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Remember the ubiquitous 1970s acrylic photo cube? It had a clear plastic outer layer and a spongy cube in the center, between which you could slide five of your favorite snapshots for fashionable, easy display. My grandparents had one in their living room, and I remember twirling it from one side to the next to look at the pictures over and over again, as if they might change on the next turn.

My favorite photo in the cube was of my grandpa and I: he resplendent in a silvery blue leisure suit, I perched on his lap in my favorite Snoopy shirt. He was a gentle, charming man with brilliant white hair and thick-rimmed glasses, and I was a preschooler with blonde ringlets and a ready, crooked smile. He loved to tell cheesy jokes, and I loved to hear them… we were a good match.

Twenty years later, at his passing, I found the same photo cube sitting on the side table. The colors in the picture were faded to shades of green and umber, but he was still there, with the same smiling, twinkling eyes. I wish I had kept that photo cube; I wish I had known things like that would matter so much more some day.

I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic when I saw a photo cube project in Trash Origami. Unlike the original, this one is made entirely of paper, but it is the same concept. In the origami version, the inner structure of the cube is formed from six photo-size pieces of thick paper — I opted for cardstock scraps, but you could easily use old postcards. A few simple folds layer them together without any adhesive.


The cube’s outer layer is made from folded photographs which serve to lock the structure in place. I used 4″x6″ prints from our visit to a San Diego botanical garden this fall. I thought it would make for a welcome bright spot in the midst of my husband’s thoroughly taupe cubicle. I love the variety of textures and colors the plants provide, but the cube could just as easily display snapshots of a new baby, honeymoon pics of the newlyweds, or photos of you and your sweetheart for a custom valentine.

Best of all, it could even preserve a moment of laughter shared between grandfather and granddaughter. And although some day soon the clothes in the pictures and the technology used to capture them will again be obsolete, the memories never will. These jokes are for you, Daddy R.E. :)

Two atoms are walking along when one suddenly says to the other, “I’ve just lost one of my electrons!”
“Are you sure?” asks his buddy.
“Yes,” replies the first atom. “I’m positive.”

How do you make a Venetian blind?
Poke him in the eye.

What do you call a fish without eyes?
A fsh.