Very low cost folded paper container, for holding small items (such as screws) during repair, assembly, construction etc.

Can also be used as an envelope for carrying items securely.

It's disposable, recyclable, sustainable, environmentally friendly plus widely and freely available.
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Step 1: Making a paper square from a rectangular sheet

Picture of Making a paper square from a rectangular sheet
Take a rectangular sheet of paper. In America this could come from a legal pad, or in Europe an A4 notepad.

You are going to use basic paper folding techniques to crop it square.

Use your finger/thumb nails to form sharp, straight creases. If your nails are too short, use the edge of something like a credit card or a plastic ruler.

Step 2: First corner fold

Picture of First corner fold
Turn down the top right corner, aligning the short edge of the paper accurately with the left, long edge.

If you have made a paper aeroplane, or tried some basic Origami, this move should be famliar to you. Or you may be lucky enough to have some square paper already.

Step 3: Folding the waste piece

Picture of Folding the waste piece
Open out the diagonal fold you have just made.

Turn up the bottom short edge to make a horizontal fold. This should be parallel to the top edge of the paper. A square will be created when this horizontal fold intersects the bottom right end of the first diagonal crease.

Step 4: Tear off a strip

Picture of Tear off a strip
Open out the paper, then remove the waste portion, leaving a square with only one crease in it, the diagonal one. Tear or cut, as you prefer. If tearing, don't worry about any slightly rough edges.

(If you were making a paper aeroplane, the piece you are now discarding would form its tail).

Step 5: Diamond shape

Picture of Diamond shape
Rotate the square to form a diamong shape, with the single crease horizontal.

Step 6: Triangle

Picture of Triangle
Lift the bottom point of the diamond up, to meet the top point.

Crease the centre fold sharply.

Step 7: Left side

Picture of Left side
Bring the left point of the triangle across to meet and stop at the right, sloping edge. Keep what was the lower left edge of the double skin of paper parallel to the base of the triangle.

Step 8: Right side

Picture of Right side
Repeat the previous step, but this time do it for the right side, bringing it over and on top of the left side flap.

Make all the creases sharp, to keep the flaps in place as much as they will. Thinner papers will behave better than thick ones at this stage.

Step 9: Front top flap

Picture of Front top flap
Fold the top front flap down, over the two side flaps, keeping the fold in line with the points at each side, creasing it sharply to hold them in place. The point will line up with the apex of the small triangle which has appeared by itself at the base of the container.

The top front flap locks things down.

Step 10: Rear flap

Picture of Rear flap
Turn the whole assembly over and fld down the rear flap.

The container is flat at tis stage and you are going to open it out, gently, and squeeze it into a cup shape, or a truncated cone, rather like the ones used in some office drinking water dispensers.

Step 11: Dent the base

Picture of Dent the base
Push your thumb into the base of the container, to make a dimple. It may help to put two or three fingers into the mouth of the cup, to oppose the force of your thumb pushing the paper in..

Step 12: Squeeze into shape

Picture of Squeeze into shape
Squeeze the folded seams of the sides of the container together, making a cup shape.

The conainer is not free-standing but will lean quite happily against something else.

It's now ready to store those pesky little parts that would otherwise roll off the bench onto the carpet and get lost. You can write notes on it to help you re-assemble things.

Step 13: Envelope

Picture of Envelope
You can squash the container back down almost flat, while keeping its contents inside. Bring the top rear flap over the meet the front flap, forming an envelope.

You can stick the flap down for greater security in transit.

This container has many uses. With the right paper, it will even hold water long enough for you to drink from.

You might also try making some of these from larger sheets of paper, such as newsprint. With the appropriate choice of materials, you can easily fashion silly hats, or create temporary plant pots for example.
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Puzzledd4 years ago
Great 'ible, thanks, with very clear and thorough instructions. .. and what good comments, too :)
peterbryenton (author)  Puzzledd4 years ago
Thank you.
Ninzerbean5 years ago
Very easy directions to follow though I am sure they were far from easy to write out. I was able to make my cup happily stand up just by folding the little points on the bottom inwards, though it will probably fall down if I put too much in to it. This is great and thank you for sharing.
peterbryenton (author)  Ninzerbean5 years ago
Thank you. Glad yours stood up on its points.

There are some useful suggestions amngst the comments about this 'ible.
josefu06 years ago
it like a cup.
peterbryenton (author)  josefu06 years ago
Yes, it's a paper cup too, thanks josefu0.
yokonga7 years ago
that's cool...
jukie7 years ago
I haven't read through all the comments so I don't know if these things have been mentioned, but I make these for my kids' snacks sometimes and don't have time to cut or tear off the bottom of the magazine page that I've used. So I just leave it attached (keep it folded up and just continue with the folding. Also, I don't use tape and it holds just fine.
peterbryenton (author)  jukie7 years ago
Thanks. Your snack sacks also sound like a good way to encourage young readers. Peter www.brypix.com
Mintyhippo7 years ago
i have been making these since 3 years ago! I was just about to post mine until i saw this. Mine has a cup holder, should i still post?
peterbryenton (author)  Mintyhippo7 years ago
Of course you should post. The great wonder of people is their different approaches to the same ideas. I look forward to seeing your version. Regards, Peter Bryenton www.brypix.com
thanks, and i will give you partial credit if you want.
Phoenix26027 years ago
These would be great for holding your dice at an RPG gaming session!
peterbryenton (author)  Phoenix26027 years ago
Especially if your character was a magician called Origami.
AdamK7 years ago
Great instructable. I tried printer paper when I did this, only to find that it leaked through the paper itself. I then discovered that I could filter sugar water (but not salt water) with my make-shift filtering cup. Could be a very useful application by chemists if they have the right type of paper. Or even to drain starch out of pasta? Haha
peterbryenton (author)  AdamK7 years ago
Shame about the salt water: I suddenly had a vision of a gigantic, eco-friendly ocean-based desalination plant.
mailkd77 years ago
I just made it, and I am eating Cheesz-Its Out of it right now. Good Instructable! Mmm.... Cheese...
peterbryenton (author)  mailkd77 years ago
Ah, the old calorie-free container with the calorie-loaded filling trick, eh?
blooper8 years ago
woo-hoo! let's hear it for silly paper hats!
Tomton blooper8 years ago
gnose8 years ago
if youre using it for drinking/food and the sheet you have is printed on one side: when you reach step 6 make sure the printed on side faces outwards. when youre done, the inside surface of the cup is blank :)
I HACK8 years ago
lol great idea thanks
Brilliant idea
Tried it at home went into the kitchen, i managed to refill it from tap 8 times, and after that the only damage was a small leak from the bottom, i can imagine this was only bec8ause the water from the tap was hitting it hard. 8 times refill from standardd white A4 paper. Genius.
peterbryenton (author)  lifelong-newbie8 years ago
Good, thanks. www.brypix.com
PVC marxman8 years ago
when Im thirsty in school i use these lol
peterbryenton (author)  PVC marxman8 years ago
Me too.
Cornflower8 years ago
Used the idea for years. Just to add to it, you can get away without the tape if you flip the right side (step 8) behind the cup, not over the left side, and then in steps 9 and 10 you can tuck the top flaps inside the right and left flaps with the whole thing holding together.

Another thing, I sometimes make a second one out of wax paper or tin foil if I need a drink of water, and put it inside the paper one. Kept the two in my back pocket when visiting another city a few years ago.
peterbryenton (author)  Cornflower8 years ago
Elegant solutions, thank you. Peter Bryenton www.brypix.com
you know, it wouldn't last too long, but that can also hold water. if you make it out of wax paper or something, it'd hold for a while. the only thing keeping it from holding it longer is whatever paper you use.
peterbryenton (author)  origamimavin8 years ago
Good suggestion, thanks.
WATER CAN GO IN THIS!!!!!!! no i'm serious..
Yes, the wax paper comment here is so much "greener" than plastic cups. Folds back flat again too, for re-use: sustainable!
gowithflo8 years ago
I think this would be great for starting seedlings in too, then just plant right in the soil. I'm going to try it.
peterbryenton (author)  gowithflo8 years ago
Thanks: yours is one of the most unusual suggestions I've heard about this in years. I'll tell my friends at the local college of horticulture what you said. Let me know how your seedlings turn out -- maybe some pictures too? Peter Bryenton www.brypix.com
Ben.land1018 years ago
peterbryenton (author)  Ben.land1018 years ago
Thank you.
blindmen8 years ago
very good and usefull idea
peterbryenton (author)  blindmen8 years ago
Thank you.
lucashaley8 years ago
You can make these free-standing by folding the bottom corners into the middle. They then stand quite nicely. Great tutorial!
peterbryenton (author)  lucashaley8 years ago
Thank you. I'll have a go, then photograph & publish the result.
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