A cubic unit of measurement refers to the volume of something or how much 3-dimensional space it takes up. Measuring a cubic foot requires measuring 12 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and 12 inches in height. That means a cubic foot is the same as 1,728 cubic inches or 0.037037 cubic yards.
But how can you visualize what a cubic foot looks like without whipping out your trusty foot-long ruler? You could check out my guide on things that measure 2 cubic feet and divide them by half, or you can take a look at the 9 objects down below that take up around 1 cubic foot of space.
2 5-Gallon Buckets
If you’re going to repaint a large portion of your home, you might as well get the largest paint buckets you can get your hands on. One of the most common large-size paint buckets is the 5-gallon variety. According to Lowe’s, a single gallon of paint should cover up to 400 square feet of space, so 5 gallons is good for up to 2,000 square feet.
A 5-gallon bucket of paint might measure 10 inches wide and 12 inches in height, giving it a total volume of 942.48 cubic inches. To convert cubic inches to cubic feet, divide the number by 1,728. So, you would need around 2 5-gallon buckets to take up 1 cubic foot of space.
8 Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are used to help beginners work on their form. They can be made of all kinds of materials, but they will usually measure around 4 × 6 × 9 inches in size. A single yoga block takes up 216 cubic inches of space, so 1 cubic foot would equal 8 yoga blocks exactly.
Yoga blocks come in an assortment of sizes, but in general, larger blocks are used for more advanced yogis who want to work on more physically challenging poses. However, you can always flip the block around to get it to the right height, or you can pick up half yoga blocks if you’re not used to the heights of regular-size blocks.
71 12-ounce Energy Drink Cans
If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed how energy drinks, like Red Bull, are sold in tall, slim cans as opposed to the regular can sizes for soft drinks. There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious reason is that smaller cans have a smaller footprint, which allows retailers to stock more of the product on their shelves.
A 12-ounce can of energy drink will measure 6.125 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide, giving it a total volume of 24.35 cubic inches. To get 1 cubic foot in terms of energy drink cans, you would need approximately 71 cans.
3 Cinder Blocks
Cinder blocks are a sturdy type of building material that is made up of concrete and coal cinders. Like bricks, they come in all sorts of sizes, but you can typically find 4 × 8 × 16-inch blocks. They are several times larger and stronger than red bricks, though they’re not often used to construct entire buildings.
If using 4 × 8 × 16-inch cinder blocks as a reference, you would need to place a little more than 3 of them together to get 1 cubic foot. This is before adding mortar between the blocks to keep them in place.
14 Boxes of 120 Crayons
If you came into class with a box of 120 Crayola Crayons on your first day of elementary school, you were the guy all the girls wanted to be with, and all the guys wanted to be. Basically, people evaluated how wealthy and awesome you were by how many exotic shades of common colors your crayon box came with.
The largest Crayola Crayon box comes with 120 crayons and measures 2.62 × 8.75 × 5.38 inches or takes up roughly 123 cubic inches of desk space. To fill an entire cubic foot with Crayons, you would need 14 boxes of 120 crayons.
20-pound Propane Tank
There are all kinds of household appliances and fixtures that rely on a steady flow of propane, including generators, water heaters, dryers, and barbecue pits. If you’re like Hank Hill, then you’ll know that there is no substitute for propane or propane accessories.
Propane tanks come in a variety of sizes, with the smallest being the 20-pound variety. This tank stands 18 inches tall and measures about 12 inches in diameter, so it takes up about 300 cubic inches, more than 1 cubic foot.
100 Pounds of Dry Sand
Sand is another commonly used building material, though you can use it to fill sandboxes or as kitty litter for your smelly cat. If you order a truckload of sand, it will usually contain 10 cubic yards. So, how do you get 1 cubic foot from an entire dump truck of sand apart from dividing it into 10 even piles?
On average, 1 cubic foot of sand will weigh about 100 pounds. If the sand is moist, it will weigh slightly over 100 pounds. You can also use a small wheelbarrow and fill it halfway to get an approximation of what 1 cubic foot of sand looks like.
Mini Computer Case
The case of your computer serves all sorts of important functions, such as protecting the hardware and… that’s pretty much it. However, you can get awesome-looking computer cases with all sorts of bright lights to blind yourself while you’re gaming in the middle of the night.
Computer cases come in a variety of sizes, but a mini computer case will measure around 14 × 7 × 15 inches, taking up 1,470 cubic inches of space. That’s just about 300 cubic inches shy of an entire cubic foot.
3 3-gallon Tubs of Ice Cream
With summer in full swing, ‘tis the season to fill our tummies with as much frozen dessert as possible. The optimal summertime snack is ice cream, so make sure you pack your entire freezer with multiple 3-gallon tubs.
A 3-gallon tub of ice cream will measure around 10.55 inches tall and 9.88 inches wide, though it is slightly tapered. Overall, you would need 3 of these tubs to fill an entire cubic foot of freezer space.