Text-Only Instructions

Credits and Resources:

This is likely to be a traditional model.

For instructions with pictures, see, for example,

Paper to be used: Square, any size; thicker paper or thin cardstock is recommended for this box.

Folding level: Intermediate

Steps: 15

Description: This is one of the easier boxes with an attached lid. Although it is folded from a square, the finished box is rectangular in shape, reminiscent of a treasure chest. The box is smooth on all sides with the opening at the top front. The box is fairly sturdy, especially when the lid is tucked in. Glue may be needed on the inside front flaps for the sake of durability.

If using decorations or embellishments, it is best to place them on the sides, front and lid only.

This box is great as a gift box for any occasion.


The folding of this box is divided into 4 parts:

Part 1

Steps 1 to 11 are pre-creases that are normally folded and then creased and unfolded again.

These folds may seem tedious, but they are necessary to create this type of box; so, try to perform them as accurately as possible.

Part 2

Step 12 will form the front and sides of the box.

Part 3

Step 13 will create the hinge or back corners and the back panel.

Part 4

Steps 14 and 15 will complete the top and front tab of the box.

Try to focus on one part of the folding sequence at a time. This will make things easier to follow and understand.

Part 1 - Precreases

Step 1

Start with your paper color-side down.

Place a square piece of paper down on a hard, flat surface with its edges to the left and right, top and bottom.

Step 2

Divide and fold your square into thirds.

The easiest method I have found to do this is to pick up your paper and gently fold the sides over to their opposite edges, into an S or a Z fold. Adjust your folds on both sides before making small creases right at the edges of the paper to mark where you will fold.

Don't worry if this is difficult at first. It will become easier with practice.

Unfold all the way again. Using the small marks you have made, fold the top edge of the square down a third of the way and then over once more, like you would a letter going into an envelope.

Crease well and unfold so you have a square with two lines across it.

Step 3

Turn your model 90 degrees and repeat the previous step so that your square is now divided into 9 blocks by two vertical and 2 horizontal lines.

Step 4

Fold the top edge down to meet the first horizontal crease you encounter. Crease and unfold.

Step 5

Then fold the bottom edge up in the same way, to meet the first horizontal crease -you encounter. Crease and unfold.

Step 6

Now turn the square 90 degrees so a third edge is facing you. Then repeat Steps 4 and 5. 

You will have 4 lines across the square in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

Step 7

Fold your entire square in half  by bringing the top edge to meet the bottom edge, forming a two-layered rectangle.

Keep folded.

Step 8

Fold down the 2 top corners to meet the first creases you encounter. You will basically fold these small corners in half. Unfold.

Step 9

Now fold the top corners down again, but this time to meet the second intersecting creases you encounter. Crease and unfold.

Step 10

Unfold the rectangle so you have a square again.

Step 11

Fold the bottom corners up to meet the second crease you encounter. Crease and unfold.

Part 2 - Front and sides

Step 12


It will be helpful to think of how the different parts of the box will be folded before moving on to the next step.

The front and sides will be a double panel, folded to the inside, while the bottom, back, top and front tab of the lid will all be single layers.

Put in another way, the sides and front are folded in a third of the way while the center third of the square, viewed from the front, is divided into fourths, making up the bottom, back, top and front tab of the box.

Keep in mind that the finished box will be a rectangle, meaning the bottom of the box will comprise only one-sixth of the length of the square with the rest of the square forming the sides, back, top and front tab.

Step 12.1

First, using the lines that you have already created, fold both sides in half, towards the inside of the square, leaving a third of the square unfolded and flat.

Press flat.

Step 12.2

Fold the front of the box, or the edge nearest you, in half. While doing this fold, pull the corners that will be forming out to the left and right. You will end up with a flat, folded edge with a triangle poking out on each side of the fold.

Press flat so it will look like a boat that has been formed at the bottom of the paper.

Step 12.3

Next, grab the triangular flaps at their corners and lift them up so they stand straight up in the air. Then lift them so they move away from you. They should come to rest on the inside of the box. As you do this move, the sides and front of the box will come into an upright position as well.

Let the flaps rest on the left and right inside edges of the box for now.

Step 12.4

Now fold them in half by bringing their points towards you and bring them to rest next to each other against the front of the box. They will provide a pocket for the lid to be tucked in.

Part 3 - Hinge and back

Step 13

To fold the back corners or hinge and the back panel of the box, do the following:

Step 13.1

Make sure the left and right sides of the paper are folded towards the center and that they lay flat.

You will have a half-formed box where the front part will be already starting to form while the back will look like a long, flat rectangle.

Step 13.2

Place your thumbs inside the box and, moving toward the back of the box, locate the first horizontal fold you will encounter.

With your forefingers, find the corners that will form the back of the box and gently press them inwards while, at the same time, lifting the back panel towards you and pressing it flat against the corners.

Keep in mind that the bottom of the box will only be one-sixth of the length of the square, making it a rectangle that will be forming at this point, with its short sides at the left and right.

Step 13.3

Reinforce the back panel of the box along the bottom and top edges.

Part 4 - Front and top

Step 14

  All that remains to be done is to shape the top and front of the lid of the box by recreasing the two horizontal folds that are already there.

Step 15

Lastly, tuck the front tab of the box down so it disappears between the front panel and the fold just behind it.

This will close and complete your very own Treasure Trove box.

Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.

for non-commercial use only.

Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, November 2009

Revised: January 2023