Masu Origami Box

While most of my origami posts are centered around the usefulness of envelopes and folding for notebooks, the masu box is indispensable for a variety of purposes. It is folded from a square piece of paper. The size of the folded box is approximately one-third of the unfolded paper.

Obviously, a box is useful for holding things.

  • In the collage above, the left column shows two office/business uses for the masu box. Especially when traveling, I often fold a masu box and drop in change from shopping. I leave the coins in the box as a tip (adding bills as needed for a reasonable tip).
  • The middle column displays two fun uses – as a game “basket” and as a small gift box (two boxes must be folded). When folding a gift box, the dimensions of the paper for the base should be 1/2-inch less than the top (for the pictured box, the top is 7 inches and the base is 6 1/2 inches). Pictured here is a sonobe cube.
  • The last column includes food-related uses – as a snack dish and as a ramekin used in cooking (dry ingredients). Using a masu box is great because you can simply discard it when finished – no dishes to wash – and the box provides more structure than a napkin or paper towel for holding snacks.

Folding Instructions

My folding instructions are visually depicted below.

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