Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's all About Presentation : How to Make a Paper Box

Today I'm going to show you how to make a simple handmade box. It's the box that inspired last month's Art Spark challenge. I first encountered this box pattern when I received a beautiful piece of jewelry from the lovely and talented Lorelei Eurto which was packaged lovingly in a box just like this.

For my boxes I purchased a couple of packages of scrapbooking card stock.

It is perfect because it is both beautiful and square.
Square is where we start with this project. You need two pieces of paper the same size, and perfectly square. The size of the paper determines the size of the box. I am illustrating with 12 x12 inch paper but if you quarter it, you end up with four boxes of petite size. (my favorite)

This is all you need. Scissors and paper. Make sure the paper is stiff like card stock. It makes your box strong and your folds crisp.

Choose two pieces of complementing paper. One will be the top and one will be the bottom of the box. Begin by removing any extra tabs that have been attached to the paper by the manufacturer.

**Please note -I have chosen two pieces of paper that are identical as one side of them is decorated and the other printed red.

Choose the paper/color that you'd like to be the bottom.
If you are using 12 x12" size paper, trim 1/2" from two perpendicular sides.

The bottom of the box needs to be a bit smaller to fit inside the top when folded. I usually eyeball this but if you are making smaller boxes, trim a smaller amount proportionally.

Next, with your chosen color for the bottom facing the table, fold the square into a triangle meeting opposite corners. Open the paper flat and fold the two other corners together. Make soft creases when you do this. You are making a guideline for the next step. Open your paper flat once more.

Above you will see the next step illustrated. Bring your four corners together into the middle using the nice 'X' you made in the center of the square.

Once every one is in, turn each one out to look like this:

Beautiful. You're doing great!

Now the edges of the square get folded to the center 'X' point. Fold them in and flatten them back out again.

My finger is pointing to the crease you will make.

Showing two sides up. All four sides will come in to meet the center point, get creased and then fold out again.

Once you have folded all sides in and then back out you will see a small crease-square in each corner of the arrangement.

What you will do now is carefully cut two places on parallel sides of the work. You know when to stop cutting when you reach the crease-square's point. The point of the scissors above are in just the right place to stop.

Now after four beautifully precise cuts, you have made this (above)

Open out the "short" sides like the unfolding wings of a bird ( I know, but it's late and it's a good visual)

With the open wings flat on the table, lift the two "long" sides up and have their corners meet and overlap. (How do-you-do corner? Just fine, corner.)

Uh oh!

The outside corner is too long and too pointy.

So we trim it. Just a bit, to make it even.

You can see both parts of the next steps above.

#1. while holding the newly acquainted corners together, let that bird wing that we opened up earlier reach up and wrap around and over them to hold them together.

( hey, this metaphor's not too bad).

When you lay the corner in the box bottom, it will hold with friction. If you wanted a more permanent bond try a bit of glue or double sticky tape.

#2. Do the same with the other side.

You have just completed the bottom of the box.

Nice one.

Now for the top.

The pattern I would like on the top is now facing the table as I start folding. Repeat all steps the same as with the bottom.

Your top half will be a tiny bit bigger and should be able to slide down easily but with some resistance. If you think it's too loose or too tight, don't fret.

That ill-fitted box bottom is a great drawer organizer and you can make a new one by adjusting the width of the 1/2" strips that we trimmed from two sides of the bottom paper in the beginning.

The top taking shape. Here we go again with the bird wings...

They enfold the two sides and..... BAM! A boxtop.



Jenni said...

That is adorable and I am definitely going to try it. Origami not my strong point...however your step by step instructions are nice and clear, so am going to give it a go! Thank you so much. I like the fact you can make your whatever size you need.

Izzy said...

What a great tutorial (and fun too)! I just sent a handmade necklace to a friend - wish I had sent it in a handmade box... Maybe next time!

Jen V. said...

I love making paper boxes! My folding steps are a little different but end up basically the same. I figured out how to make a lid that doesn't go the whole way down the sides of the box so you can see the coordinating papers on the sides. Let me know if you'd like a guest tutorial. :)

Kristi Bowman said...

This is perfect, I've been wanting to try my hand at making boxes, I can't wait to try! Thank you!

MaCarroll Beads said...

Great post D'Arsie! I am definitely going to try this! I'm not one for fancy packaging, but this one looks fun to make :O)

jewelryanalysis said...

me love it , once i made a box to keep a gift for a friend and i couldn't find a bag to keep it in :P so i made that to :P .LOVE this idea :)

Patty said...

Wonderful D'Arsie - thanks for sharing! I've also made these in the past and think the method I had was a little different as well. They're a wonderful handmade touch.

VanBeads said...

Well, now I have to try this! I have a friend who makes beautiful paper boxes, and I've always loved presenting a piece of finished jewelry in a handmade container of some sort. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and detailed tutorial!

Christine said...

Thank you for posting this design. I am excited to make unique boxes for my pieces. The instructions and photos look well done and hoping easy to follow!

Kelli said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't WAIT to try this!! This is SO very cool!
Thanks D'Arsie!!

Higgins Design Studio said...

Great tutorial! That's how I teach the simple folded box. Try making it from old greeting cards, they turn out really pretty!
For another fun folded box, go to Yasutomo's web site and look for the one with the accordion photo frame inside... more complicated, but gorgeous!
Thanks for sharing and for the great photos!

Laynah said...

Just letting you know, I just linked to this tutorial from my latest post

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