Text-Only Instructions

Credits and Resources:

This is a traditional model.

See, for instance,

Paper to be used: Rectangular, any size; use larger paper to practice with at first. Thick paper or thin     cardstock is strongly recommended.

Folding level: Easy/Beginner

Steps: 8

Description: This is a fairly large, shallow, rectangular open box or tray.

Both sides of the paper will be visible if duo paper is used.

A lid can be made by altering Steps 3 and 5 (see below).


This box is easy and quick to fold. Take care not to refold, stretch or tug at the paper too much when folding, or the sides of the box will not be straight and will tend to bulge towards the outside.

Remember, even if you have memorized the folding steps for fairly simple boxes, it might not be easy to fold a perfect box shape at first.

Keep at it. It takes precise creases and a fairly light touch to produce great-looking boxes. Practice makes perfect.

To make a lid, instead of folding the edges in to meet exactly on the center vertical and horizontal crease lines, leave a slight gap when you fold your edges inwards in Steps 3 and 5.

This will result in a lid, identical to, but just slightly larger than your box.

Making a lid that fits perfectly may take some practice and a little guesswork, so experiment with copy or other scrap paper first.

If using two-sided paper, lay your paper with the patterned or colored side down before starting to fold.

The color or pattern will be visible on the outside of your box and/or lid.

Step 1

Place a rectangular piece of paper down on a hard, flat surface, with the short edges at the left and right and the long edges facing top and bottom.

Step 2

Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.

Step 3

Fold both the top and bottom edges in to meet at the horizontal crease line you have just folded.

Crease well and unfold.

Step 4

Now fold the left, short edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.

Step 5

Fold both the left and right edges in to meet at the vertical crease line you have just folded.

Crease well and leave folded.

The creases made in Steps 3 and 5 above will determine the depth of your box.

The closer your folds are to the horizontal and vertical center of the model, the higher the sides of your box will be, and the other way around, of course.

Your model should now have 3 horizontal crease lines, resembling an upright cupboard with its doors closed.

Step 6

Next you will fold in all 4 corners in a similar way.

To do this for the two top corners, fold the paper downwards and inwards until the edges lie on the first horizontal crease you come to.

Likewise, for the two bottom corners, fold them upwards and inwards until the paper reaches the first horizontal crease you come to.

Crease very well and leave all corners folded.

 Note that your corners will not reach the center vertical crease line after they have been folded.

To ensure that the sides and corners of the box do not sag, I always fold these corners so their inner points just overlap the horizontal crease lines very slightly.

Step 7

Notice that there are two flaps that lie in the center of your model along the vertical crease line.

Fold them outwards, to the left and right, as far as they will go. They will lie over the 4 corners you folded in the previous step.

Crease these folds very well and leave folded.

Step 8

All that remains is to shape the box by grasping the two long folds you have just made at the vertical center of the model and lifting them upwards and outwards to form the sides of the box.

The corners will start to form as you do this.

Pinch the folds from the outside to improve the shape of the box and make sure all corners and sides are the same and look neatly creased.

Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.

for non-commercial use only.

Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, November 2009