Papercraft: Origami Boxes for Gifts & Trinkets | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

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Papercraft: Origami Boxes for Gifts & Trinkets

teacher avatar Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction & Overview


    • 2.

      Paper Ideas


    • 3.

      Folding Technique


    • 4.

      Box Sizes & Proportions


    • 5.

      Making a Lid


    • 6.

      Making an Insert


    • 7.

      Further Ideas & Conclusion


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About This Class


The festive season is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about the gifts and the way to present them!

I'm Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and in this quick class I will show you how to turn a sheet of paper into a neat box in a few simple steps without using any other materials! This is a really simple, but versatile technique for making origami boxes, which are great for packaging small gifts, and if you are not in a holiday mood you can also make nice trinket boxes or desk tidies!

In this class you'll learn:

  • how to fold paper into a box;
  • how to calculate box sizes and proportions;
  • how to create complementary lids & inserts;
  • what types of paper and card to use to create original boxes;
  • what extra touches you can add to make your boxes special.


  • 90 gsm or origami paper to practice with;
  • 120–200 gsm paper or card to make final durable boxed (please watch Paper Ideas video for more details and ideas).


  • ruler;
  • pencil;
  • craft knife;
  • cutting mat (optional);
  • scissors.

Resources (please see attached files in the project section):

  • Printable Box Templates;
  • Folding Instructions;
  • Size Guide;
  • Printable Patterns & Colours in A4 & A3 formats.

I cannot wait to see your origami boxes! Join in and let’s get folding!;)

Meet Your Teacher

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Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography

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1. Introduction & Overview: The festive season is just around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about the gifts and the way to present them. This is Jenny from [inaudible]. In this quick class, I will show you how to turn a sheet of paper into any box in a few simple steps without using any other materials. I'll also share, if you design ideas, about how you can make your boxes unique by using different types of paper, and by creating lids and inserts [inaudible] has the design. This is a really simple but versatile technique for making Origami boxes, which are great for packaging small gifts. If you are not in the holiday mood, you can also make nice trinket boxes and desk tidies. This class comes with a few printable box and patent templates, which I have designed specially for you. So you can easily get started and make some awesome boxes. I cannot wait to see what you make in this class. Enroll now, and let's get folding. 2. Paper Ideas: Working with paper is an exciting tangible experience, which only gets better when you start considering different types of paper you can use. To begin with, you can always use pre-cut origami paper, which comes in a range of different sizes and colors. All standard whites or colored nitrogens and printer paper. This kind of paper is very light and flimsy, which makes it really easy to practice with. But you might prefer to use a different paper once you have mastered the technique. The main thing you'll need to consider when choosing paper for this project, is its weight. Ninety GSM is good for practice and small boxes. If you want to make something nice and reasonably durable, thick heavy paper or wildcard. A hundred and twenty to 200 GSM paper is reasonably easy to fold, but holds its shape much better. Keep in mind that the heavier the paper, the better it is for creating larger boxes. Here are some ideas of what paper you can use. Colored paper and card is the first obvious choice and a good starting point for any paper craft project. Textured papers can be used to create an interesting effect, however, be careful what you select. It needs to be something which can be easily folded. Heavyweight textured papers do not fold well. Recycled wrapping paper or fiber based wallpaper can be used to create really cool origami boxes. So have a look around the house, you never know what you might find. You can also use pages from old newspapers, magazines, books, music scores, atlases and old maps. If you're feeling really creative, you can hand print your own pattern paper. Here are some lines [inaudible] puzzles we printed earlier, feel free to experiment and check out our printmaking classes. All the techniques you can use to create your own unique paper, include watercolor wash, special effects spray paints, or stamp texture. Try recycling paintings, sketching, or calligraphy scraps. This will add a very nice personal artistic touch to your books. You can also print digital patterns. We created a few printable templates, and some nice patterns for you to use, which you can download in the project section for this class, and then print on your home printer on the paper or card of your choice. So get some paper ready, and let's start folding. 3. Folding Technique: Let's start with the basics of the folding technique. Firstly, you need to start with a square sheet of paper. To get used to folding, you can use standard 90 GSM printer paper. For this demonstration, I'm going to use one of the printable templates I created. I recommend you do the same to make it easier to fold all the way for the class. Then you're going to work out your own sizes for the books or use my size guide or other templates. I will talk about sizes a bit later. To cut out a square, use a ruler and a craft knife, and make sure that your square is as perfect as possible. When ready, place your paper square on the table, colored or button side down. Using a pencil and a ruler, find and mark the center point. This can be done by putting a ruler from corner to corner on the diagonal and gently drawing a line around the center with a pencil, and then doing it on the other diagonal by crossing the original line. Now fold each of the corners to the center point. Try to be as accurate as possible and properly fold and crease your paper. Now that your paper is folded into a square like that, fold and crease each of four sides to the center point. Roll through all the sides in order. This will create the base and the size of the box. When you finish folding the sides, unfold two opposite colors. You should have something which looks like this. Now, let's strengthen this two folds. This will make straighter and sharper edges for the books and make it hold its shape better. Having the paper folded this way, now fold inwards and crease both extended parts one after another. Firstly, fold and crease the edge of the future base, and then fold and crease the top edge of the side. This will make the next step easier. Now here's the fiddly bit, but we're almost done. Gently fold the first of these corners inwards using your index finger, and crease it so it stays folded. Make sure to follow this crease to align this fold too. When two corners are ready, pull the flap over like that. Do the same at the other end and we're done. Here's our completed origami box. An extra sheet of paper on the inside of the box can also add a nice personal touch if you write a message or draw something on it. That's it for the basics of the folding technique. Now, let's work out how to calculate paper and box sizes. 4. Box Sizes & Proportions: The length of the folded square is a sum of the length of the base and two sides. So based on that, you can work out what you can create. The standard folded technique we have just used assumes that we have a box height half that of the length of the base. I refer to this as a standard box. If you divide the folded square in three and fold the side to the second further mark, this will create a cubic box like this. You can easily explore making anything from a cubic box to a low box, to even a tray or a shallow lid with a very short sides. To do this, pull the sides along the points which are closer to the edge rather than the center. I don't recommend making boxes with sides bigger than the base because it gets really tricky to fold things that way. If you're not afraid of doing some simple math, I have attached a guide with an easy way of calculating the size of the sheet of paper based on the desired sizes of the base and the sides. Alternatively, you can refer to another guide I provided for a few different sizes you can work with right away and not worry about any calculations. This guide also includes sizes for complimentary leads and inserts. So now let's have a look how we can make them. 5. Making a Lid: Create in a box lid is as easy as making the box, but some of the measurements need to change. Start off with another sheet of paper the same size as that used to create the original box, or if you're using my printable templates, use one for the large lid. Repeat the first two steps the same as you've done for the box. Now, the third step is different, because the lid needs to fit over the original box. Place their original box in the center of the folded sheet of paper for the lid, and mark around it with a pencil, leaving a millimeter or two from each side of the box. If you are using heavier paper, you'll need to allow a few more millimeters for the thickness of the folded paper. You can work it out by experimented. If you want to use a more precise method, you can refer to the sizes provided in my guide. Mark points for the future fold using a ruler and the given numbers, which are calculated for standard nitrogen sandpaper. After you've done that, fold the paper placing the ruler along the marks. Put your fingers onto the paper and fold it upwards. When all the folds are created, reinforce them by creasing, so that the lid holds its shape. Then complete the remaining steps as before. Here's the finished lid. 6. Making an Insert: You can make your box look super nice and sophisticated by creating an insert out of paper in a different color or with a different pattern or texture. A clever combination of different papers can create an amazing tactile experience and make the super-simple box look really special. Create an insert is an opposite process to create a lid. In this case, the size of the base needs to be smaller than the outer box. To create an insert, you'll need to start with a large sheet of paper. I am using my printable templates for this insert. If you make an a different insert, please refer to the sizes guide in the project section or calculate the desired size yourself. I'm going to make my insert stick out by one centimeter. So the size of the insert need to be taller, which means I need to fold beyond the center point. Since I have calculated all the sizes, I can mark them here with the pencil. The rest of the process is the same. Here is my box and insert. If you're making a box with an insert, the bases of the box and the lid must be the same size. To make the lid look neat, it needs to be the height of the insert sticking out above the outer box. To create a lid in the size, you need to use smaller paper and calculate the size separately based on the length of the base of the original outer box and the bit of the insert sticking out above it. Again, you can use the provided template and refer to the size guide in the project section, or if you make any box in your own size, calculate the desired size yourself. Making shallow lids is a bit fiddly, but they work really well with the boxes with inserts. Also, what we've just done makes two separate boxes with different types of lids. One pair is the box with the large lid, and the other one is the insert with a small lid on top. 7. Further Ideas & Conclusion: This is how you make cool and simple boxes which you can use the package small gifts or use as described as otoscope trinkets. Remember to experiment with different types of paper to get the most exciting results. Keep in mind the paper weight, and always double check all measurements to make the lids and the inserts fit together with the boxes. If you use heavy paper for your books, consider cutting the excess paper under the flap with scissors. The box will stay intact, but the sides thickness will be more even. If you want, you can fix the flaps on the inside of the box by overlapping them or use double-sided tape or a sticker to attach them together. Consider putting a little piece of paper or a sticker with a message on the inside of the box to make it extra special. You can also create multiple inserts and make this box into a nice display piece. If you are going to use this as a gift box, consider filling it with tinsel, confetti, or anything else so as to make it super festive. Experiment and have fun. That's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new. If you like this class please leave a review so more people could discover it. If you have any sort of questions, leave a comment on the community board for this class and I'll be able answer it and provides feedback. I cannot wait to see your origami boxes and hear about your experience. Make sure to post your work in the project section for this class, and if you are going to share your work on Instagram, please tag attitudeskills so that we can see there too. Also, don't hesitate to follow our page on Facebook to see what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages if you need to get in touch about something, and not to miss if you're featured in our students spotlight gallery. Thank you for enrolling in this lesson, and I hope to see you in our other classes.