Rubix cube themed bedroom for kid
June 21, 2016 9:13 AM   Subscribe

My kid really wants a rubix cube themed bedroom. I said I would see what I can do. So....... any ideas on what I can do? I love this kid more than breathing so I'd really like to make it special.

Pinterest has failed me.

Main issue is the walls. The walls were obvious when I was going to do a minecraft bedroom, but now that it is a Rubix Cube bedroom I'm sort of drawing a blank. Yes, obviously, I can just paint the walls as the different coloured sides with the black lines, but the room isn't square by any stretch, so I don't know how that would look in the end. It also sounds like a butt tonne of work, but I'm open to that if it would, in fact, be the best option. Some sort of 3D depiction of a rubix cube on his wall(s) would be best, but I don't know that I possess the artistic prowess to achieve that.

- I have a surplus of matte black paint (I over-purchased for when I was painting my husband's home theatre room walls and ceiling). Like, three big cans.
- he has a captain's bed, so there is no need or place for a cube night table
- I'd prefer to leave the ceiling alone, but if there is an easy and non-permanent way to incorporate it, hurray. Let me know.
- Cost is an issue. This should be largely DIY tasks, but if there is one awesome thing I MUST buy to include in the room, let me know.

Obvious ideas that I already thought of:
- mini rubix cube on the end of the ceiling fan pull chain
- I make some sort of quilt that is made of squares of those nine colours, bordered in black (well within my skills)
- an actual cubed rubix cube pillow thing (also totally doable)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
Google 'Rubix cube wall decal'
posted by bq at 9:18 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also lamp
posted by bq at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

You don't need any special artistic skills if you have a printer.

Just find the image you'd like to paint on the wall (preferably something with thick, clean lines and simple colours). Then you have a couple of options:

1 (easiest). Borrow or hire an overhead projector and print your image on a transparency, then project it onto the wall. Trace and paint.

2 (more fiddly). Do a poster print on your printer - if your printer doesn't have a poster setting, then something like The Rasterbator will turn your image into a massive poster. Print the thing in greyscale as you won't be keeping the paper. Stick the big poster to the wall and then use it to transfer the image - one way is to use soft pencil on the back of the image to trace the lines, then scribble on it from the image side to transfer a faint outline. There are other ways too (pricking out the lines with a pin, for example).
posted by pipeski at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

The thought of painted Rubix cube walls is giving me a panic attack. Were it me: I'd paint the walls bright white, and then focus on primary-colored cubed or cube-like d├ęcor.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 9:28 AM on June 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

Someone you may have heard of just recently painted a Menger sponge on his wall. I'd think that doing a rubiks cube version of that would be simpler (even with more colors)

There are some sequences that most cube solvers like to have memorized. Here is a decent list. I could picture a runner just listing them all around the top of the room (like times tables or cursive letters back in elementary school)
posted by sparklemotion at 9:30 AM on June 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Scroll halfway down... a modular Rubix cube chair. If you can quilt, you can pull this off. Either have the cubes sew at edges so it's flippable, or use velcro to attach.

Something 3-dimensional on the walls would be cool. Paint the wall the matte black, then attach square tiles (wood, cork, or foam?) of varying thickness painted the rubix colors. Bonus points if you can figure out how to make it interactive.
posted by slipthought at 9:31 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dangit, I was going to link to the menger sponge project.

There are a lot of non-cube Rubik's puzzles which could be used for inspiration too. The clock, the snake, and the magic thingy are all visually compelling and could look cool as prints or painted on a wall, though none of them are as iconic as the cube.
posted by mattamatic at 9:36 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Provided you have no crown molding, and ceiling is smooth:
Paint everything white, and then paint one large Rubik's cube in the one of the top corners of the room (were two walls and ceiling meet), creating a 3D illusion.

You would paint one side (9 squares) of the Rubik's cube on each wall, and one on the ceiling. This is the best pic I can find that shows the general concept (though you would want it rather bigger). No fancy angles needed; each grid of 9 just gets lined up perfectly square with the edges of the walls/ceiling.

So then that big "3D" cube in the corner is the big wow thing. And any other accessories (lamps, bedsheets, cube stools, etc.) are bonus.
posted by Kabanos at 9:36 AM on June 21, 2016 [7 favorites]

Note that you'll probably have better luck googling for suggestions if you spell it correctly: Rubik's.
posted by pupsocket at 9:38 AM on June 21, 2016 [11 favorites]

You could get a print made of the original patent.

You could also get a bunch of cheap cubes in bulk and make some sort of mosaic art. Draw what you want on graph paper using the colors of the cube, divide it into 3x3 sections and then disassemble the cubes and reassemble them so one side of each cube makes up one of those 3x3 sections. This might be costly though.
posted by bondcliff at 10:04 AM on June 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Bondcliff's link has been artistically fictionalized. Here's the original Rubik patent.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:12 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

You could make a picture to go on the wall out of Rubiks cubes. If they're a bit over the top, think pixel art.

Paint up a toy box like a Rubiks cube.

Use different colored drawers on closetmaid cubicals. If you are feeling crafty make a square bookcase by joining 3 or more together.

You can get a Rubiks cube lamp too. Though google that as Think Geek is usually overpriced.
posted by wwax at 10:20 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Note that you'll probably have better luck googling for suggestions if you spell it correctly: Rubik's.

yeah.................. that should help.................. [hangs head in embarrassment]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:24 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Some fun ideas on Instructables. You'll find some great DIY projects, like lamps.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:57 AM on June 21, 2016

My husband made me a tissue box cover with the Rubik's cube pattern on it for Christmas. All you need is plastic canvas, yarn and a needle. I love it.
posted by soelo at 11:37 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might be able to find one of those 3x3 square IKEA shelving units secondhand. If not they might be within your budget new. Then lightly sand, prime, and paint with your matte black paint.

To make the colors you have some options. One thing that would be fun if eventually kind of annoying would be using it as a bookshelf and sorting his books and smaller toys by color so it forms the impression of the cube's six colors. I'm thinking a little long term here in that the Rubik's cube thing will likely get a bit old but a simple black shelf will be useful and stylistically versatile for a long time.

If you are particularly handy, think about making doors and painting them the right colors, then using interior hinges to attach them. Even cooler, I think, would be if you could get translucent acrylic in the right colors and use that instead of hardboard or something else thin and paintable. For hardware something like a thin black handle right along the edge would blend in, but if you can't find or make those you could try small clear acrylic knobs, or even cutting out a small square or one of the corners to hook a finger into.

IKEA of course sells coordinating boxes and doors for their stuff but that's where they get you on price. And by the time you've customized the color you might as well have just DIYd it the whole way. If you can sew, though, a fabric cube is relatively simple to make. You would need cardboard to reinforce the bottom and sides, and luckily brightly colored canvas is pretty inexpensive. If it were me, of course, I would end up crocheting cubes out of supersaver yarn with plastic mesh reinforcement, but that is a whole lot of time for a really simple result.
posted by Mizu at 12:18 PM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Someone you may have heard of just recently painted a Menger sponge on his wall. I'd think that doing a rubiks cube version of that would be simpler (even with more colors)

Heh, hi! Yeah, I think if you wanted to do a big rendering of a Rubik's Cube on one wall as part of the room decoration, it'd be pretty easy to pull off in the same basic vein as my project. Easier in a lot of ways, since you wouldn't have to deal with most of the more fiddly details I did. I think you could get it all done in a day, using just some paint colors, some good painter's masking tape, and a pencil and protractor, masking off three big diamonds each masked off into a 3x3 subset of diamonds; apply color to these various masked off diamonds for whatever Cube configuration you want, pull the tape, and voila, you've got a Rubik's Cube done up in negative space with super sharp edges that didn't require a steady hand.

Might need to recoat the colors to get 'em to look really great, but that's easy enough to do free-hand without tape since you don't have to get riiiiight up to the edges for that; if you want to sell the cube as a solid object instead of a sort of abstracted object you could go back in and fill in the gaps with black as well afterward, also probably easy to do well enough freehand.
posted by cortex at 12:39 PM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just a thought: Be sure that any cube you paint or make is a possible permutation of a real Rubik's Cube because I'm assuming your kid cares about the Cube and if he/she ever notices that it's not a possible configuration it'll bug them forever.
posted by cmoj at 12:49 PM on June 21, 2016 [10 favorites]

Get cardboard or foamboard or some such stuff, depends on how long you want it to last. Cut squares, paint in cube colors, affix to wall with velcro. Move around as desired.
posted by theora55 at 2:36 PM on June 21, 2016

you have to get a bunch of these in all the colours, and then go nuts!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:55 PM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

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