Origami Magazine Box - a Pleasing Project from Making Things

Making Things, Finding Use, Meaning, and Satisfaction in Crafting Everyday Objects is an appealing new book on the craft scene. Just released in May, it features more than one hundred projects that will encourage you to use what you have on hand. Not only paper crafts, you'll find a myriad of ideas for sewing, finger cording, knitting, punch needling, working with clay, dyeing, macrame, and more. 


As for paper projects, there are cardboard toys and games, a cardboard loom for weaving a pouch, freezer paper printing, block printing, paper mache, and two kinds of boxes, just to name some of the enjoyable options.


orangle cover of Making Things craft book features white line drawing embroidery of craft supplies including bottles and jars


Friends and authors Erin Boyle and Rose Pearlman have created an array of doable DIYs that will have you looking at everyday materials in new ways. I love the rustic aesthetic of the projects... they're fresh, simple, and perhaps best of all, useful. 


The press release describes the book perfectly: Scouring sidewalks, stoops, and thrift stores, the authors repurpose materials to create projects that range from functional to fun and frivolous. Step-by-step guides make it simple to start and finish each project, while the book’s stunning photographs show how each craft can fit within an organized, thoughtfully curated home.


collection of three magazine page folded paper lidded boxes, each closed with a brown paper belly band

I had a chance to look through Making Things and chose the Magazine Box to share here on the blog as an example of what you'll find between the covers. It's a satisfying little project and the supplies could not be easier to gather!





"We learned this genius fold from Sok Song, a master of origami generally and of useful origami in particular. “Magazine box” refers to the material used; unlike many classic origami folds, this method was developed to work with the thin, glossy, rectangular pages ripped from magazines instead of square origami paper. We especially love to use our favorite matte pages from fancy magazines for these boxes, but any creasable paper of a foldable weight will do. We love this box because it doesn’t require any paper prep or scissors and because both lid and bottom are the same size but fit together perfectly. Our very favorite boxes are little—made from a single sheet of a magazine, creased and torn in half, with each side of the box made from half the sheet of paper. You can size up, but the sweet spot is found in the smaller examples, and the boxes loses stability if made from sheets larger than a standard magazine page."


work surface shows pair of hands folding magazine page origami box surrounded by extra paper, beads, fruit in bowl, scissors, and cake slice on plate


Two rectangular pieces of paper of identical size


four image collage of hands folding brown kraft paper


1. Fold one piece of paper in half lengthwise.


2. Open the fold, then fold the two long ends into the center crease you just made.


four image collage of hands folding brown kraft paper

3. Open all folds. 


4. Next, fold the paper in half widthwise.


5. Open the fold, then fold the two short ends into the new center crease.


four image collage of hands folding brown kraft paper

6. Fold one corner on an angle until it lines up with the first crease and crease the paper.

7. Repeat for the remaining three corners.

8. Working on one side, then the other, fold down and crease the edge of paper over the top of the triangles.


two image collage of hands folding brown kraft pape

9. Turn your work so one short end faces you. With both hands, open up both folded edges by gently pulling them from the center and out.

10. Pinch the corner creases to make them sharp and square.

pair of hands displaying brown kraft paper origami box with lid raised

11. Repeat all the steps to make the second part of the box.


nine brown kraft paper origami boxes filled with collection of small items such as hair clips, clothespins, and thread spools

Paper band: Thin strips of paper scraps, kid art, or magazine pages can be used to create a neat band for wrapping up bundles of homemade stationery to give as gifts or securing a paper box closed.


To make: Cut a strip of paper roughly 1-1.5 inches / 2.5-4 cm wide in a length that fits around what you plan to wrap, with the ends overlapping by 1 inch / 2.5 cm or so. Glue or tape the ends together to create a paper band that can be slid on and off your paper box or bundle as needed.

Materials note: Paper gum tape is one of our favorite little supplies to keep on hand, and it's perfect for this use because it's only sticky where moistened and pre-cut to the perfect width.

two smiling young women dressed casually and standing in front of brick wall

Authors Erin Boyle and Rose Pearlman

Excerpted with permission from Making Things; by Erin Boyle and Rose Pearlman, published by Hardie Grant Publishing, May 2024, hardcover, 320 pages


lidded origami box made of colorfully printed paper with belly band wrapped around it

I just had to try making a box for myself and used two 5 x 7-inch rectangles from a magazine page; it only took a few minutes to complete. Next, I plan to use leftover pieces of wrapping paper that I never seem to part with, thinking I'll find a use for them someday... I'm happy to say that day has arrived! These boxes will be perfect to gift my handmade paper jewelry and ornaments.

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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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