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Origami for Beginners - The Rectangular Box

Updated on December 21, 2013
Origami Paper Box
Origami Paper Box

This tutorial will show you how to make an origami box using only a sheet of paper. No other materials are required. Each step will be outlined and complete with a photograph to go along with the written directions.

Step 1: Lay a Piece of Paper on a Flat Surface

Simple enough, right? This tutorial covers how to make a box using rectangular paper. You can use square paper to make a box as well, but it is best to use a rectangle for this particular kind of box. This can be printer paper, scrapbook paper, construction paper, or anything you would like. Feel free to decorate the box after the project is complete. It is good for holding lightweight objects like paperclips, clothespins, stickers, and stamps.

Lay a piece of paper on a flat surface.
Lay a piece of paper on a flat surface.

Step 2: Fold the Paper Longways

Rotate the paper so the narrow side is towards you. Fold it in half once.

Fold the Paper Longways.
Fold the Paper Longways.

Step 3: Fold it Longways Again

Fold it longways again. At this point, the paper should be 1/4 as wide as it was originally. These folds are only used as guidelines.

Fold it longways again.
Fold it longways again.

Step 4: Open the Paper Up

Open the paper back up to reveal four evenly spaced rectangles. These will be used in the later steps.

Open the paper up.
Open the paper up.

Step 5: Fold the Paper in Half the Other Way

Now that you have folded it longways (hotdog style), fold it in half the other way (hamburger style).

Fold the paper in half the other way.
Fold the paper in half the other way.

Step 6: Unfold the Paper Again

Unfold the paper completely. You will see that you now have 8 equal rectangles.

Unfold the paper again.
Unfold the paper again.

Step 7: Fold the Outer Ends to the Center

Now here is where it starts getting tricky, but stay with me. Take the outer two ends of the paper and fold them into the crease you made into the center. The final product should look like this:

Fold the outside edge to the center.
Fold the outside edge to the center.
Do the same with both sides. Rotate for the next step.
Do the same with both sides. Rotate for the next step.

Step 8: Folding the Corners

For this step, it is best to turn the paper so that the long edge is facing you. Take the top left corner and fold it to the first crease. DON'T fold it all the way down to the middle. If you do that, then the box will not stay together once it is complete.

Once you have folded the top left corner, go ahead and fold the other four corners too.

Fold the top left corner to the first crease.
Fold the top left corner to the first crease.
Fold all corners to the first crease.
Fold all corners to the first crease.

Step 9: The Strips to Hold it Together

Remember when I said only fold to the first crease? This is why. You should have about a half-inch between the bottom of the fold and the middle. This strip is used to hold the box together. Take one of the strips from the middle and fold it up over the triangles you made in the previous step.

Once you have done this, go ahead and do the same for the bottom strip. The end result will look like a paper hamburger.

Fold the half-inch strip up and over the top corners.
Fold the half-inch strip up and over the top corners.
Repeat for the bottom corners.
Repeat for the bottom corners.

Step 10: Open the Box!

Now that you have made the paper hamburger, grab the insides of it and pull it open. You will see the four triangles you made in the earlier steps. These will be on the opposite sides of the box than the sides you pulled. Sometimes it is necessary to fold the corners. This gives the box a neater appearance.

Your final box should be complete! It makes a good paperclip holder and can be decorated however you like.

Open the Box
Open the Box
Enjoy! :)
Enjoy! :)

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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 4 years ago from Cape Cod

      I ventured today into Arts and Design today for the very first time, though I have been on Hubpages for over four years.

      I am not and A & D kind of a guy because I am an A.D.D. kind of a guy.

      I did not expect to find anything that would hold my interest, but your Origami article did just that. I might even try to make a paper box! Thanks for the tips.

    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 4 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thanks Fateslayer - I've just made a paper box! Easy to follow, clear instructions - voted up and useful.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Very neat and nice instructions. Voted up and shared.

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      This would be the perfect origami for any beginner, especially my 9 year old granddaughter! Very well presented. Thanks much!

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 4 years ago

      Sure, it was a very easy way, I tried it & it works well. Thanks for sharing.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 4 years ago

      Origami is my current passion and this is an awesome Hub! Well done!

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Simple and well presented article. I must give this a try.

      Voting up and sharing.