pull downward at the V


  • Crease along the sides INSIDE the box


  • Push the top part down to collapse and meet the first V


  • and again crease well – with the thicker paper and the extra thickness of the paint, this will help avoid the gaping corners I got to begin with.


In that shot all but the top right corner have been creased over.  Trust me, when you do it you will see what I mean.

Phew.  I bet you are now thinking my advice to watch the video wasn’t such a bad idea, right?  LOL!

4.  Once you have folded all six sides, slip the inserts into the middle to help provide structure to the piece. If you are adding photos, stick them to the inserts NOW – it will be hard to add them to the completed cube. 

You can wait till after step 11 – when the cube is assembled but not yet fully stuck together – and pull the sides slightly away to slip a photo in, and SKIP adding the adhesive if you want a cube that you can change the photos in.

I haven’t done that step yet cause I’m not sure what photos I’ll be using.  I’ll probably just cut the photos to fit within the insert area, leaving a bit of a border, and stick them to the insert after the cube is constructed. WATCH the video – I am pretty sure I recall her talking about making a template for cutting the photos.

Here are all the elements – might have one hinge off to the side 🙂 and you can see the black base is reversed so the flat/no insert side is UP


5. Add a strip of double-sided adhesive  across each hinge valley


6. Peel off the paper backing (or not, if using the ATG) and slip a hinge into one of the side gaps


Press firmly to adhere it well.

7.  Slip another side onto the other side of the hinge.  Make sure the diamond-shaped insert is facing OUTWARD.  Carry on adding the sides in this way till you have THREE joined pieces. Add a hinge to BOTH side-gaps of the fourth piece and sip the two hinges in to create the cube sides, like so:


8. For the solid bottom, reverse the hinges so the insert diamond is facing up, and insert all four hinges like so:


9. For the TOP, insert all four hinges with the insert facing DOWN.  See the difference?


This gives you a flat bottom rather than the bumpy insert for the cube to rest on.  I figured that I could lose one photo area so the cube sat more solidly on a flat surface.

10. Insert the TOP of the cube first.  This way you can reach inside it and press the adhesive down fully. It’s more important that the top is stuck precisely than the bottom, as you will see it more.


11. Close the cube by slipping the bottom hinges into the last remaining gaps.


At this point you can still loosen the sides enough to slip in your photos.  Stop here if you want to be changing photos to update this cube, rather than making another one. The cube will be a little less tight, solid and square but it’ll still be mostly ok.

Finally, add a bit of paper-backed adhesive (or, I suppose, wet adhesive if you prefer) INSIDE, on BOTH sides of each hinge, to make a really tightly stuck, solid and neat cube! Once you do this there will be no slipping in or out of photos, trust me.


Ta da!


You could use a contrasting or more purposeful Gelli print bit instead of a photo and while it was a little fiddly, cutting them to about 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 let me slip them into the corners after construction.


And I had this kicking around – one of the Spellbinders die D-lites cut without the frame – so I just slipped it in over the white insert.  Cute!


And if you really did read that all, I’ll bet next time I say WATCH THE VIDEO you will do it LOL!


6 thoughts on “Gelli print photo cube

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  5. Once again you are the champion of instructions! It is difficult to find written or photos of instructions for many of the paper folding projects…I think most people like videos…not me. I teach a mixed media/altered art/craft class at our local art league. I struggle to find ‘good’ written or picture instructions on the internet. These folks love handouts. So many times I have finally found something at the last minute, but when I try to use it myself…there is either something wrong or a step missing. I have not made the box you displayed, but I plan to give it a try. It is lovely. We love our gelli papers and are always searching for projects to use them. Aren’t they beautiful?!

    • LOL! I really should attempt to cut down all the blithering and give “just the fact’s M’am” so if I convert the post to a PDF it’s not 20 pages. I always set out to make it brief and then I get carried away…

      Glad you found it helpful.

      Mary Anne

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