How to fold a paper box

This traditional origami design can be used anytime you need a special custom box. Start with the basic design and experiment with paper and crease placements to create boxes and lids of varying sizes and depths. You might even want to try a box made with stabilized or stiffened fabric.

For the best results, use a heavy weight paper that is cut into a true square. An eight and one-half-inch square will render a box that is approximately three inches square. If you follow the direction below, the depth of the box will be approximately one and a half inches. Use practice paper to experiment with and only use your special paper once you are certain of all measurements.

Origami always looks best when the creases are made as sharp as possible. To accomplish this, go over each crease with a ruler before continuing on to the next step.

Place your paper square onto your work surface, patterned or colored side up (if using origami-style, two-sided paper). Position it so that the edges are facing up and down, right and left. Fold the right edge over to meet the left edge. Crease and unfold. Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold. Flip the paper over.

Fold the right top corner down to the intersection of the horizontal and vertical crease lines. Crease and leave folded. Repeat this for each of the three remaining corners. There should now be four triangular flaps that form the top of the square. Reposition the square so that the edges are once again facing up and down, right and left.

Fold the top edge down to the center of the square. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the remaining three edges. The crease made here determines the depth of your box. Make narrower creases for shallow boxes and lids, deeper creases for larger boxes. When making a box lid, remember to use a slightly larger square of paper than used for the lid.

Open the left and right flaps. Fold the top edge of the paper down to the center. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the bottom edge. Rotate your paper so that the edges are to your left and right and the points are facing up and down.

Count two horizontal creases down from the top point. Follow the second horizontal fold out to the left edge of the paper. This also marks the point where the left flap begins to fold inward. Grasp this point between your right thumb and forefinger. Locate the exact opposite point on the right side of the paper and grasp that point between your right thumb and forefinger, as well. Bring these two points to meet at the center of that same horizontal crease line.

Keep the two points in place with your thumbs and fold the top point downward into the middle of the box that is forming. Tuck the flaps against the inside of the box so that the points of the four triangular flaps meet at the center bottom.

Keep the two points

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