Seamless Rectangular Origami Box

Designed by Raymond Gallardo

This model consists of four modules that you fold from differently sized, rectangular sheets of paper: two modules for the base, and another two modules for the lid.

Table of Contents

Design Considerations

I wanted to create an origami box that had these characteristics:

  • No visible creases along the sides or interior of the box
  • No visible pockets along the sides or interior of the box
  • Any loose flaps are tucked into a pocket, locked in place
  • The ability to construct a box large enough to hold two decks of standard, poker-sized playing cards using regular, 8.5" × 11" printer paper
  • The best model I found online is Stand-In-The-Corner-Of-The-Desk-Drawer-Box from Origami Denmark. However, to create a box that holds a standard deck of playing cards, I would need a sheet of paper much larger than 8.5" × 11".

    1. Determine the size of your box

    These steps provide PDFs and SVG files that create a box whose interior dimensions are 89mm (length or len) × 64 mm (width or wid) × 19mm (depth or dep), which fits a standard 52 card, poker-sized deck (plus 2 jokers) snugly and comfortably.

    2. Determine paper sizes

    The dimensions of the sheets of paper required for this model will make better sense after seeing the templates for them. You'll fold the paper horizontally and vertically, lining up the folds with the tick marks along the edges. The distances between tick marks correspond to the dimensions of the box.

    This model consists of a base and a lid. Each of these two components requires two modules, one for the exterior (the cover) and one for the interior (the liner). The following table provides the module dimensions required for a standard poker-sized deck, including links to module PDFs and SVG files.

    Module Files Interior Dimensions Paper Size
    Base, liner PDF | SVG 89mm × 63mm × 19mm 215mm × 120mm
    Base, cover PDF | SVG 89mm × 65mm × 19mm 219mm × 122mm
    Lid, liner PDF | SVG 90mm × 65mm × 19mm 220mm × 122mm
    Lid, cover PDF | SVG 90mm × 67mm × 19mm 224mm × 124mm

    Design notes regarding module dimensions

    Here are the justifications for the slight modifications for the dimensions for each of the modules:

    • The width of the liner module is 1mm shorter than the desired interior box dimensions while the width of the cover module is 1mm longer. These size differences will cancel each other out when you assemble the modules.
    • For the lid, the lengths are increased by 1mm and the the widths are increased by 2mm, but the depths are kept the same; I like the fit and appearance of the resulting box.

    Feel free to fiddle around with these small size adjustments. I hope there's enough information on this page for you to calculate the required dimensions if you want to make differently sized boxes.

    To simplify things, you can try using the same sized piece of paper for both the liner and cover modules. However, the modules won't fit together as well.

    Module Files Interior Dimensions Paper Size
    Base for both cover and liner PDF | SVG 89mm × 64mm × 19mm 217mm × 121mm
    Lid for both cover and liner PDF | SVG 90mm × 66mm × 19mm 222mm × 123mm

    3. Create templates for each of the four modules

    If you're not using the provided PDFs, then cut out four sheets of paper that correspond to the dimensions specified in the previous table. Mark each sheet of paper with tick marks as specified in the following diagram:

    Tip: To better easily identify your modules, write down their dimensions near one of the diagonal folds. This area of the paper will never be exposed, regardless of which side you mark.

    4. Precrease modules

    Crease the cover module along the tick marks as indicated in the following crease pattern. The exposed part of the cover module is face down. The blue dotted lines are valley folds. The red dash-dot lines are mountain folds. (See the section Basic folds from Wikipedia for a description of valley and mountain folds.)

    Tip: Fold the horizontal and vertical folds in whichever direction is most convenient for you, but fold the diagonal folds in the indicated direction. The folding steps will reorient the folds in the proper direction.

    Similarly, crease the liner module along the tick marks as indicated in the following crease pattern. The exposed part of the liner module is face up.

    5. Fold modules

    Note: You will not make any new folds; when following these steps, fold only along existing folds.

    Fold cover module

    1. Position the paper so that the narrow rectangles are at the bottom and the side you want exposed is face down. Valley fold the bottom edge.

    2. Valley fold again.

    3. Rotate module 180 degrees.

    4. Valley fold the left side of the module while mountain folding the diagonal fold. One corner of the box will form.

      This is the fold in progress.

    5. Repeat the same kind of fold on the right side. Note: The die substitutes for my finger so I can take a proper picture of this step; it is totally unnecessary for folding the module.

    6. Valley fold the bottom side.

    7. This is the module folded if it were assembled as a box. Now, unfold the module so that it can be more easily assembled into a box.

    8. Repeat step 4 but with the sides unfolded; valley fold the left side of the module while mountain folding the diagonal fold. One corner of the box will form.

    9. Repeat step 5 but with the sides unfolded.

    10. This is the completed cover module. Now fold the liner module.

    Fold liner module

    1. Position the paper so that the narrow rectangles are at the bottom and the side you want exposed is face up. Mountain fold the bottom edge.

    2. Valley fold the bottom edge.

    3. Rotate the module 180 degrees.

    4. Mountain fold the left side of the module while valley folding the diagonal fold. One corner of the box will form.

      This is the fold in progress.

    5. Repeat the same kind of the fold on the right side.

    6. Valley fold the bottom side.

    7. This is the module folded if it were assembled as a box. Now, unfold the module so that it can be more easily assembled into a box.

    8. Repeat step 1; mountain fold the bottom edge.

    9. Repeat step 2; valley fold the bottom edge.

    10. Rotate 180 degrees and flip over the module. Now assemble the cover and liner modules.

    6. Assemble modules

    1. Insert the "free" side of the cover module into the centre of the slot of the liner module. Then, rotate the joined modules 180 degrees.

    2. Partially unfold the liner module along the indicated line so that the top flap is 90 degrees to the table.

    3. This is a front view instead of a top view of the model. Perform steps 4 and 5 described in "Fold the liner module." Ensure that the cover module remains tucked into the liner module.

      This is one side of the liner module folded. Note: The clip substitutes for my fingers so I can take a proper picture of this step; it is totally unnecessary for assembling the module.

    4. Push the liner module into the cover module.

    5. Rotate the box 180 degrees.

    6. Tricky step! Fold one side of the cover module.

    7. Tricky step! Fold the other side of the cover module.

    8. This is the completed box! Repeat for the lid of the box!