Paper Boxes for Holiday Gifts

11:24 AM

Guest blogger: Jamie Hogsett

Learn to make paper boxes for a completely handmade holiday.

Years ago, my grandma taught me how to make boxes using only paper and scissors, and my cousins and I made lots of paper boxes to hold our treasures. I'd forgotten all about them until last year about this time, when Lorelei posted that she made several to use during her jewelry sale. Somehow my brain still remembered how to make them and I made several to use for gift-giving as I have a rather large stash of patterned papers. I gave Sara a box full of brass findings and I think she was most excited about the box as she's asked me multiple times for instructions on how to make them. Here you go, Sara, just in time for this year's holiday season. Enjoy!

To make a box, you'll need scissors and two pieces of square patterned paper. The paper can be pretty much any size, as long as it's square. I've made boxes using paper as large as 12"x12", as small as 4 1/2"x4 1/2", and several sizes in between. The example shown here is with 12" paper.

Turn the paper patterned side down and fold it diagonally in half. Unfold.

Fold in half diagonally again in the other direction. Unfold. There are now lines running diagonally from corner to corner.

Place the point of one corner to the center of the paper and fold.

Repeat for the opposite corner. Unfold both folds.

Repeat with the two remaining corners. Unfold. There are now lines that form a square in the center of the paper.

Place one corner to the center of the square line opposite the center of the paper. Unfold.

Use the same point and place it to the center of the closest square line. Unfold.

Repeat the previous two folds for each corner of the paper. The folds will form a grid of small squares on the paper. All folding from here until the box is complete will be refolding the same folds, so you won't be making any additional creases in the paper.

Use the scissors and one corner of the paper to cut two complete small squares up from both the lines right of the corner and left of the corner, as shown below.

Repeat the cuts on the opposite corner.

Fold the two uncut corners to the center of the paper.

Fold the paper in to the center again.

Unfold the previous fold. Fold the points of the paper in.

Stand the two sides of the paper up so that they are perpendicular to the work table.

Hold the paper so that all corners are at 90 degree angles. Take one of the remaining corners and fold it up and over the folded in points. It is important to make sure the corners are at 90 degree angles so that the fold will properly and tightly hold.

Repeat with the last corner. Place one edge of the box down on the work table and firmly press down to help secure the box and all the folds of paper. Repeat with the other three sides. You may use a bone folding tool for this if you have one, but it isn't necessary.

Now one half of the box is complete!

Repeat using a contrasting, coordinating paper to make the bottom half of the box.

Have fun making these boxes in all sorts of sizes. The large box below was made with 12"x12" paper and has a finished size of 4 1/4" wide and 2 1/8" deep, perfect for necklaces. The small box was made with 4 1/2"x4 1/2" paper and has a finished size of 1 5/8" wide and 13/16" deep, perfect for a pair of earrings.
Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at or via her blog at

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7 fabulous thoughts ...

  1. Happy to say, this is one of the FEW origami boxes I can actually make!

    I have a big book that I got while living in Japan, and there are some that are INCREDIBLY detailed that I just ... well. They are OBVIOUSLY missing some steps. I get to point C, but then it goes to point Z and I sit there looking stupid.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to trying this.

  3. I couldn't believe how easy this was when Jamie first showed me. I am glad that she decided to share. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing! Will this work with a much harder paper? I plan to use it as a box for a necklace made of semi-precious stones, so it's a bit heavy.

  5. Yes, you can use a heavier paper, just as long as you are still able to make crisp folds. If using a heavier paper, I would definitely recommend using a bone folder.

  6. What fun-I can't wait to try this out! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

    Happy holidays to you!


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