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  Section title: Activities


Origami Box

Origami is the art of creating shapes from paper by folding, and not using glue or tape to hold the shape together. The Japanese art of paper-folding has been around for centuries, though paper-making was introduced to Japan by the Chinese in the 7th century. One of the most famous origami designs is the Japanese crane. It is said that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes your wish will come true. There are an endless number of origami designs and you can create more of your own.


  • paper* (origami paper, construction paper, wrapping paper, or other coloured paper)
  • scissors

* The larger your square of paper, the larger your finished box will be; the smaller the square, the smaller the box.

Tip: Press firmly on all of your folds so that you will have a sharp crease. This will make it easier for you to fold your box inward at the end.


Materials needed for origami box.   Step 1. Make sure your paper is a perfect square. If your paper is already a square, skip ahead to step 3. If your paper is a rectangle shape, fold one corner of your paper to the opposite edge, making a triangle, as shown.

Step 2. Cut off excess paper as shown. Unfold.   Step 3. Using your sheet of square paper, fold your paper in half lengthwise.

Step 4. To make sure you have a sharp crease, press firmly along the edge of the fold.   Step 5. Take your folded piece of paper and fold in half again in the other direction.

Step 6. Unfold. Your square sheet should now be divided into four squares.   Step 7. Take one corner and fold tip to meet the sheet's center. Press down on fold.

Step 8. Repeat with the other three corners, making sure each tip meets at the centre.

Photo A   Photo B
Step 9. Fold one side in to meet the center, as shown in photo A. Unfold, and repeat with the other three sides. Fold lines are shown in photo B.

Step 10. Unfold two opposite sides. Your paper should have folds as shown in the photo.   Step 11. Re-crease folds along the two longer sides (the sides that are still closed). This will make the first two sides of your box stand up.

Step 12. Fold up one of the shorter sides along the fold closest to the centre. By folding this side, the other sides will tuck inwards as the flap comes up, as shown.

Photo A   Photo B
Step 13. The side that you just folded down will become the third side of your box. Fold the flap down toward the inside so that the third side is the same height as the other two sides you just folded (see photo A). The tip of the fold should come to the centre of the box, and will become the box's floor (photo B). It should stay in place by itself.

Step 14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 with the remaining side.   You now have a lovely origami box. Make others in different sizes and colours and use them to store various things, or make one slightly smaller than another to make a gift box with a lid.

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