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We were at a friend’s house for brunch, and she put out a little box full of delicately folded magazine pages. Turns out, they were little boxes that were intended to be used as tiny wastebaskets for fish bones and other meal detritus. I learned that her mom would take a discarded magazine, rip out the pages, and watch television while making little box after little box. I took one home to reverse engineer it and make a quick tutorial. Written instructions are below, or you can just jump to the video tutorial. You can use any rectangular sheet of paper.

First, we’ll create some guideline folds. Fold the paper in half horizontally, then unfold it. Next, fold the paper in half vertically, then unfold it.

Second, take the bottom corner of the page, and make a diagonal fold, matching the line of your horizontal fold, with the line of your vertical fold.

Unfold the paper, and repeat the same fold on the other side.

Leaving that fold in place, put your finger where the horizontal fold meets the vertical fold, just like you see in the picture above. Then, fold the paper back onto itself, hinging where your finger is. The bottom corner of the page should closely align with the top corner. (Here’s another link to the video tutorial, in case you need to see this in action.)

Now, do the same to the other side. If you gently push on the middle crease, you’ll be able to see where the paper wants fold into itself.

Now you’ll have a sort of triangle. Flip the triangle so that it points away from you, and fold the sides in to meet each other.

Still working on that top layer, fold the bottom up towards the point, using the edges of the paper as a guide to how far up to fold. You want your fold to align with the edge of the paper.

Now, gently lift the little triangular pocket you created underneath your most recent fold, and tuck in the free corners.

Do the same to the other side, and you’re done! It’s really, really easy once you see how it all comes together.

Origami Box Tutorial


Distracted, working mom seeking short escapes from a hectic life via quick crafts and fast food. Sure, she could meditate, after she cleans the house.

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