Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


The Business Card or Playing Card Cube

The design now known as the Business Card Cube appears to be a traditional Western design originally made from playing cards. It dates back to at least 1837 (though it is probably older). Business Card Cubes can be linked together by interweaving the external flaps.

The evidence for the 1837 date is this painting by the Ukrainian artist K. Pavlov (1792 - 1852) which is in the possession of the Pskov State United Historical and Architectural Museum.

By 1882 knowledge of the design had crossed the Atlantic. Diagrams for a version which would blow smoke rings if tapped were published in The American Boys Handy Book by D C Beard in that year.

Online diagrams can be found on the Designs of Unknown Origin page of this site.