Created by Alexey Pajitnov and released in 1984, the original Tetris video game was never meant to be analog. Featuring endless falling blocks that would dissolve once a solid horizontal line was formed, you can only imagine how difficult it would be to translate the game into a world where things don’t just disappear.

So, if you’re tired of the digital conveniences from modern Tetris apps, or if you just want something to do when stuck at home, YouTuber BLACKHAND shows how you can completely analog using cardboard blocks:

YouTube video

Judging by the demonstration, it’s actually a bit more challenging that it would seem! Let’s go though the steps:

1. Make The Cardboard Blocks

cardboard tetris

As you would expect, you make the Tetris blocks using cardboard and glue. Apply simple colored pieces of paper on top, with a different color for each shape.

cardboard tetris

2. Set The Playing Field

cardboard tetris

Having Tetris pieces is no good if you don’t have a place to put them, so you can create a stage using, what else, oversized Tetris pieces. By arranging these cardboard blocks at an angle, you can angle a piece of cardboard on top.

cardboard tetris

This piece serves as the playing field with borders on each side and a dotted line up top to let players know when they have reached their limit for arranging blocks. After some glue and a whole lot of painting, you have yourself a Tetris field just like the game.

3. Play With Reversed Rules!

cardboard tetris

The gameplay is interesting though, and actually creates a great challenge. Since blocks don’t magically disappear, this version of Tetris has players stack the blocks up to the dotted line. While the aim of the game is still to place as many pieces in solid horizontal lines as possible, the player with the least empty spaces once they reach the top is the winner.

It’s a unique take on a timeless classic – one which makes you happy to see more colored blocks on-screen than empty spaces. And the best (or worst) part is… you have to play with someone else, making it a great project for siblings or bored roommates.

You can find more easy DIY projects on BLACKHAND’s YouTube channel.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.