Skip to main content

Make an Easy Origami Box With Lid

Ms. Venegas has been using origami to make rosettes and medallions since 2003. She shares art/craft techniques and ideas online.

Finished Rectangle Origami Box for Valentine's Day Glass Heart

Finished Rectangle Origami Box for Valentine's Day Glass Heart

Step-By-Step Origami Box With Lid

Make rectangle origami boxes with the 10-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 paper folding project.

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

I have made roughly 30 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.

Find Paper for Making Your Box

  • Find two rectangular 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 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.
  • Cut both sheets into identically 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″ are fine.
  • Take one sheet of the rectangles and cut (1/2 inch) off one of the short sides. Cut 3/8″ off one long side. The trimmed rectangle will be the bottom of the box. The bigger one is your lid. The picture here illustrates the trimming of one sheet.
Trim one of the sheets.

Trim one of the sheets.

Origami Box Instructions: Part One

Follow the photo tutorial below for Part One of this project.

Origami Box Instructions: Part Two

Follow the photo tutorial below for Part Two of this project.

Final Step

The video below will walk you through Step 10 of this project.

YouTube for the 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.
Square Eggs for Easter

Square Eggs for Easter

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 Rectangle 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 with no unsightly creases on the lid.

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&Ms 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.

Other Origami Rectangular Boxes With Lids

  • Square Origami Box Pattern
    This is the pattern I modified for my version. For a lid you can see if 3/8's inch off two sides will give a good fitting bottom. Use this pattern to help with the basics of my origami box pattern.
  • Origami Box
    This version could be used for thicker paper. There are not so many double layers.

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?

Sherry Venegas (author) from La Verne, CA on September 16, 2017:

Chris and Lilo write how they use this box pattern.

I love to make boxes out of recycled material, old magazines. We make batik fashion and accessories, our studio is in Grenada.

We make all our bags, to pack up the handcrafted items in our studio, by folding and sewing and reusing newspapers. And the boxes to pack little items like jewelry made with the origami folding instructions. Our clients love it. For the boxes we are using out of date tourist magazines, they are made out of stronger paper. We just created a Christmas ornament. Tree folded origami cranes in a an origami rectangular box. The cranes are swinging peacefully on a petite rope, decorated with some beads and glittering things.

We wish all crafters a happy holyday. lilo and chris

Sherry Venegas (author) from La Verne, CA on June 07, 2015:

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.

Melody Lassalle from California on June 06, 2015:

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!

Sherry Venegas (author) from La Verne, CA on February 22, 2015:

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.

Melody Lassalle from California on February 21, 2015:

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!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2014:

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 from Missouri on March 16, 2013:

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.

Rockbleeder on February 06, 2013:

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!