How to Fold a traditional Origami Box

How to Fold a traditional Origami Box

The Masu box is an absolute classic origami design because of its simplicity, elegance and usefulness. You can even make a matching lid for the box with very little extra effort.

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Three beautiful origami boxes

All you need is a square piece of paper for the box, and a second of the same size for the lid.

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Step 1
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Step 2

Step 1: Start by folding your square in half vertically like a book. Then unfold and repeat horizontally. Only one side of the paper is visible on the finished box. If like me, you are using paper with colour on only one side, start with the coloured side face down.

Step 2: The folds in step one mark the centre of the page. Fold each corner into the centre. This stage is called a blintz base in origami. It is the starting point for folding many different things.

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Step 3 (one edge)
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Step 3 (finished)

Step 3: Next fold the bottom edge up to the centre of the square as shown on the left. The fold should run parallel to the top edge.

Unfold and repeat on the other three sides. Then unfold the flaps on the left and right.

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Step 4
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Step 5

Step 4: We are ready to add some walls to our box. At the top and bottom of the paper, refold the folds made in the last step. The paper should stand up and become three dimensional.

Step 5: On the walls there are some diagonal creases. If you fold these the left and right sides will stand up.

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Step 6
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The finished box

Step 6: The final step is the fold the left and right corners to the centre of the box. There are three vertical creases on the left and right of the box. I’ve highlighted them on the left picture.

Folding these middle creases locks the walls in place and then you can tidy up by aligning the corners of the paper with the centre of the box. With practise you can do steps five and six together in one fluid motion.

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Changing step 3 to make a lid
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The finished box with a lid.

The lid is very similar to the base, but with slightly different dimensions. It’s folded in the same way as the box except in step three. Instead of folding the edges to the very centre, leave a small gap, with just a little triangle visible. Then continue as normal and you will have a simple lid that fits perfectly. Happy folding!

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