Introduction: Boil Water or Cook Rice in an Origami Paper Box

Picture of Boil Water or Cook Rice in an Origami Paper Box

Assume MacGyver has been stranded in a swamp. He got maps, compass, things to make fire, but his water bottle is empty and he is thirsty. The swamp water is unfit for human consumption and he knows very well that drinking swamp water without boiling will make him terribly sick. He got no vessel or equipment to boil water.

What would have MacGyver done in that condition to boil water and quench his thirst ? He would have made an origami paper box and heated water in it...

You can even cook rice and boil an egg in the paper box. See the video above where water is being boiled in a paper box.

Please go through this instructable on how to make an origami paper box and then boil water in it.

Step 1: Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-1

Picture of Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-1
There are many instructions available on making an Origami Paper Box. However, please go through the steps below if you do not know how to make an origami Paper Box.
  • Take a piece of paper of size 10 inches x 10 inches approximately. You can use news papers, magazine papers, craft paper or any other paper available to you. Here I have used a glossy magazine paper which is rectangular in size.
  • If the paper is in a rectangular shape, fold it to a triangle shape joining the corners, and trim off the excess. Now you will have a square piece of paper

Step 2: Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-2

Picture of Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-2

  • Fold the square paper in half
  • Open the fold and again fold it in half in the other direction
  • Open the fold and bring the paper to the original position
  • Take one corner and fold it to a triangle so that the corner touches the center of the fold
  • Fold all four corners like this so that all of them meet at the center.

Step 3: Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-3

Picture of Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-3

  • Take right side of paper and make an 1/4th rectangular fold so that the edge of the fold is aligned with the center of paper. (Please see Picture 1)
  • Take left side of paper and fold same as earlier (Please see Picture 2)
  • Rotate the paper and fold the other two sides towards center as in 3rd picture

Step 4: Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-4

Picture of Making an Origami Paper Box : Step-4

  • Unfold the paper all the way down leaving the triangular fold on left and right sides of the paper
  • Take the top left portion, fold it as shown in third picture. This will make one side of the box.
  • Fold the protruding triangular portion inside the box so that the triangular portion comes at the the bottom of the box and the top is level with the other two sides
  • Now repeat the same procedure on the other side, and your origami paper box is ready

Please see the completed box in the last picture.

Step 5: How to Boil Water in the Paper Box

Picture of How to Boil Water in the Paper Box

First thinks first... You need to fill the paper box before placing it on fire. If you do not have water in the box, it will catch fire and the box will be burned.

  • You need to make some arrangement for making fire and placing the paper box on it. Here I have used a tealight candle for fire and few empty tealight candle holders as support on the sides
  • Initially I tried with 3 supports around the fire but they could not hold the paper box filled with water firmly over fire.
  • Then I arranged four supports and also three rows of tealight holders so that the paper box is slightly above the fire

Please refer the pictures above for the entire arrangement

Step 6: Add Rice to the Hot Water

Picture of Add Rice to the Hot Water

  • The water in the paper box is very warm to the touch in about 5 minutes. Then I thought of adding a spoonful of raw rice in the paper box to see how it holds.
  • In about ten minutes, the water in the paper box is heated and started to bubble.

Please see the video above which shows the water bubbling at the corners

Step 7: Add Salt to the Water

Picture of Add Salt to the Water

  • Now add a spoonful of salt to the water and see.
  • Within few minutes the salt dissolved in water. After some time the water started to boil.

Please see the video above which shows the water started to boil in the paper box.

The videos may not be of good quality as I have used the point and shoot camera to take photos as well take videos in between

Step 8: Add Wax Crystals to Tealight Candle

Picture of Add Wax Crystals to Tealight Candle

  • As the wax in the tealight is almost at the bottom, I have added few wax crystals to keep the fire going

Step 9: Bottom Line

Picture of Bottom Line

After about 20 minutes of keeping the paper box over the tealight, I have removed it from fire

The water is very hot and the rice is almost cooked. The paper box is without any damage other than the soot collected at the bottom and can be reused again.

The box made with any kind of paper will not burn when placed on fire with water in it. You can heat water, cook rice and even boil an egg as required. The water will absorb the heat and prevent the paper box from burning. But once all water in the box gets evaporated, then it will catch fire and burn.

Have Fun...

Comments

Drake88 (author)2017-09-03

My only concern would be the any ink on the paper - it may be toxic, and leech into the food. But if one were starving, one does what one must, with the available materials...

Just a warning....

I used to work for a print-site that did many newspapers. The ink we used was non-toxic, edible and would break down quickly in a dump or if just thrown on the ground - it was plant-based with no toxic chemicals added. From working there I DO know that toxic inks do exist and are being used everyday. The commonest is in those artsy high-color magazines, but some is also used in printing newspapers. Oh yeah - the paper itself could also be toxic. Some paper-making processes use toxic chemicals during the process. If the chemicals are not properly removed, they will remain in the paper. Eating the paper will not kill you, and may not even make you sick - but it all depends on the exposure amount and duration of exposure.

Burning newspaper for heat isn't a bad idea(I watch survival videos and such things) but if the newspaper or ink has toxic chemicals on/in it, you could be breathing in toxic gases that could make you sick over time. Most newspaper burning ovens I have seen use fairly good seals on the oven and exhaust venting so they are relatively safe.

antoniraj (author)Drake882017-09-04

thank you for the information

Millie-Feuille (author)2017-08-18

I had no idea this was possible- super cool!

antoniraj (author)Millie-Feuille2017-08-19

thank you...

jeanniel1 (author)2017-08-16

So cool! Glassblowers use newspaper pads that have been soaked in water to help shape the molten glass that comes from the furnace at 2100F or from the glory hole at about 1800F. It's amazing how tough paper can be when wet!

antoniraj (author)jeanniel12017-08-16

yes, wet paper can withstand so much of heat till it gets dry. Thank you for your comments

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Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
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