Traditional Decorative Box“Ma Mama always said, life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”

Forrest Gump


Origami Boxes

One of the widest fields of origami design is boxes.  There are hundreds of them! This is partly due to the work of Tomoko Fuse, who has written numerous books on origami boxes. Her designs tend to be modular (using more than 1 piece of paper), and decorated with strong geometric patterns. For an example of a Tomoko fuse box, see my post Solve those present-wrapping blues with an origami box.

I like reviving older origami models that have fallen out of favour, so although there is a wide variety of origami boxes out there, this Decorative Box doesn’t seem to get the recognition it deserves. This is a traditional design that goes by several names.  I’ve seen it called several things, including ‘Traditional Box’, ‘Decorative Box, ‘Fancy Box’, or even ‘Spanish Box’! Whatever it’s called, it’s quite a striking little design and would be ideal for things like loose change, or rings.


Folding the Origami Decorative Box

Like all traditional designs, this is very simple to fold.  It’s basically a blintz base folded on both sides of the paper and opened up. It is suitable for beginners and would make a good activity for children. Any square piece of paper will do, but origami paper that is different colours on each side is recommended. A 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) sheet will produce a Decorative Box that is 8.5cm x 8.5cm (3.5in x 3.5in) and 4cm (1.5in) tall.


Instructions for Folding

The video below shows how to make this model. Alternatively, the late David Petty produced diagrams for this model, which Nick Robinson hosts on his site.

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