Text-Only Instructions

Credits and Resources:

This model was folded by me without any external reference or resource. It is likely to be a traditional model, though.

If you are aware of any other source where this model or similar might be listed, please let me know so I can reference it under this heading.

Paper to be used: Rectangular or square, any size; use newspaper, gift wrap or scrapbook paper for large trays; lightweight cardstock also works very well for this model.

Folding level: Easy/Beginner

Steps: 15

Description:  This is a fairly sturdy, shallow, long rectangular tray with a small triangular detail resembling a handle on each short side.

The instructions below are provided for folding with rectangular paper, but will work perfectly for a square as well.

If folded from a square, the tray will also be square.


This tray is easy and quick to fold. 

It can be matched with the theme of any occasion or party and used in place of paper plates, making clean-up a breeze.

The trays can be made in advance and stored flat and then quickly folded out just before the party.

They are also great to hold small items while crafting or when doing a children's project. 

Fold these trays with newspaper and use as seed trays to place directly into the soil.

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

The entire tray will be colored, except for the underside, which will be white or plain.

Step 1

Place a rectangular piece of paper down on a hard, flat surface, with the short edges left and right, or in landscape orientation.

Step 2

Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease lightly 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 leave folded.

Step 4

Now fold these edges back on themselves so they meet the top and bottom edges of the paper.

Your long rectangle should have a folded band running along its top and bottom edges now, made up of 3 layers of paper with a smooth, one-layered rectangle at its center.

Step 5

Flip the folded top band upwards and the folded bottom band downwards so your paper has a smooth surface again, except for two skinny folded bands at the top and bottom, which will be made up of only two layers and will be facing the table.

Step 6

Rotate the paper so that it is in the portrait orientation with the short edges at the top and bottom.

Your two-layered bands will still face the table and run up and down the left and right edges of the rectangle now.

Step 7

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

Step 8

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

Crease well and unfold again.

Step 9

Now fold the nearest corners diagonally inwards and upwards towards the center so their edges align with the center vertical crease. They will also align perfectly with each other, forming a nice pointy end to the model.

Step 10

Repeat Step 9 at the other end of the model.

You will have a long, flat piece with two triangles forming the very top and bottom points.

Step 11

Orientation - Notice that there are two short bands dividing the triangles from the main body of your model.

These bands are horizontal or from left to right.

There are also bands along the long sides of the tray. They will still be facing the table at this point. 

These bands will form the 4 sides of your tray.

Step 12

Find the corner where the vertical and horizontal bands meet and gently insert a finger on each side, pulling the horizontal band toward you. 

At the same time, guide the long sides of the tray into an upright position. Both the short and long sides should rise up and you can also press the triangle nearest you so it sticks straight up in the air.

Start to pinch the corners where the short and long sides meet to reinforce the folds.

Note that the short band nearest you is made up of two separate folded flaps, that might want to separate, so hold them together while making your corners.

Keep pinching until you have very sharp 90 degree corner creases.

Step 13

This step is an interesting one. You are going to move the triangle that is now on the outside of the tray so it lies on the inside.

You could keep the triangle as is, but moving it to the inside will make the tray more secure.

Don't focus on the triangle itself at first. Check out the horizontal band just behind it. 

This is the same short band that you encountered in the previous step, but this time, we want to move the band apart instead of holding it together.

Gently move the two flaps apart while you push the triangle to the inside of the tray.

When the triangle lies flat, your two flaps will revert to their previous position.

Step 14

Lastly, fold the tip of the triangle that is now lying inside your tray back towards you and over the edge nearest you. This will hold the side in place and serve as a decorative detail or handle. 

If you would like for the "handle" to be less triangular, you can gently open its two flaps and pry them apart as far as they will go. This won't be very far, but the point of the triangle will become less sharp, creating a flatter "handle" for the tray.

You can glue the "handle" for durability's sake if you would like to use your tray.

Step 15

Repeat the last 3 steps on the opposite side and your very versatile treat tray is done.

Now fill it with anything you can think of.

Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.

for non-commercial use only.

Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, August 2021

Revised, January 2023