This project has been kicking around on my desk for a few months now, so thanks to scoochmaroo for giving me a much-needed push to finally write it up. This project started when I was looking for a way to make microwave popcorn from scratch. It's easy enough to find microwavable paper (wax paper, parchment, oiled brown paper), but any adhesives that would close a bag (staples, glue) would definitely not work in the microwave. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to use paper folding as a structural technique to make an attractive and functional microwavable popcorn bag. I tried making popcorn in the first origami model I ever learned: a paper balloon. It worked like a charm. The popcorn popped and inflated my balloon perfectly. The only problem was that the serving size was a little small to be practical. And I couldn't help but imagine an attractive origami model that popped up into a perfect popcorn bag.After many, many crumpled up sheets of paper (and a few messy spills in the microwave), I finally worked out this design.  It works, it's cute, and heck, it's even reusable! I've made a few of these as gifts-- I love the idea of giving someone a card that they can microwave and turn into a snack. I even designed some cute tags to attach with instructions for popping (pdf attached).

Step 1: Materials & Ingredients

a 12"x18" piece of plain (not recycled) brown packing paper*
non-stick cooking spray or oil
paper towels
a ruler
high-heat cooking oil (such as canola, avocado or grapeseed)
salt (optional)

*There are lots of tutorials out there suggesting that you can use an ordinary brown paper bags to make popcorn in the microwave (including one published in the New York Times). Paper bags are convenient, to be sure, but I had a hunch that they might not be entirely safe for cooking.  Turns out the USDA agrees with me. Their guidelines advise against using brown paper bags.  Recycled paper and adhesives can release fumes when exposed to heat, that you wouldn't necessarily want in your food. The USDA suggests buying paper bags made particularly for cooking (only I haven't been able to locate any). Obviously you've got to make the call about what cooking materials you feel safe using. Paper can be safe for cooking, and coating it in oil (as I suggest) reduces the risk of scorching. But you do want to avoid extra, nasty chemicals that might be used to process them. I used (not recycled) brown packing paper. My best guess is this is about as safe a cooking paper as you can find, and I'm comfortable using it. The call is obviously yours.

You can also make this design using wax paper or parchment paper, though it is flimsier and harder to fold. If you decide to make this bag out of wax or parchment paper, you'll have to make a few modifications to the process. In step 2 cut 2 sheets of paper, exactly the same size. Skip step 3 (parchment and wax paper don't need to be oiled). Complete steps 4 and 5 separately out of each sheet of paper. Once you have 2 paper tubes, slide one inside the other, staggering the overlapped side. So the top of the innermost tube will be next to the bottom of the outermost tube. From this point on fold the two sheets together as if they were one.
My vote as well! Wouldn't it be cute to write the message on the bag before you fold it so it's revealed only when the person pops the corn? Love it!
Thanks! I love the idea of adding a hidden message! The two sides of the bag are pleated, so you wouldn't see a message written there until the bag inflates. <br><br>One caution: I wouldn't use just any ink to write on the bag (heating up various chemicals in the microwave can make some nasty gases). You could definitely use food coloring markers. Or you could paint with food coloring or something else dark like coffee or beet juice. Love it!
would it be possible to write a message in something like lemon juice so its only vissible after the bag heats up?
I love the invisible ink idea! I think that the biggest issue would be getting it to show up... The brown paper is pretty dark once it has been brushed with oil. My guess is you'd have better luck with white paper. You'd just have to make sure to use a paper without any trace amounts of nasty chemicals. <br><br>Let me know if you try it!
I need one of my wonderful crafty friends to do this for me- i always use regular paper bags. Didn't realize there were health issues, thanks guys. :)
So cutee!! This very well may be my halloween party favors if i can find those orange and black popcorn kernels!
Nice work I need to try this!
Nice! You've got my vote! (And an extra star for having the same &quot;Misto&quot; as me.)
Thanks! And I agree-- you can't beat real butter for popcorn! :)
This is such a cool idea! I can't wait to try this! c:
I love this, great idea!
This is adorable! And I've never seen such practical origami before.
Aw, shucks guys. You're too much! Glad to know some folks out there share my geeky fixation with folded paper. :)
Geniusgorgeousgenius!!!<br />I made up that word just now just for this project. <3
I absolutely love this!! What a creative idea for a gift. I will definitely have to try this out for the holidays :)

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Bio: Enthusiastic cook, blogger and (sometimes) crafter.
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