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Origami Boxes

Updated on April 20, 2016

Origami Boxes to Hook You on Origami

The first origami model I ever folded was an origami box. Certainly not the easiest thing to fold for a first-timer, but after that first box I was hooked. I've been folding now for about 16 years, and my favorite is still by far 'Origami Boxes'. I've given gifts in them, given them as gifts, and have several in my house. I've worked with little itty bitty bits of paper to make the miniatures, and I've used large sheets of paper to make larger scale boxes. The variety of sizes, shapes, and designs are endless, and I'm always amazed at the thought and knowledge of the artists who invent the models. Even today this is my favorite model.

Hexagon Origami Boxes - by Tomoko Fuse

So I've been going crazy folding these origami boxes. It's my favorite, and I can't seem to let it go. I am using old letterhead, and stamping a design on a portion of the paper. It really helps to let the pinwheel show up. It takes 12 pieces of paper, but becomes quite solid when you fold it.

It has been a long time since I'd folded it, but after about two I got the hang of it again.

Origami Boxes by Tomoko Fuse

Will These Origami Boxes Inspire You?

This page is to show you some of the great origami boxes that I've folded. Hopefully this will inspire you to try some things out and to think "outside the origami box" in regards to presentation and what gorgeous origami boxes you can create. You can see some of the alternatives in regards to paper and presentation. This is a launching site for your ideas, so take a look at what is here, be inspired and come back often for updates. I love folding, and meet with fellow folders once a month to see what is new in origami and origami boxes.

Paper to Create Your Own Unique Origami Boxes

Origami boxes are a favorite project of mine. Of course the queen of Origami boxes is Tomoko Fuse, who I had the great honor of meeting several years ago. I have some examples of her boxes using several different types of papers. Her artistic application of the fold has excelled her origami from a craft to a true work of art.

Presenting an origami box (usually with a little treasure inside) is a great way to give a present. Even if it's something small like a teacher gift or a simple thank you.

Origami paper is the most common material used to make boxes, but there are several alternatives that can make and create very interesting projects.

Photo copier paper - for more intricate folds it will tear and be hard to fold, but for simple folds (or for boxes) it is a good alternative because it is so stiff, it makes a nice sturdy box. The one downfall is that it is the same color on both sides. This can be fixed by decorating one side of the paper with rubber stamps or other fun applications. Another thing I did was take some old photocopies that were to be recycled and folded them into boxes. It's fun to see what comes out.

Magazines - this can be fun because you don't really know what will end up on the outside and what is on the inside. This paper can be quite flimsy so smaller boxes are better.

Wrapping paper - sometimes when you bend the paper the color comes off on the bend, so be aware of this. Also the wrapping paper is quite flimsy, so generally appropriate for smaller boxes.

Maps - I had lots of fun with this. I used some old maps from National Geographic, and they made some great boxes. Again the paper was nice and sturdy, and the graphic elements of the maps make the boxes unique.

Fliers, Brochures, and posters - I had this stack of fliers that were to be recycled and so I folded some, they made fun boxes, with the pattern repeating on each piece of paper.

Really just take a look around you and see what you can come up with. I've used the foil from the inside of coffee wrappers to fold with (Nabob has a great gold lining under their label). You can also take wax paper and iron it to some tissue to make a paper (use an old iron, and some blotter paper). This is your chance to be environmentally friendly and re-use some things you maybe would have passed by before.

Create Your Own Origami Box With Origami Paper

Special origami paper is most commonly used in folding. The reason for this is that each side of the paper is different. You can get paper with two distinct designs on each side, one design side and plain colour side, or two different plain colour sides. The weight of the paper will vary also, some quite thin and easy to fold with (for more complex folds), and some almost like fabric.

I've folded with lots of nice papers to make boxes, and some of these might be fun to play with. Kids would get a kick out of getting a little hello kitty box with some treats in them...think about your next birthday party. Boxes can be folded and handed out at weddings or any other sorts of occasions. Authentic Japanese paper rings true with the feel of the folded items, but going with a contemporary design will add an interesting effect.

And don't forget to try other types of paper. I like old maps, or wrapping paper (sometimes the ink comes off the fold edges), but even some metallic papers work well, or drafting velum.

Fold It: Beyond Traditional Origami with Karen Thomas - Step by Step Origami on DVD!

Confused by line drawings of folds? This might be the ideal item for you to learn to make beautiful and elegant origami designs. With over two hours of video and photos that walk you through the elements of everything from boxes to cranes you will learn to fold in no time and be and origami "expert" in no time.
If you have a beginning origami fan in your home this also makes an excellent stocking stuffer, with Christmas just around the corner you can get the whole family folding.

Purchase the Video

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    • ksktika profile image

      ksktika 5 years ago

      i like origami, but never do that again

    • profile image

      quicpost 6 years ago

      Great article!

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 7 years ago

      Your lens is great. Very informative. I liked your lens with a thumbs up.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 7 years ago

      Beautiful boxes. They look really good.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 8 years ago

      Fantastic lens. these boxes look great. Thank you for these great ideas. 5* from me.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      I have tried origami but can never quite get it right. My daughter is so much better at it than I am!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Hi Karen,

      So nice of you to comment on my blog. I love meeting new people this way and finding whole new worlds. I look forward to coming back to explore when I have more time!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 9 years ago from La Verne, CA

      That folded paper looks gorgeous. The six sided one is my favorite.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      I love origami items, my Japanese friend taught me to make some animals many years ago...great lens...5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      this looks sooooo fun...i'm off to a watercolor/collage workshop this morning but will be back on you sight this evening! purchased origami paper years to find it in the mess....this is great Karen

    • karenbiko profile image

      karenbiko 9 years ago

      [in reply to AndrewBF] I've created a lens to show how to build a simple box.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 9 years ago

      Beautiful boxes and a beautiful lens! 5*

    • profile image

      AndrewBF 9 years ago

      Please write a lens showing how we can do this. That would be a great addition to this page.

    • Happiegrrrl profile image

      Terrie Marcoe 9 years ago from Gardiner, New York and Joshua Tree, California

      Very pretty boxes! Lucky, the ones who receive them as gifts from you!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      I love your boxes! I have a thing for small containers. I'll have to try to make one. Thanks

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 9 years ago

      Those boxes are awesome - great job

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 9 years ago from FL

      This is a nice first lens. Your boxes are beautiful!