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Make an Easy Origami Box With Lid

Updated on January 24, 2017
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Ms. Venegas has been using origami to make rosettes and medallions since 2003. She shares art/craft techniques and ideas on the Internet.

Finished Rectangle Origami Box for Valentine's Day Glass Heart
Finished Rectangle Origami Box for Valentine's Day Glass Heart
origami box instructions
origami box instructions

Step by Step Origami Box With Lid

Make rectangle origami boxes with the ten step instructions below. All you need is basic origami know how and two sheets of paper. If you can follow written instructions you will be able to do this even if this is your first paper folding project.

These boxes are rather small and perfect for the small gifts you may be thinking of giving. A little box that looks handmade would feel like a special treasure for the grandkids. Red M&M's or tiny stickers, kid's tattoo transfers, or Gold Fish crackers would be fun to put inside.

I have made roughly thirty of these to get the instructions and steps down to the very minimum. There are extra tips at the end of the page if more than one box is your goal.

Trim one of the sheets
Trim one of the sheets

Find Paper for Making Your Box

  • Find two rectangle sheets of paper of the same type and not too thick. Two magazine pages would be okay. I am using a free calendar with colorful trains. Any old calendar of the lesser quality would work. The pages of pricier calendars are a thickness that would be hard to handle.
  • Use newspaper for your first practice boxes, if you like.
  • Before you come back with your paper, cut both sheets into identical sized rectangles. Any size is okay, but since it is your first project don't make it too small: ex. 9 X 12, 7 X 8, 8 x 11 inches is fine.
  • Take one sheet of the rectangles and cut (1/2 inch) off one of the short sides. Cut 3/8's inch off one long side. This rectangle will be your bottom. The bigger one is your lid. The picture here illustrates the trimming of one sheet.
  • Okay, now come back and follow these instructions.

Note: I switched to safety envelope paper because I got better photos.

Step by Step Origami Box - Part One

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Take the smaller rectangle and find the center on the short side. Pinch each to mark. If you like lightly rule a pencil line between the two marks on the wrong side of the paper.Turn each corner point in till they meet as shown. Use your pinch marks and ruled line as guide. The paper will have points on the left and right.Fold top into center. Fold Bottom into center. Crease.Fold top and bottom into center again. These are the folds for the bottom of the box. Crease well.
Take the smaller rectangle and find the center on the short side. Pinch each to mark. If you like lightly rule a pencil line between the two marks on the wrong side of the paper.
Take the smaller rectangle and find the center on the short side. Pinch each to mark. If you like lightly rule a pencil line between the two marks on the wrong side of the paper.
Turn each corner point in till they meet as shown. Use your pinch marks and ruled line as guide. The paper will have points on the left and right.
Turn each corner point in till they meet as shown. Use your pinch marks and ruled line as guide. The paper will have points on the left and right.
Fold top into center. Fold Bottom into center. Crease.
Fold top into center. Fold Bottom into center. Crease.
Fold top and bottom into center again. These are the folds for the bottom of the box. Crease well.
Fold top and bottom into center again. These are the folds for the bottom of the box. Crease well.

Make an Origami Box - Part Two

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Use two finger tips as guides in  creasing at the X's vertically. You may use a flat ruler, instead.Fold up both sides.Outer points are toward the center.Open the last two folds. Make a diagonal prefold along the area of the red line. The fold is up (a mountain fold) and stops at the red X.  Make this prefold at each corner.Finish the box by bringing the sides up with both hands.Use index fingers to make V's at the area of the tip of the heart. Bring the end flap up and over into the box. Make creases at the top edge and a reverse crease on the bottom
Use two finger tips as guides in  creasing at the X's vertically. You may use a flat ruler, instead.
Use two finger tips as guides in creasing at the X's vertically. You may use a flat ruler, instead.
Fold up both sides.
Fold up both sides.
Outer points are toward the center.
Outer points are toward the center.
Open the last two folds. Make a diagonal prefold along the area of the red line. The fold is up (a mountain fold) and stops at the red X.  Make this prefold at each corner.
Open the last two folds. Make a diagonal prefold along the area of the red line. The fold is up (a mountain fold) and stops at the red X. Make this prefold at each corner.
Finish the box by bringing the sides up with both hands.Use index fingers to make V's at the area of the tip of the heart. Bring the end flap up and over into the box. Make creases at the top edge and a reverse crease on the bottom
Finish the box by bringing the sides up with both hands.Use index fingers to make V's at the area of the tip of the heart. Bring the end flap up and over into the box. Make creases at the top edge and a reverse crease on the bottom

Last Step of Ten

Visual Aid for the Box Ends—Youtube Video of Easy Origami Box Ends

  • Fold the flap over and make a good crease at the top edge and a reverse crease at the inside of the box.
  • Do the same for both ends of the box.

make paper boxes with basic origami
make paper boxes with basic origami

Make the Lid Using the Bigger Paper

  • The other sheet of paper needs to be folded in the same way starting with Part One.
  • Fit the slightly smaller box into the bigger one.

Do not forget all the square eggs at Eastertime

Square eggs
Square eggs

New Ideas for the Paper Box

Use pretty spring wrapping paper to make "square eggs" for morning brunch on Easter. Boxes made of old calendars would be a curious find during the Easter egg hunt.

Have lots of nieces and nephews? Make box tops from a roll of fancy wrapping paper (not the thick wrapping paper) and make the bottoms from a standard roll of white or other matching color.

Easter day the kids get gold fish or at Halloween scary gummies like snakes.

Rectangle Origami Box
Rectangle Origami Box

The Rectrangle Box

I took a square box pattern and discovered I could modify it for a rectangle box and have no creases on the top or bottom of the box. This is my version and if a step is not clear let me know below. There is always room for an improvement tweak.

The goal with this box was to have it rectangular and no unsightly creases on the lid.

Use for Storing Little Things

Boxes can be used for storing business cards and gift tags
Boxes can be used for storing business cards and gift tags

Using the Handmade Rectangle Origami Box

  • Use old calendars to make small boxes for gift tags and business cards.
  • Cute kids paper can be a little box to give to bigger kids with some M&M's or even veggie sticks.
  • Use the instructions for a rainy day project for older kids. Teachers can use the pattern for a math lesson.
  • Use to box items in a big purse or backpack.

My Origami Box Advantages and Tips

  1. No creases to mar the top or bottom. Good for reusing old calendars, magazine photo pages and decorative gift wrapping paper.
  2. This pattern will produce a rectangle box with any size paper. Remember to start with two identical size sheets and trim one for the bottom of the box.
  3. Sturdy double sided construction.
  4. This craft page is easy to read and uncluttered.
  5. To make a square box just start the process with two sheets of square paper.

Origami Box and Lid

Come back and let everyone know what you are using your handmade boxes for.

© 2012 Sherry Venegas

Have you thought of Square Eggs for Easter?

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    • paperfacets profile image
      Author

      Sherry Venegas 2 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Hurray, I am glad you tried the instructions and produced a good box. They are nice to use in the purse for awhile. Once it is limp or crushed made a new one.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I finally got around to make one. Your instructions are awesome. I used an old Hawaii calendar. Mine didn't turn out quite as neat as yours but now that I know what I'm doing I should be able to do it with less crease marks. Thanks for the great visuals!

    • paperfacets profile image
      Author

      Sherry Venegas 2 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Thanks, so much. An extra tip. If you have very thick paper add a fraction more to cut off the short side of the box. For instance, if I have a very high quality calendar I will shave off a tad more than a half inch to allow more room for the thickness.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      Sherry, These boxes are so beautiful. I like the reuse of calendars and wrapping paper to make them. I already make my own Christmas gift tags with old greeting cards. I am going to have to attempt these boxes. They'd be neat for gifts!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I love little boxes like this - not sure if I could make one - my friends know I'll probably be keeping any small decorative gift box they give to me when wrapping something - wonderful page by the way

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 4 years ago from Missouri

      When my husband worked in printing, he would make boxes to hold different colors of ink. I have made boxes like these to hold business cards when I was doing desktop publishing. Origami gift boxes are fun to make and fit a variety of needs.

    • profile image

      Rockbleeder 4 years ago

      I also make origami boxes for my beads and paper clips but in square shapes. Thanks for this tutorial. I now can make rectangle boxes!