Making a paper box is a fun and useful craft project that only requires a sheet of printer paper. With a few simple folds, you can create a sturdy box for small items, perfect for gifts or storage.
Gather Your Materials
For this origami paper box project you will need:
- One sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper, or A4 size paper
- Scissors (optional)
Choose any type of printable paper you have on hand, such as:
- Plain white printer paper
- Colored paper
- Patterned scrapbook paper
- Wrapping paper
- Magazines, newspapers, or other paper materials
Thicker paper varieties will create more structured boxes. Before beginning the folding process, decorate the paper with markers, stickers, stamps, or paint if desired.
Fold the Paper in Half Lengthwise
Take the sheet of paper and orient it horizontally. Fold it in half lengthwise so the short edges meet.
<img src=”images/fold-in-half.png” alt=”sheet of paper folded in half lengthwise” width=”200″>
Crease the fold with your fingernail thoroughly on both sides. Unfold and set the paper aside.
Fold the Paper in Half Widthwise
Next, take the sheet of paper and orient it vertically in front of you. Fold the paper in half again widthwise, so the long side edges meet.
<img src=”images/fold-in-half-width.png” alt=”sheet of paper folded in half widthwise” width=”200″>
Once again, crease the central fold to define the line. Then unfold so you have a sheet with four boxes.
Fold the Corners Inwards
The next step is to fold all four corners into the center point where the crease lines intersect.
<img src=”images/fold-corners-in.png” alt=”folding paper corners to center” width=”250″>
This will begin forming the rectangular base of the box. Repeat on all corners, creasing well.
Fold the Sides Up
Orient your paper like a diamond shape.
Lift the left and right side flaps and fold them upwards along the defined crease lines to form the walls.
<img src=”images/fold-up-sides.png” alt=”lifting and folding side flaps upwards” width=”200″>
The top and bottom flaps will become tabs for your box. Crease the folds sharply.
Secure the Side Tabs
At each side of your box, you have a tab flap. Lift the front tab and tuck it into the pocket of the back tab piece.
<img src=”images/tuck-in-tabs.png” alt=”tucking front tabs into back pockets” width=”200″>
This adds stability. Repeat this on both sides to interlock the tabs.
Create the Box Bottom
For the bottom of the box, take the loose back flap and tuck it into the pocket of the front tab piece.
<img src=”images/box-bottom-tabs.png” alt=”tuck back bottom tab into front pocket” width=”200″>
Repeat this on the last side to complete your paper box!
Finishing Touches (Optional)
- Trim flaps if desired with scissors
- Decorate your origami paper box with markers, stickers, etc.
- Glue magnets to the box tabs for easy closure
And your custom paper box is ready for storing little items or giving out presents! Adjust the size by beginning with different paper dimensions.
Following the simple folding steps, you can make an origami-style box out of any sheet of printer paper. The key things to remember are:
- Fold paper both lengthwise and widthwise first to define creases
- Fold corners to middle point
- Lift side flaps up to form walls
- Tuck front/back tabs in to secure sides and bottom
With practice, you’ll be able to whip up cute handmade boxes of different sizes out of spare paper. Craft fun gifts, trinket boxes, desk organizers, and more!
Learning how to make a paper box with printer paper opens up quick and easy opportunities for crafting and storage. With just rectangular paper and a few strategic folds, you can create custom boxes of varying dimensions. Adapt this versatile origami project to paper scraps you have around the house or office. Use your handmade boxes for packaging handmade gifts, organizing small items,Separating jewelry or desk supplies, or storing photos and mementos. Making your own boxes out of paper is also eco-friendly and reusable. Share the creative possibilities with kids to teach origami skills too!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What size paper should I begin with?
An standard 8.5 x 11 inch or A4 sheet of printer paper works best to start. Adjust to smaller or larger paper for different sized boxes. Heavier cardstock can also make a more rigid box.
- How do I make a lid for the box?
Simply follow all the folding steps using a second sheet of paper. The lid can sit loosely on top or be attached with adhesive, ribbon, or other connectors.
- What can I decorate the paper with?
Before folding, try markers, crayons, stickers, washi tape, decoupage, paint or stamps to personalize your paper box surfaces. Photos and magazine clippings also make fun collage materials.
- How do I make the folds precise and sharp?
Use your fingernail or another straightedge like a ruler to create firm crease lines on both sides of the paper. Remold lines if needed. The sharper the folds, the better constructed your box will hold.
- Should I use thick or thin paper?
You can attempt the paper box with most household paper materials on hand. Thinner paper may dent more easily. Heavier cardstock or pasteboard will make the strongest boxes and lids for holding heavier items.
- Can I decorate the inside of the box?
Yes, decorate both the inside and outside surfaces of your box. If using for gifts, add tissue paper, ribbon, or other small gift items into the box interior before folding shut.
- How can I remix this project?
Start experimenting with different paper sizes, prints, shapes or custom dimensions. Try a square sheet for example. Or use rectangular strips for weaving more textured boxes. Layer multiple folded boxes into one for compartments.
- What are some gift ideas with this paper box?
Fill them with homemade food items, bakery goods, jewelry, bath bombs or soaps, seeds to plant, office supplies, craft materials, and endless other small gifts for any occasion!
- Is there a way to fold with rounded corners?
One advanced technique is to round off the corners of the starting paper sheet before beginning the box folds. This will result in a smooth rounded box shape.
- Can I make these paper boxes with kids?
Absolutely! Folding origami projects helps develop fine motor skills and spatial intelligence. Make it a fun family activity. Give young kids larger paper sheets and guide them through the process step-by-step allowing creativity.