Little Paper Boxes: Origami

In a world before computers, I learned how to fold little origami boxes from the book Books, Boxes and Portfolios by Franz Zeier. I didn't put these boxes in my instructional books originally because I had just learned how to use Illustrator and the boxes were hard to draw.  I have to admit that I don't usually use them for books, I usually make these out of paper bags, line them with waxed paper and a colorful napkin, and bring them to potlucks filled with cookies (the homemade kind, not the online ones). Now you can see Zeier's original instructions online, but I thought I would do some step-by-step photos. I started with a 7 1/4" square piece of paste paper to make a 2 3/4" box. For a cookie box, use approximately 15" square paper.

1. Start with a square piece of paper. If it has a decorative side, arrange it decorative side down. Fold the paper in half, wrong sides together. Open.

2. Make another fold crosswise. Open.

3. Turn the paper over so the right side is up. Fold in half diagonally one way. Open. then the other. Open.

photo 1
photo 2
4. Turn over so wrong side is showing again. Fold all the points so they are touching the center (photos 1 & 2).

photo 3
5. Open. Take one point and fold it across so that it touches the far previous folded line (photo 3). Open.

6. Fold the remaining three points across to corresponding folded lines.

7. Fold all the points back in to the center.

photo 4
photo 5
8. Now fold each point back on itself to touch the folded edge (photos 4 & 5).

photo 6
9. Bring up two parallel sides (photo 6).

photo 7
photo 8
10. Pinch inward and fold up one perpendicular side. Wrap it over this third wall of the box and tuck it down inside (photos 7 & 8).

photo 9
photo 10

11. Repeat the pinching in, folding up, wrapping and tucking down for the fourth wall (photos 9 & 10).

Cookie recipe.

Addendum 12/5/10: To make a box lid, use paper 1/4" larger than your original paper. For this example, use paper 7 1/2" for the lid.