Wrapping Paper Box

by Ashley Weeks Cart

As part of the Sustainable Holiday Gift Wrapping gathering I attended this past weekend, one of the many craft tables was assigned to origami boxes. Origami diagrams were strewn about the table among a pile of old calendars. I would prefer not to admit to the number of hours I spent at that table alone trying to decipher the arrows and dotted lines and images in order to craft the perfect gift box. But admit I have (2.5 hours!), and my struggles can now work to your benefit! Once you master the process, it takes no more than 15 minutes to create a box, and all you need is some old paper (I prefer scrap wrapping paper from the Ghost of Christmas Past), scissors or a paper cutter to make your paper square, and maybe some baubles (buttons were my weakness) to make the box extra jazzy. Now get to folding!

Wrapping paper scraps
Scissors/paper cutter
Buttons or baubles for embellishment


1. Cut two pieces of paper down to equal-sized squares. My pages were sized 10″ x 10″.

*** Now, at the bottom of this post is a fancy-pants origami diagram with all those arrows and dotted lines. Please feel free to refer to it, but I’ll try to add helpful hints to guide you along with my photos as well. ***

2. Lay one sheet down with the part of paper you do NOT want showing facing up.

3. Fold all four corners into the middle as evenly as possible. Really crease all your folds to ease the process.

5. This step is just for the sake of creases that will guide a step later in the process. Fold two sides into the middle and crease. CREASE IT GOOD! Then unfold.

6. Open up the sides that you creased so it looks like mine below – two corners in, two corners out.

7. Fold the sides into the center. And in the center they shall stay.

8. This is another step done for the sake of creases. You’ll do it four times. Fold one side down perpendicular to the sides that you just folded in. Crease. And repeat from each corner. Twice per end. Refer to the following three images for guidance.

9. Now this is where things get crazy, and all those creases you made will come in handy to guide your box formation. Fold up one side, while slightly pulling apart the sides you folded into the middle to flip the edge up and create a 3D box. Refer to next two images and the diagram below.

10. Now repeat with the other side, and voila! The bottom (or top) of your box! Repeat the entire process with the second sheet of paper, slide them together for a fully formed gift box!

11. If you want to spice things up, sew a few buttons onto the top of the box, or add any other embellishments that tickle your fancy. Enjoy! See, the packaging really can be as delightful as the present, and it can be used again and again!

Here is a formal diagram courtesy of PaperCrane.org: