When I resigned from my old job, I was left with a whole box of business cards that had never seen the light of network.

Being packrat royalty meant I couldn’t just throw them away, so I saved them for gift tags and  upcycled some of them for new business cards.

I came across this tutorial on how to make little cubes out of old business cards. They were so quick and satisfying  to put together that I ended up with a pile of stackable squares.

Toy blocks and matching games came to mind (I’m not broody, I’ve just been glutting on this guy’s really clever projects. Though I will probably, quite selfishly, have kids just for the colouring-in company).

I decided to make our nephew Sa’eed a simple puzzle block set.

I started out by making nine cubes. The flaps were stuck down and sealed with masking tape.

The dimensions of the puzzle space measured 16cmx16cm. I downloaded a really fun kids colouring book from Style Islam and cropped the images I wanted (choosing three scenes) to fit.

Colouring in the images proved to be a very centering exercise. I advise anyone who has too much of the work-wearied weltschmerz to get a couple of colouring books and scribble zen on to the pages.

I cut the images to fit the sides of the cubes and stuck them on in sequence.

I also used scrapbooking paper to back the other three sides of each cube; to work either as more complex puzzles or as a decorative element should they be displayed somewhere when not in use.

Each cube was sealed off by wrapping strips of clear tape around them. I used modge podge initially but it started wrinkling the paper.

To minimise any unpleasant eye-poking, the final step was to sandpaper down some of the sharp points the paper and tape had formed at the edges of each cube.


If you were to use photographs instead, this would make a nifty gift for someone more grown-up.

I was so infused with the spirit of Martha that I didn’t just stop at puzzles.

Using the same business card cube tutorial I fashioned together an organising tray.

By omitting the card that would complete the cube, the pieces formed a type of open-lidded box. Again, I sealed all the flaps down with masking tape and proceeded to stick the boxes together using double sided tape. I reinforced the tray by running masking tape around the outside and sticking folded business cards down onto the dividers. The whole thing was painted up and finished off with a strip of decorative masking tape.