An origami box is a pretty and simple way to dress up a gift. I’ve searched the internet high and low for how to make a gift box, but couldn’t find a better design than this simple origami box I learned to make when I was eight.
I used maps to make a pretty gift box. We used to fold origami boxes out of note paper in class and fill them with pencil shavings. Eight year olds are weird.
I’ve made put together a simple craft tutorial so you can learn how to make a gift box too. Check out how to make an origami box after the jump…
…First, you need a square of paper. Easy! I used a page of the index from my atlas. My atlas cost $10 and it was the best dang craft investment I ever made (I usually never cut up books – but my Reader’s Digest atlas is neither unique, nor useful – it still marks the Soviet Union. So it’s better off as craft, I think!).
So, you can see I folded a triangle to find a square – but I just pinched the corners and took care not to crease the centre. I hate creases on the top of origami boxes and in this tutorial I’ve taken care to avoid them. Which leads onto step two: find your quarters.
Fold the top edge of the square to the bottom edge to make a rectangle, but don’t crease the paper – just pinch at the corners. Unfold and repeat with the other sides.
As you can just about see (click on the pictures to enlarge them!) only the quarter marks are creased. Next, we’re going to fold all the corners into the centre – lining them up with the quarter marks, not with a big old ugly crease!
Crease down those corners as much as you like!
Everyone still with me? It really is easy to do once you get the hang of it! We’ve just folded all the corners into the centre – now, without unfolding anything, we’re going to fold in the sides one at a time…
…and then unfold them, and fold in the next one. And the next one. And then the last one. So you’ll have something that looks like this:
We’re almost there – but take a deep breath, because here comes the tricky part. Unfold one point like this (I’ve bumped up the contrast so you can see it better):
Fold up the point so it it at 90 degrees from the rest of the box. Then, fold up the one of the side and tuck in the excess paper. Need a diagram? Me too!
Phew – I think that makes sense. Repeat with the other side:
Fold the point down, over the edge of the box. The point should end up back where it started, in the centre of the box.
Repeat with the opposite point… and you’re done! Here’s another pretty box made out of map paper to inspire you:
Then I made another slightly smaller one for a lid. I filled it with packing straw and tucked in a pretty pair of earrings.
These make little Christmas gifts quite lovely – in fact, I’ve had people admire the boxes more than the gift! And you don’t have to stick to jewellery – what about making a bigger origami gift box, and packing it with biscuits or a cupcake? Or filling a USB stick with photos and wrapping it up like a precious gem for family? They’d love it.
If you make a gift box from this tutorial, I’d love to see it! Leave a comment below.