Monday, August 20, 2012

Origami Paper Boxes


The first origami model I ever learned how to fold was this simple box, sometimes called a masu box.  It's a traditional origami model, and probably one of the most well-known.  It remains the only origami model that I can fold today from memory, without looking at the instructions.

In around my first or second year of university, I was really into origami.  I filled every spare surface in my tiny dorm room with dozens of folded paper models.  I stopped after a while, partly because I didn't really know just what to do with the models once I had folded them.  A box, however, is so useful.  You could use it to hold candies, paper scraps, rubber stamps, beads, buttons, or, perhaps, if you were clever, a whole series of folded paper boxes, in gradually decreasing sizes, nested within each other.

A few tips if you want to try your hand at folding this box: Use your fingernail to crease the folds and make them sharp and crisp.  If the inside flaps won't stay down, use a tiny spot of glue to hold them down.  This is technically cheating, but I won't tell anyone.  You don't need to use origami paper; any paper will do, as long as it is thin and cut to the shape of a square (most models start with a square piece of paper).

I recently found myself thinking of origami again so I thought I would fold a few boxes to see if I could still do it, and I could!  And I also had something in mind that I wanted to use them for.

I used them to organize my button collection:


Because everyone needs to have an organized button collection, right?  I folded 2 more boxes than were shown in the first photo, and, by a lucky coincidence, 3 boxes just fit exactly across the length of the button tin.  Seriously, I didn't measure or plan that out at all.  I organized the buttons by colour and type, and filled the empty space at the back of the tin with the plain white buttons.

Have you ever done origami?  If so, what did you make?  What did you do with your models afterwards?  Did you make something useful or was it just for fun?

7 comments:

  1. Oh this is a great idea. I'm going to try this out! I have a lot of fountain pen converters that sit in a giant box when not in use (a confusing giant box) so I could make a few of these to sort them!

    I used to do Origami when I was younger. It was fun but I was terrible at it hehe.

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    1. That would be another great use for these boxes, Azizah! I hope that you blog about it if you do make some boxes of your own. I would love to see your own organization.

      I must admit that simple models like these are about the limit of my own origami skills! I did make some more complex ones back when I was really into origami, but when I got to a certain level of complexity my models just started to turn into crumpled paper messes, what with all of the folds that I had to redo because I did them wrong the first time.

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  2. I've never done origami, but your adorable little boxes make me want to try! I love organizers of all kinds.

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    1. These boxes are really easy to make, so they'd be a great way to start out with origami. And I'm also a bit obsessed with organizing things, so they are also useful!

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  3. These are adorable - make me want to give origami a try. I'd love to do a set in coordinating colors/patterns and keep on my desk for various clips.

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    1. Thanks, Christine! A set of these in coordinating colours would look great sitting on your desk - and they'd keep things so organized too!

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