The traditional masu box is the most popular type of origami gift box, but it’s far from the only model available. The clever self-closing origami box in this tutorial creates a lid and base all in one. It appears to be a rectangular box when viewed from the outside but opens to reveal a square box nested inside the larger shape.
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Gather Your Supplies
The box is made with a single square of paper. A box made with 6-inch origami paper squares is big enough to hold a pair of earrings, but a box this small can be hard to fold unless you have very nimble fingers. Try making a box with 12-inch scrapbook paper squares first, then work your way down to the smaller boxes once you are familiar with all of the steps in this model. A box made from 12-inch scrapbook paper squares is a nice size for handmade soap or lotion bars.
Your finished box will stay together without any tape or glue. However, adding two strips of clear tape to the folded edges of the finished box will help the model keep its shape and make it easier for a recipient who is unfamiliar with origami to open and close the box.
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Make the Initial Folds
To begin your origami box, you’ll need to create an 8x8 grid of folded squares on your paper.
2A: Start with the reverse side of your paper face up. Fold your paper in half horizontally, then unfold. Your paper is now divided into two sections.
2B: Fold the top and bottom sides in to meet the center crease, then unfold. Your paper is now divided into four sections.
2C: Fold the top side down to the nearest quarter mark. Unfold. Fold the bottom side up to the nearest quarter mark. Unfold. Your paper is now divided into six sections.
2D: Bring the top side to the quarter mark on the bottom half. Unfold. Your paper is now divided into seven sections.
2E: Bring the bottom side to the quarter mark on the top half. Unfold. Your paper is now divided into eight sections.
2F: Rotate the paper clockwise so your horizontal folds are now vertical lines. Repeat Step 2A to Step 2E to create eight more rows of folds. When you are finished, you’ll have a perfectly spaced 8x8 grid that contains 64 identical squares.
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Fold the Corners
Fold each of the four corners in. The corner on the left side should touch the 3/8 vertical fold. The corner on the right side should touch the 5/8 vertical fold.
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Fold to the Center
Flip the paper over so only the patterned side of the paper is showing. Fold the top and bottom sides in to meet the center horizontal crease.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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5A: Fold the tips of the cup-like shapes you created in Step 4 back so they are flush with the top and bottom horizontal edges of the paper.
5B: Open the top fold you just created. Stick your finger inside the left pocket and squash fold to flatten. Stick your finger inside the right pocket and squash fold to flatten.
5C: Repeat Step 5B with the bottom fold created in Step 5A.
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Flip the paper over. Fold the top edge down to the 3/8 horizontal crease. Fold the bottom edge up the 5/8 horizontal crease.
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Create the Sides of the Box
7A: Make a vertical fold at the 3/8 mark, going over the creases made in Step 1. Bring the top and bottom left corner flaps in and flatten so they join together to form the third side of the box. Add a small strip of tape to secure the side, if desired.
7B: Make a vertical fold at the 5/8 mark, going over the creases made in Step 1. Bring the top and bottom right corner flaps in and flatten so they join together to form the fourth side of the box. Add a small strip of tape to secure the side, if desired.
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Close the Box
8A: Place the item of your choice inside the box.
8B: Using the 1/4 and 3/4 vertical creases as a guide, bring the left and right sides of the lid up. Slip the left side into the pocket created by the folds underneath the right side of the paper. Push in as far as it will comfortably go to securely close the box.
8C: If desired, add a ribbon bow and/or gift tag. About Freebies has a collection of free printable gift tags for all occasions that you might find useful in assembling your gift.