Making An Origami Masu Box
Make your little gifts look extra special with a bit of simple, creative paper folding.
So, we're going to have to admit it. Christmas will be upon us all too soon and for those who like to DIY gifts for that season, it's time to start thinking ahead. These cute little boxes are perfect for gift giving at any time of year and can add a wonderful little homemade touch to any small offerings.
They're really easy to make when you get the hang of them and the size can easily be adjusted just by varying the square you start with. Just for an idea, a square cut from an A4 page (21cm x 21cm) yields a box about 7.5cm x 7.5cm. A standard 25cm x 25cm origami square yields a box about 9cm x 9cm. If you want to make a box with a lid (2 boxes that nest) you'll need 2 squares, one slightly larger than the other. The smaller one becomes the box base, the lid fits completely over the top. You fold them exactly the same.
Origami paper is a good weight for these little boxes, and is a similar weight to standard copy paper. If you wish to use gift wrapping paper (which often has lovely colours and patterns), and it turns out to be much thinner or flimsier than origami paper, consider bonding it to another layer of paper (spray adhesive would be perfect) before you start folding to give your box more strength.
1. Start with a square of paper. Fold it in half, crease sharply and neatly, then unfold again. If you have single-sided coloured or patterned paper put the coloured side down.
2. Now fold it in half again the other way and open it out. You should have 4 squares marked with creases.
3. Fold each corner into the middle.
4. Fold the left and right side into the middle
(It should look like a tall, skinny door)
5. Open it out from the last step to a square again (with the corners still in)
6. Now open the top and bottom corner flaps.
7. Stand the left and right sides up (using the creases from the "tall skinny door" fold)
8. This is where it gets a little tricky to follow. The creases you've already made should (hopefully) make it fairly clear. The base of the box is the centre part currently with 2 blue triangles on the side, and white triangles top and bottom. At the top edge of the base, fold up the top flap (2 rectangles and a triangle). To do this, you'll have to fold in the top part of the "doors" following the creases already there.
9. Fold the side of the box down along the existing creases creating the outer wall, and inner wall that folds down over the top, the triangle comes down to fill in the space waiting for it in the base.
10. Now do the same for the other side to complete the box.....
Fold in the corners, fold up the back wall, fold down the side wall and fit the last base triangle in place.
All done! Now you can use this box as a lid and make a smaller box to fit inside it as a new base or make a larger one to be a lid for this box.
There are so many ways to decorate... use a solid-coloured base and a patterned lid in co-ordinating colours. Use recycled paper - newspaper with black satin ribbon or brown paper with red and white twine look great. Tie with ribbon, coloured yarn, raffia or twine. Add stickers, a little flower or foliage, pom poms or other embellishments. Paper flowers folded from the same paper is effective. You can even simply secure them with a band of co-ordinating paper wrapped around them. It's all up to your imagination.