Inside Outside Die

an interactive visual poem by Julia LaFond


Instructions for Creating Your Own Inside Outside Die

 Hello, and thank you so much for reading “Inside Outside Die!” If you’re interested in exploring the dichotomy between expression and interiority along with me, you can use the following templates and instructions to make your own version.

First, a couple quick notes:

-“Die” is the singular and “dice” is the plural, i.e. “one die, two or more dice.”

-There are two templates included: one which is formatted like “Inside Outside Die” and therefore requires folding the paper in half (Template B), and one which does not (Template A). Template A works best for thick paper that’s difficult to fold more than once.

-Dice are generally set up so that the pips on opposite faces add up to seven. Therefore, one is across from six, two is across from five, and three is across from four. The number of words in “Inside Outside Die” follows the same pattern. If you want your die to match this pattern, I’ve included examples of how to distribute numbers for both templates on the following screens.


1. (Optional): use your software of choice to insert words, images, or whatever else you want featured on the faces of your die into your template of choice. If you plan to use Template A, keep in mind you’ll need to do this twice and either use double-sided printing or turn the page over and run it through the printer again.

2. Print the template you want to use.

3. If you printed a blank, unmodified template (or if you want to embellish what you printed in Step 1), write, draw, paint, or otherwise mark the faces of your die.

4. If you’re using Template B: fold the paper in half around the indicated central line, ensuring that all markings are facing outside.

5. Cut along the outline. You should have a continuous piece of paper with six faces arrayed in a cross shape (in the case of Template B, the paper can be unfolded into a mirror image of two horizontal crosses, but it needs to remain folded for the rest of the process).

6. Starting from the base, fold the paper along the edges of each face so that they form 90 degree angles with your “outside” faces on the outside and your “inside” faces on the inside. Each of the faces surrounding the base should folded up to become walls, and the “Top” will be folded down as the roof. If the paper doesn’t want to stay in place during this step, feel free to secure it during the process of folding it into a die.

7. Use glue, tape, or whatever method you prefer to ensure your die remains a cube.

Once your die is complete, you can do whatever you want with it. Store it away, put it on display, destroy it, make more to keep it company, or if you want, roll it (disclaimer: paper dice tend to be fragile and may not withstand prolonged use, or even a single use depending on the materials involved in their construction).

Julia LaFond got her master’s in geoscience from Penn State University. Her poetry has been featured by Eleventh Transmission and IHRAF Publishes. In her spare time, Julia enjoys reading and gaming. 


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