Thursday, June 26, 2008

Origami Boxes

I'm playing a bit of catch-up, as I missed my post for Tuesday, which is why you're seeing me twice today. I thought I'd show you a project from one of my favorite craft books of all time, Origami Boxesby Tomoko Fuse. As I've mentioned before, I've been making origami figures ever since I was a child. My father used to fold cranes for me to entertain me when I was very young, and thus began my lifelong obsession with little folded paper animals.

As the title indicates, Tomoko Fuse's book focuses solely on a variety of styles of boxes. The above hexagon box is my favorite of all of the ones in the book, although they are all beautiful. I still find it amazing that simply using 12 pieces of square paper you can create something this lovely - no scissors, no glue, no tape and no ruler are involved at all. It is fairly time consuming to make them (especially when you are trying to make them as small as the above box which uses 3" square chiyogami paper), but the effort, to my mind, is completely worthwhile.

I think the boxes themselves are nice gifts, but they also make really lovely presentation boxes for jewelry. The 3" square sheets of paper yield a finished box that is approximately 2 1/4" across, the perfect size to hold a pendant and chain (as you can imagine, I like the box for my koi pendants). I have always been a sucker for the beautiful printed chiyogami paper that you can find sold as packets of origami in many hobby stores, most Japanese bookstores and even some Japanese markets. The hexagon box design displays each pattern to its best effect. It is quite easy to cut a little cotton batting to fit the interior, if you do wish to use the box for jewelry. (I also enjoy filling slightly larger sized boxes with miniature origami animals, which makes a nice gift for a child.)

All of the boxes in this book are modular in design and each folded piece interlocks with the next. If you do not have much experience with origami, there are simpler square box designs to try, which also look lovely. I do recommend in this case that you start out with the plain origami paper which is both less expensive and generally easier to fold than the chiyogami, though. If, on the other hand, you are already familiar with origami but do not yet own this book, I highly recommend it as a worthy addition to your library.

I'll be back tomorrow with links for the weekend. In the meantime, have a great day!


Anonymous said...

So pretty---One time I bought a load of origami boxes 1.5" square on Ebay to package earrings when I was doing art fairs. People LOVED them and they create a great display.

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Candie, I really take my hat off to the masters who create these designs. I can't imagine the time, effort, thought and sheer geometry that goes into them. It's a great idea to use them as special packaging for jewelry sold at a fair. (I can't imagine folding more than a few at a time personally - my folding is not precise enough and I'm terribly slow at it!)