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Dear Mitch, 

I followed the back & forth you posted about the cube calendar thing, and I get all the math and stuff, but you never actually told how to make the cubes.  If I don't have a workshop and can't find wooden cubes, how am I supposed to make cubes that are big enough? 


Ryan O. 

West Palm Beach, FL


Dear Ryan, 

Good point! 

I have never made them out of wood, so don't worry about that. 

Keeping in mind that recycling is almost a religion to me, one way I've made the blocks is by taking two empty milk cartons – the cardboard kind that have square bottoms – and washing them out, and tracing one lengthwise on the other while lining one's base with another's side; do that on all four sides, then switch the two cartons and make the square lines on all four sides of the other.  

Carefully cut along the lines with a sharp scissor (you may have to start up high and either puncture the carton somewhere that will be discarded anyway, or get the scissor in and down there some other way).

When complete, you will have two cube-like objects, both with open tops.  Use some of the carton you cut away, onto which you trace the bottom of each open cube and cut a new square for the top.  

Fill the empty cubes with something – anything nonperishable, such as a ball of crumpled newspaper, which will not only give them enough heft not to blow off a desk with every breeze, but will actually make it easier to work them to completion.

(I've also made heavy ones by filling them with pebbles, etc., but I'm over that.) 

Next, seal the tops with the squares you've cut. (scotch tape, etc.)

Then, either cover the cubes with white contact paper, paint them white (or whatever color you prefer), and when they are dry or covered you can adorn them with the correct numbers.  (I do the numbering part with a permanent marker, though you could get stickers or print out numbers in any style you like).  Then affix them to cube.

Finally, make a third cube using same method, and that one will be the one you use to make the 'day of the week' block.

Hope this helps.

Have fun,