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How to Make a Box Out of Paper

Updated April 17, 2017

Boxes can be folded from almost any type and size of paper. Experiment with different patterns and types of paper as you learn to make boxes with these simple steps. When you have mastered and memorised these easy box folds, you will be able make a box in less than five minutes from almost any scrap of paper, wherever you are. You can make paper boxes instantly in any size to leave as small presents, to brighten someone's day or as a needed container. Paper boxes may also serve as drinking cups in a pinch.

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  1. Fold the paper rectangle in half horizontally. Crease the fold and unfold the paper. Fold the left side of the rectangle in to meet the centre crease. Make a new crease exactly between the left edge and the centre of the paper. Repeat with the right side. Leave the left and right flaps folded in to meet in the centre of the rectangle. You have formed a vertical rectangle.

  2. Turn the vertical rectangle to a horizontal position. Fold the rectangle in half horizontally to make a crease down the centre. Unfold the paper. Fold the left flap in to the centre to make a crease between the left edge and centre. Repeat with the right side. Unfold both the left and right flaps so you can see the creases.

  3. Fold the top left corner of the rectangle down in a dog-eared triangle to meet the creases you made earlier. Fold in each of the remaining three corners. Each triangle will fold in about one third of the short width of the rectangle, and the bottom of each triangle will match the horizontal crease. The edges of the original middle paper folds will still stick out in the centre, past the edge of each triangle corner. Fold each of these edges back to the left, and right over the dog-eared corners.

  4. Use your thumbnail to make strong creases down the straight centre folds. Slide your fingers beneath these straight folds, and gently open up the box. The top and bottom will be open, but the sides will begin to form up like a pocket. The triangle dog-eared corners should begin to form right angles as you fold out.

  5. Straighten the right angles in each corner, and the "open" top and bottom will naturally pop up in the remaining two sides of the paper box. Make a second paper box to form a lid.

  6. Tip

    Use a square cut of paper to make a square paper box. Use thicker paper for stronger boxes, but very thick paper is harder to fold in small boxes. Decorate your boxes or make them out of wrapping paper and stationery. Fold a dollar bill into a paper box to leave as a tip. Make small boxes from recycled Christmas cards, and attach ribbon for homemade Christmas ornaments.


    Crease carefully to avoid paper cuts. Boxes will crush easily.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rectangle of paper, any size

About the Author

Amanda Herron

Amanda Herron is a photojournalist and writer whose credits include: "Georgia Realtor Magazine," "Jackson Parent Magazine," "Christian Guitarist and Bassist" and the Associated Press. Herron has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University. She is a member of the NPPA and has awards from the Tennessee Press Association and Baptist Press.

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