This is my miniature version of the traditional Origami Chinese Thread Book (Zhen Xian Bao). Although this is a traditional model, the folding interpretation to this version is from Paula Versnick. You can find a bit more information to the Chinese Tread book as well as the diagram on Mrs. Versnick’s website. Mrs. Versnick was so kind and gave me permission to demonstrate in a video tutorial how to fold and assemble this amazing design.

Tip: Papers I usually buy on Ebay or Origami Shop. Japanese books I tend to buy from CDJapan.

Origami Chinese Thread Book Zhen Xian Bao

Details to my Zhen Xian Bao

If you know my origami interests, you probably know that I like to challenge myself by folding certain origami models rather small. For example Tomoko Fuse’s Hexagonal Box, Shuzo Fujimoto’s Hydrangea Cube or Shin Han-Gyo’s Rose Box. True, they might not be so useful (especially boxes), but they are cute :). So going on with this miniature origami theme, here are the details to my small Chinese Tread Book:

Total 6 regular (15 cm / 5.9 in) Kami papers were used. My Zhen Xian Bao has 5 levels and a total of 31 compartments (pockets). The first level (flowers) were folded from Japanese Kami (this one is very thin and crisp, an origami folders dream!) of the size of 3.75 cm x 7.5 cm (ratio 1:2). You can cut 8 pieces out of one regular 15 cm square Kami. For the 1st level you will need a total of 16 pieces, which means you will need 2 whole regular Kami papers. For the second level (up to 5th level) I have used Korean Duo colored origami paper, as it fits in with the purple theme of my project. The quality of the paper is really good (a bit thicker than the first one, but very pleasant to fold as well). 2nd level measurements were 3.75 cm x 7.5 cm (ratio 1:2) – same as first level. You will need 8 pieces for this level, which means you only need 1 Kami for this level. The third level of the Chinese Thread Book had 4 pieces of 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm Kami – one whole sheet of Kami. The 4th level needed 2 pieces of 7.5 cm x 15 cm – again 1 sheet of Kami. And the last (5th) level used 1 piece of 15 cm x 15 cm Kami. Now you can see how my whole Zhen Xian Bao only needed 6 sheets of Kami. The finished size is 8 cm x 8 cm. 

Origami Chinese Thread Book Zhen Xian Bao

You can adjust the measurements to your needs. Calculate from the top most level onwards. You also don’t have to make 5 levels. You can stop after the second, third or fourth. It is also possible to fold a 7 level Chinese Thread book, which will have 127 compartments (64 flower pockets as 1st level). I made a rough sketch of how the different levels and measurements go hand in hand. Originally I had planed to fold my version from a slightly larger measurement – which are the sizes written in my drawing. If you use those measurements, you will obviously need more than 6 Kami sheets. 

If you follow the instructions of the diagram, you will see that the folding is really easy and pleasant. Be aware, of what color you would like to be visible from the outside vs the inside. Other than that, you will just have to fold 31 modules to complete your project. 

Origami Chinese Thread Book Zhen Xian Bao

You will not need any glue to assemble your Chinese Thread Book. Starting from the outmost level you need to slowly connect the pieces (which all connect and fit together). I only advise you to place your finished Zhen Xian Bao underneath some heavy books to compress the folds. One day should be enough, but longer time might be needed.

You might also be interested in my paper recommendations including different Origami paper usage, personal hints, tips & what to avoid when buying online. To get updates on my latest video tutorials, subscribe to my youtube channel, see what other Origami models I am working on right now – follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my Newsletter.