How to Make an Easy Paper Box
Paper boxes are easy, environmental friendly crafts that make good gifts, trays, and storage containers. You can make them by folding any size paper into a variety of shapes. They are a useful, fun way to use up flyers and discarded paper.
Part 1Making a Rectangular Paper Box
1For this method, rectangular paper works best. If you are making a gift or a party favor, use brightly colored and/or patterned paper. If you are simply practicing your paper folding skills, use some scrap paper instead.
2If using patterned paper, make sure the pattern is on the outside. Unfold the paper again. Make sure each fold is creased well. You can crease the folds with your fingernail, a coin, or some other small, hard object. If you're using cardstock or another kind of thick paper, you can use something called a "scoring tool." This can be a very dull knife, an empty ballpoint pen, a bone folder, or an embossing tool.
3Take the edge and line it with the center crease. Once again, the pattern should be on the outside. Unfold the paper. It should now be in quarters sectioned widthwise.
4The pattern should be on the outside. Unfold the paper once more. It should now be in eight equal sections.
5You are doing the same thing with this new lengthwise center crease as you did in Step 3. This will give the new side four sections. The paper should now have 16 sections in all. Do not unfold your paper this time. Keep in folded lengthwise.
6Line the corners up with the nearest lengthwise crease. The folded corners should each form right triangles with their bases flush with a lengthwise crease. You should end up with an uneven octagon. A strip of paper should be between the center creased edges and the edge of the newly folded corner, creating a flap.
7This opens the center of the paper so you can see the center crease inside the box. This flap will be seen from outside the box. If you are making a gift or decorative box, you might consider using two-sided patterned paper for additional ornamentation.
8You can grip them by the creases in the middle. You should now have a complete box. You may have to re-crease some of the folds to make your box stand more securely.
9Use some scotch tape on the corners if you would like them to sit flat. Decorate the bed of the box with markers or pens if you want to. If you're using it to hold a gift, write a surprise message to your giftee that will be covered by the item.
Part 2Making an Alternate Rectangular Box
1Starting with a rectangular sheet works best. As above, the paper you pick will depend on the box's purpose. If this is a gift or a decorative item, use patterned or brightly colored paper. If it's just for practice, use scrap paper.
2If using patterned paper, make sure the pattern is on the inside. This is in contrast to Method 1, so be sure to pay attention. Unfold the paper.
3Make sure the pattern is on the inside. Take the outer edges and fold to the center crease. Unfold the two creases you just made. The paper should now have four vertical sections. At this point, the paper is still half folded, so you should only see two of them and no pattern.
4The paper should now have flaps, with the pattern of the paper visible. Each flap should be three layers folded on top of one another in a Z pattern. Do not unfold the paper.
5When the paper is face down, you should see only the center crease and the two lengthwise edges. Fold the paper towards the middle crease so that it lines up with the two outer creases. Unfold partially so that the outer creases return to edges. There should be two lengthwise sections before unfolding and four lengthwise sections after.
6Line up the bottom outer edge with the crease. The new triangular section will have a flap in the middle of it.
7This should create a new flap in the shape of a symmetrical trapezoid.
8The bottom right corner will be on the other side of the third crease. The newly made section will be triangular with a point at the end. The top should have a flap.
9Lift the newly folded section and carefully slip into the flap on the section beneath it. The flap and the folded triangular corner will be visible.
10Take the triangular corner and fold underneath the flap. You may need to re-crease the folds. You should have a straight edge along the bottom. The newly folded flap section will be in the shape of a trapezoid. It will sit with its parallel sides flush with a second larger trapezoid.
11It may help to turn the paper 180 degrees before you begin. When finished, the two sides should mirror each other. The paper should now be in the shape of an oblong octagon.
12This should complete the box by creating four standing sides. You may need to reinforce the crease to get the sides to stand better. As with Method 1, you may want to decorate the bed if it's for a special occasion.
Part 3Making a Square Box
1Think about the purpose of the box. If this is a gift or a decorative item, use patterned or colored paper. For this particular Method, square paper should be used. Origami paper is ideal for a gift box. Make sure your paper is completely even on each side. Either use square paper, or measure and cut the paper so each side is the same size.
2If using patterned paper, make sure the pattern is on the inside. Turn the paper 90 degrees and repeat this step. You should now have four sections. 
3You should start with the paper patterned side down, folding each corner to reveal the pattern side of the paper. The plain side should be covered up now. Your paper should now look like a smaller square made up of four identical triangles.
4The newly folded sections should be folded down on top of the corner folds you just made in Step 3. The paper should now be a rectangle. When folded completely, you should see only two rectangular flaps that meet at the center.
5The folds should be made over the ones created in Step 4. The shape will now be an even smaller square. The only visible pieces at this point should again be two rectangular flaps that meet at the center.
6Rotate Stop unfolding once you have the square made up of triangles that you made in Step 3. Fold two parallel edges back towards the center on the already creased fold. There are two sets of edges to choose form, but they are identical. You are not making a new fold. Let them sit vertically, as these will be the beginnings of your box's sides.
7This should partially unfold one shorter end of the rectangle. Don't use too much force to avoid tearing the paper. You may need to re-crease any edges that aren't crisp. You should now have three outwards-facing triangles, two of which with a central crease. The base of each triangle forms three sides of the square that will make up the next side of your box.
8Pinch the central creases together to invert the triangles and push them down. Push inward on the creases and line the triangles against the central crease of the new side. The paper should start folding, lifting the new side up.
9This last triangle's base will be the crease that will create the inner lower edge of this side. After folding in, the last triangle should now be in the bed of the box, creating a square with three other identical triangles.
10All four triangles should fit perfectly into the bottom of the box. Your box's bed will look like the square made up of four triangles in Step 3. If you want the triangles to stay perfectly flat, you may need to tape them down.
Part 4Making a Pillow Box
1Unlike the previous boxes discussed, you will need to do some cutting and gluing. Don't let this intimidate you; pillow boxes are actually the easiest type of paper box to make. It's best to use cardstock or another type of thicker paper for these boxes. In addition to paper, you'll need scissors, a ruler, and glue. You will also need a scoring tool if you use cardstock.
2Find a template you like online. You can pick a minimalist pattern or an elaborate one. You can even print out a blank template that you can decorate yourself. If you choose to decorate the paper, do so before you start folding. Decorating an already-folded box is both difficult and runs the risk of collapsing it. You can also print a blank template directly onto decorative paper.
3Using your scissors, carefully cut along the lines designated by the template. A standard pillow box template has two parallel straight sides and four curved sides. They look similar to a wide hour glass. Some may be more elaborate, but they still tend to keep a "pillow" shape.
4For straight fold lines, line your ruler up next to the marked edges on the template to guide you. The curved fold lines will be trickier, since you'll need to freehand them. Gently run your scoring tool up and down the lines until an indent forms. Don't be so rough that you cut through the paper.
5If your template is meant to face outside (such as most decorative ones), flip your paper over first. Fold inward to keep your design facing outward. Use your ruler again to guide you if you have trouble.
6Fold the second straight line inward. The skinny flap will be what holds the box together. Flip the box back over and apply glue evenly on the tab.
7Fold the box in half again, decorative sides facing out. Tuck the flap under the far edge of the box. Line up the flap so that its crease is now flush with the far edge. Place your box in a heavy book while the glue dries to seal the edges.
8Once the glue has dried, gently fold the round scored lines down towards the center of the box with your fingers. They should now form two parallel sides each shaped like a pointed oval. Because of their concave shape, the edges should hold together without any additional glue. If you used thin paper, though, glue may be necessary.