Text Instructions - Lindy van der Merwe, Cape Town, South Africa
Designer/Creator: Lindy van der Merwe/Unknown/Traditional
For any questions, comments or suggestions, email
Paper to be used: 6 squares, any size; use large paper to practice with at first.
Thicker paper or thin card stock is strongly recommended.
Folding level: Easy/Beginner to Intermediate
Steps: 21
Description: This is a modular origami model, meaning that it is made up of different, similar folded units, which are fitted together to form the finished model.
The model is a three-dimensional closed six-sided cube or dice.
This cube is named for the fact that each face seems to be divided in half by a straight line or slit. The lines run in different directions on each adjacent cube face, and although the model itself might seem not to be that sturdy, it holds well together and will withstand light use.
The units have some similarities to the Deltaic Cube while the method for assembly is similar to that of the Jackson Cube.
The end result is not as detailed as that of the Deltaic Cube, but the straight lines that run in opposite directions form an interesting pattern that is simple, but still visually and tactually interesting.
This is a great project for those who would like to start making models using modular origami.
It attempts to introduce the basic concepts, methods and phases of folding and assembling a modular origami project.
When you have become familiar with assembling the units, you might like to try and use more than one color when designing your modular cube.
For instance, you could use 3 colors, folding two units with red, yellow and green, so that the colors end up being opposite each other on the outer panels of the cube.
Very small cubes can be used as jewelry components.
These models also look beautiful displayed in a large, flat bowl or see-through jar or vase, or use them as party favors or hanging decorations.
To use as a box, small objects can be added before the last module is inserted.
Extra help:
You could try the following to help with assembling this model for the first time.
* You can use something small and heavy, or what I call a "Heavy Helper" and position it on top of the central unit once you have added two units to it. The Heavy Helper will serve to anchor the first three units so that you can work more easily on assembling the rest of the cube.
* Use glue tack to help until you can manage without it; no glue is needed to hold your cube together, but it is very helpful when you are learning how to construct modular objects; once you get to know how a model goes together, you will no longer need the glue tack.
* After folding the units, make a square of modelling or similar clay by using the size of the folded units as a guide. Wrap the clay cube in thin paper so it will not stick to the paper you are folding with.
The clay cube does not have to be perfect. It will only serve to help you when forming your cube in the early stages.
* Alternatively, if you can find a small box that is more or less the size of the cube, you can use this as a prop on the inside of your model to fold against.
* You could even fold some scrap paper into roughly the size of the folded units, stack them on top of each other and secure with tape or a rubber band to use in the same way.
* You can keep your prop for future use.
* You could ask a human to help you hold a unit or two in place.
Warning: Do not try to enlist the help of any pets with this model. It has been observed that especially cats and/or dogs find this model very interesting, but they may want to play with or chew on some or all of your carefully folded modules, which will be a real problem since you need all 6 pieces for the finished cube. These animals are also not helpful during the assembly phase since their noses, paws and tongues tend to get in the way a lot, generally resulting in a somewhat damp, crumpled heap of unrecognizable blobs that may still be identifiable as paper, or if you have made the mistake of leaving your assembly unattended, you might find nothing left but some minute paper pieces.
You will be folding 6 similar units to form your cube.
It is recommended that you complete this phase and Phase 2, folding all 6 units before attempting Phase 3, which will explain how to fit the pieces together to form the finished model.
NOTE:  The units for this model starts from the blintz base. If you are able to achieve this without instructions, fold the blintz base once; then go to Step 7.
You may use any method you prefer to fold the Blintz Base; however, the method described here is by far the most accurate way to fold this base.
If using two-sided origami paper, lay your paper with the patterned or colored side down before starting to fold.
Step 1
Place a square down with its edges left and right, top and bottom.
Step 2
Fold in half from top to bottom, crease and leave folded to form a rectangle with its open side at the bottom.
Step 3
Fold the bottom left corner, the top layer only, diagonally up to meet the top edge
Leave the triangle that has been created folded.
Step 4
Fold the bottom right corner, the top layer only, diagonally up to meet the top edge
Leave the triangle that has been created folded.
You will now have 2 triangles next to each other, lying on top of a rectangle.
Step 5
Turn the model over from left to right and repeat Steps 3 and 4 to create a cymmetrical shape since 2 triangles will now be formed on this side of the paper as well.
Step 6
Pick up the model and open it so that its smooth surface is facing the table and the 4 triangles that you have folded are facing up.
Smooth out all the crease lines and press the square flat.
Make sure you have straight edges and nice, sharp 90 degree corners.
This fold is called the Blintz Base in origami. There are many ways to fold this base, but this method is very accurate since you are folding against corners and edges, which is much better than matching up your folds with crease lines.
Step 7
Flip the entire square over again, so that the smooth surface is now facing up.
Step 8
Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold to create a horizontal center crease line.
Step 9
Fold both the top and bottom edges in to meet each other along the crease just formed.
As you make these folds, a triangular point may pop out at the top and/or bottom from underneath the model. If this happens, simply tuck the point back again so it remains underneath the rectangle that you are forming.
Result: You will have formed a rectangle in landscape orientation, with 4 small corners or pockets and a orizontal slit along the center of the rectangle.
Step 10
Flip the rectangle over again from left to right. It should be kept in landscape orientation.
Step 11
Fold the left edge of the rectangle over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
Step 12
Fold both the left and right edges in to meet the center vertical crease you have just formed.
Crease lightly and let the left and right sides, which we will call flaps, stand up at a 90 degree angle.
 Your unit is complete.
Repeat steps 1 to 12 5 more times so you have 6 similarly shaped units to work with.
Step 13
First look at one of your folded units.
* It has a central square with a flap on two sides. It resembles a table or desk that is lying upside-down. Make sure you can identify the central square as the flat area of each unit.
* The surface of the square and its flaps will have triangles on one side and a horizontal slit on the other.
* In the instructions that follow, you will be working with, on the one hand, the central square and, on the other, what we have termed the two flaps of each unit.
* All the loose flaps of the units should stand up at a 90 degree angle to the central square, since this is how your cube will be formed into a three-dimensional shape.
* Keep in mind that each central square will make up a side of the cube. So, when assembling the model, remember that the central squares wih their slits should always be on the outside with the flaps facing inwards toward the inside of the model.
Phase 3: Assembling your model
Step 14
Placement and Naming:
It is important to orient each unit exactly as directed. Also, do not turn your model while assembling it as the placement of each unit is described in detail and in order.
14.1 Make sure all 6 units are placed with their smooth, central squares facing the table and their flaps pointing up in the air. Once this has been done, while keeping them face down, set one unit aside for the moment and move the remaining 5 units into a cross formation in front of you on a table as follows:
14.2 Place a unit at the center, mentally naming it as unit 1 or the bottom panel of your cube. Bottom here refers to the side of the dice that is facing the table.
Important: The flaps of unit 1 should be at the top and bottom.
14.3 Then place another unit on the left, mentally numbering it unit 2, followed by a third unit on the right of the first unit, mentally numbering it unit 3.
So, you will have three units in a row now, numbered 2 on the left, 1 at the center and 3 on the right.
Important: Make sure that the 2 units on the left and right have their flaps at the left and right.
14.4 Next, you will place a fourth unit above unit 1 and a fifth below unit 1.
Important: The flaps of these units should also be on the left and right.
Your cross formation will now be complete with the 3 units from left to right and the two you have just added at the top and bottom of unit 1, the central unit.
All will still be with their central squares flat on the table and with the loose flaps arranged as described above.
Now think of your cube as a box with 6 sides. Consider that unit 1 is the panel touching the table, unit 2 and 3 will form the left and right sides of your cube. Units 4 and 5 will form the back and front and the 6th unit will form the top or lid of the cube.
This will make sense as you do the assembly explained below. Basically, the sequence will be to place unit 1 on the table, then add units 2 and 3 to the sides, followed by units 4 and 5 at the back and front and last, unit 6 will form the top or lid of the cube.
Keep in mind that the cube may seem flimsy until the very last unit is inserted, after which it will hold its shape perfectly.
If you are struggling with the assembly, try using some of the extra help suggestions mentioned in the Remarks section above.
Also, if your modules start to lose their shape or seem to sag, try to fold new ones from  thicker, more rigid paper.
Step 15
Start with unit 1 The square part of the model will lie flat while the flaps will point towards the ceiling.
Hold it in place or place something heavy, the heavy helper, down on top of the central square to keep the paper in place.
Step 16
Take unit 2, on the left and tilt  it over to the right,  placing its right flap onto the central square of unit 1, but let it cover only half of the central square.
Lift the heavy helper only on the left when you do this; then let it down so it can keep the paper in place for you.
Unit 2 is now upright, like a wall. Its bottom flap is lying flat on unit 1 and its top flap is hanging in the air. You can bend it a little away from the central square for the moment.
Step 17
Take unit 3, on the right and tilt  it over to the left,  placing its left flap onto the central square of unit 1, but let it cover only half of the central square.
Lift the heavy helper only on the right when you do this; then let it down so it can keep the paper in place for you.
Unit 3 is now upright, like a wall. Its bottom flap is lying flat on unit 1 and its top flap is hanging in the air. You can bend it a little away from the central square for the moment.
The flaps of the left and right units will meet each other and both will lie flat on top of unit 1, on the central square.
You will now have 3 sides or squares loosely in place, namely the bottom, left and right panels of the cube with the helper securing them at the bottom.
Step 18
Take unit 4 that will form the back panel of the cube. Tilt it toward you and slide it in from the side furthest away from you with the flaps on the inside of the two walls you have already formed.
The back unit will come to rest and be stopped against the flap of the central square.
You can, at this point, gently fold the left and right flaps that are hanging in the air over the flaps of unit 4 to keep it more or less in place. It won't be very secure yet, but it should help you along.
Alternatively, you can place something heavy and solid against the back of unit 4 to hold it in place.
Step 19
Insert unit 5 from the side nearest you in the same way, also sliding its flaps on the inside of the side walls.
The unit will come to rest against the flap of the first, central unit as well.
Unit 5 will also slide in underneath the left and right flaps mentioned in the previous step, so your cube will have more structure now.
Step 20
It is now time to gently press the sides of the cube together so the panels will rest snug against each other.
Pay special attention to the left and right top edges and check all faces of the cube are smooth with all the flaps on the inside of the box.
Once this has been done, you can gently remove your heavy helper.
This is also the time to place something inside the cube if you would like to use it as a container.
If the left and right flaps have been pushed down against the sides of the cube, gently coax them so they will come up to cover the object you put inside. These flaps should sort of hang in the air or form a fake lid at this point, since, in this way, they will help to keep the last unit of the cube in place.
Step 21
Pick up the last unit and place it on the only side that is still open, the top of the cube. First place the unit so the flaps hang on the outside, over the back and front of the cube.
Once you have it oriented, tuck the flaps in on the inside of the cube, under the left and right flaps that are already there.
Start with the flap nearest you and then work with the flap furthest away from you. Don't worry too much about where the flaps of this last unit go. As long as it is tucked or slid in securely to the inside of the cube, all should hold together now. If your cube seems not to want to close, it is likely that the flaps on the inside are preventing this, so you can try to gently insert a finger and push the flaps against the sides of the cube, making it possible for the last two flaps to find space to slip inside.
Try to keep the rest of the panels in place as you do this last step.
Once done, you will find that the Divided Cube is perfectly formed with each face divided by a straight line or slit and an internal structure that keeps it closed and fairly sturdy.
Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.
for non-commercial use only.
Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, August 2023