Boxing Clever



The art of a practical solution

I’ve been blogging a lot about paper artists, but here’s a completely different kind of entry that I hope will be inspiring nevertheless.

We had a small party at our office just last Friday afternoon, with coworkers bringing homemade cupcakes to share. At the end of the little get-together, we had more than a couple of pastries left over. With the weekend looming, we didn’t want to leave any food behind so we encouraged people to take some home with them. The problem was how to allow multiple people to take a cupcake or two, and what to transport them in. Well, we had a lot of paper on hand – naturally – so I did what I used to do as a kid back in elementary school: I made an origami box.

There are many different kinds of folded boxes you could do, but this is a really simple piece to master. It’s also one of the few folds I still remember without needing to refer to instructions, as it’s very practical and I’ve used it again and again. The nice thing about it is you can use any rectangular piece of paper and don’t need any tape, and two constructions will fit into each other as a lidded container. I used to make them as impromptu gift boxes or temporary digs for spiders and other insects (I was a bug-obsessed child). Regular 8 1/2 by 11" sheets work perfectly, but you could even recycle magazine pages or whatever’s handy, and make them as utilitarian or as decorative as you like.

Boxing Clever 1

It’s best to keep the final box size relatively small, as it’s not meant to be anything more than temporary storage and larger constructions may be too flimsy. You can use any paper, but stiffer stocks will yield sturdier results, so I would recommend some of the heavier stocks like those from our Paper By The Piece cover stocks. But it’s also great to do in a decorative paper, like I did above with this double-sided gift wrap, which allows you to mix and match and line the box all in one fell swoop.

You should definitely try this one at home, and if you have the time, do send us pics of your work – if you’re inspired by this or any of the Tear Sheet posts, we’d love to feature some of your creations in future installments of The Tear Sheet!

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George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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