I LOVE story cubes! I have a few sets of Rory's Story Cubes in my literacy centers, but they are pricy, not very cute, and have limited themes. I put my thinking cap on, took a trip to Beverly's Crafts, and got to work! These were super-dooper easy to make. The one at the top left is just doodled onto the wood with a Copic drawing pen. I like these because they don't bleed into the porous wood. The others were made using a simple transfer method (tutorial below).
Here's what you need:
1" wood craft cubes (Beverly's, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby should have them)
Fine grit sandpaper
laser printed images
1) Find images to transfer to your story cubes. I prefer line art images for this project because they are crisper when transferred. You can find some great free images online or purchase them on Etsy or Teacher's Pay Teachers. Some of my favorites I have purchased from KPM Doodles. If you would like a template, CLICK HERE. There are blank spaces for your images in addition to one pre-made story cube.
2) Print your images using the mirror image option on your printer page. YOU MUST USE A LASER PRINTER. I have heard of people using a copy machine that has powdered toner, but I personally have not had luck with this printing method and the laser printer images always work.
3) Next, gently sand the sides of your wooden cube and wipe of the dust until it is clean.
4) Then cut the images down to size. Choose one image and place it image side down on one side of the wooden cube.
5) Get a SMALL amount of Citrasolve on the Q-tip. Dab the image lightly until it is just transparent. Be careful not to saturate the image, because the toner will begin running and your image will be ruined. Once it is transparent you will see the image appear.
6) Hold the paper firmly in place (so that it doesn't move) and rub the image on the paper with the popsicle stick. Make sure that you rub the entire image so that it will transfer.
7) Remove the paper and you will see your newly transferred image! It is permanent, but I like to apply two coats of a water-based varnish (Triple Thick Gloss or Modge Podge).
*If there are lines in your image that are a bit faint, use a fine point permanent pen to fix it. To make it a bit fancier, you can also use a colored laser printer or color them by hand using Copic markers or colored pencils prior to varnishing.
I would love to see the story cubes that you create! If you make any of your own, please send me a link so that I can take a peek!