Easter colors, folded paper
(Head to the end of the post for step-by-step origami box instructions!)
January 2004, six months before the wedding, budget the size of a postage stamp, I had this crazy notion. Why spend money on flowers when they’ll just wilt the next day? We’ll go origami! So, I horded paper, starting with all the leftover post-Christmas sale paper I could get my hands on. (Everything silver, that is; snowflake patterns when folded aren’t that different from random festive swirls, right?) And, under the guidance of our dear friend R.C. (origami expert and karaoke D.J. extraordinaire), I added roses and lilies and decorative boxes to my feeble repertoire of cranes, balloons, and silly hats.
I set up a TV tray table in the living room and folded during our favorite shows; folded during breaks from designing and constructing our invitations; folded during the much-needed breaks from designing and building our Regency era wedding attire.
Even with the Folding Draft in full force for visiting friends and family, I never quite achieved the colossal riot of origami blooms I’d initially imagined, but still we had a lovely display, and Chopper outdid himself by folding a collection of miniature lilies that graced our wedding cake with perfection.
In all of this, by far my favorite origami revelation (next to marveling at Chopper’s tiny, precise flowers), was the moment I first played with pentagons.
I’d always thought origami was all about square paper. Boy, was I wrong. One evening, R.C. showed up with a box containing not only the prettiest origami paper I’d ever seen, but pentagon templates, each cut from quarter inch Lucite. We traced and cut and folded, and soon I was a master of five-sided boxes and five-petaled lilies. I borrowed the templates and went crazy and when it came time for me to return them, I figured out how to make templates on the computer so I could print out my own ready-to-cut, five sided origami paper whenever I wanted.
It’s the day before Easter, and all the town is scurrying about like headless chickens trying to find those last minute bunnies and baskets. We’re out. I mean completely out. There’s not a chocolate bunny to be had in all of Friday Harbor, and without chocolate bunnies, what’s the point of a big honkin’ Easter basket?
So, I hatch my own simple Easter plan: No candied eggs, no bunnies, no basket. Just a two dollar bag of Jordan almonds, a few pieces of origami paper and my handy pentagon print-out. Sure I’ve got big egg decorating plans for later (craft project #2, coming soon to a blog near you!), but for Easter morning, it’s all about simple elegance.
That and avoiding the traditional Easter candy tummy ache from hell.
Now, I’ve never written out origami steps before, so if this gets too absurdly confusing, just stare long and hard at the helpful photos and if you’re lucky it’ll all make sense by Mother’s Day.
I picked two pieces of paper — one square, and the other cut from my template — so I could demonstrate both boxes at once and show the small folding differences between the two.
Before I began folding, I printed and cut out my pentagon. I have two templates: Five_sided_box_1.png and five_sided_box_2.png. They’re the same size, just two different color schemes, and I’ll be the first to admit they aren’t absolutely precise. I measured, but I didn’t get so uptight as to spend hours nailing each side down to the exact millimeter. Close enough to look pretty is what I say.
Now, the best way to cut out these puppies is to use a ruler and draw lines across each side to the edge of the paper so that you’ve got a guide for your paper cutter or scissors. Again, don’t worry about absolute perfection, so long as they’re as within a millimeter or two, you’ll be fine.
So, on to the folding…
One: First, fold and unfold your paper so that every corner is creased and every side’s center is creased. For a square sheet of paper, you’ll want to fold the corners with right sides together and the centers the opposite way, but for a five sided sheet, it doesn’t matter which way you fold, as each half of each fold will end up going the opposite direction.
Two: Now, with the right side of the paper down, work your way around the folds so that they alternate in and out. For both four-sided and five-sided boxes, you’ll want the center-side folds to go in and the corner folds to go out. The result should be something that resembles a little star-shaped pyramid.
Three: Lay your pyramid flat, then take one of the outer edges and fold it up toward the center, matching the center crease.
Four: Take the top of this new fold, then fold it down onto itself, matching the angled fold from the previous step. You’ll notice with the five-sided paper, the fold doesn’t reach the bottom edge as it does with the four-sided paper. This isn’t something to worry about — just follow matching the creases as directed.
Five: Next, you’ll want to open the fold you just made into a pocket and then press the pocket flat against the paper so that your pyramid now has a squared-off edge.
Six: Now, move to the next corner of your pyramid and repeat the last three steps. Repeat on every corner, so that you now have something that looks like a house. Note: As you do this, you’ll notice you’ve got squared-off edges that have pocket folds on one side and are blank on the other side. It doesn’t matter which side has which as the following steps will even out all the folds around your four (or five) corners.
Seven: Next, for each pocket fold, fold the bottom tip up, exposing the right side of the paper below. Again, you’ll notice that for the five-sided box, the fold won’t reach the top of the triangle as it will for the four-sided box.
Eight: Now, fold the remaining outside lower edge of each pocket fold over to its blank opposite side. You should end up creating a diamond shape with the bottom half made up entirely of right-side out paper.
Nine: Give the top half of your diamond a soft fold. This will assist in creating your box bottom during the next steps.
Ten: Now, turn your diamond so that the inside-out half is toward your folding surface. You should now be able to carefully open up the decorative box tips by soft-folding them toward the outside.
Eleven: You’ll then want to open your box by using the surface or your fingers to widen and flatten the bottom while being careful not to let the box sides unfold too much. The bottom of the box will probably be a little messy, but it’s the bottom — nobody will notice.
Twelve: For your finishing touch, take a thin stick — a craft paint brush or a chopstick works well — and mold each box tip around it to create a nice, rounded petal shape.
Voila! Your candy boxes are ready for goodies!