This Instructable will show you how to make a small box out of paper. All you will need is a sheet of paper and your hands! (You can use a pencil if you want to be precise, as I did.)
Step 1: Making Square Paper
In theory, you can start with any piece of rectangular paper, though if you have square paper, you can move straight to Step 2. Keep in mind, the bigger the paper you start with, the larger your box will be. I used a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.
Take one corner and fold it over to the other side. For neatness, you don't have to crease it. You're just looking for the opposite corner of your soon to be square sheet. Do this again for the other corner. You can use a pencil to mark where the fold went to.
Now line up the marks and fold along that line. Folding both a mountain and a valley fold along this line makes it easy to tear it cleanly. If you want to be more precise, you can use scissors and not fold anything at all yet.
Step 2: Making Guidelines
Take your square paper and make two mountain folds that go from side to side and not corner to corner. Unfold back to its original shape.
Step 3: Fold Corners In
Now take the corners and fold them into the middle of the square, using the two previous folds as guidelines.
Step 4: Making a Smaller Folded Square
Referring to the picture, fold the left side in halfway to the middle. Do the same with the right side. Now take the bottom side and fold it to the middle. Do the same with the top side, so that you have a smaller folded square.
Step 5: Unfolding
Now unfold the top and bottom sides back out.
Unfold the right and left sidesout.
Now unfold the original top and bottom corners out. The paper should look like a tall hexagon.
Step 6: Prepping a Complex Fold
Refold along the right and left sides as shown in the pictures. The end result should look like an even longer hexagon.
Step 7: A Complicated Fold
Unfold the last step, so that you are back at the end of Step 5.
Press the top of the left and right sides to the top side.
The side should want to pull into a 3D shape now.
Step 8: Constructing the Sides
Fold the top side corner into the middle.
This should create a three sided box.
Step 9: Completing the Box
Repeat Step 8 with the bottom side corner.
Your box should be finished, and hold itself together.
Step 10: Suggestions
If you want a box that's open, like a tray, then you are done!
To make a lid, just make another box, and fit one inside another. (It helps if you make the lid a little bigger or smaller than the original box. This can be done by starting with a smaller or larger square piece of paper at the beginning.)
If you want crisper edges, take time making sure creases are nice and tight.
To make a box more sturdy, try using different kinds of paper or glue to help hold the folds closed.
Decorative paper makes for decorative boxes!