The Strange Origami Dream

The other day something strange happened to me. Just before going to bed I suddenly thought of an interesting design to fold, the 20 Sided Origami Twist Box made from a single sheet of paper (lid & bottom – each one sheet of paper). Somehow the thought before bedtime started a bizarre night with dreaming vividly how to design, plan, calculate this specific box. I felt as if I am half awake, half asleep – even disturbed. You would think that having an origami dream would feel pleasant, but it was kind of heavy and not giving me the rest I would wish for.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Origami Twist Technique

The 20 Sided Origami Twist Box uses the origami technique of a twist fold but multiplied to 20. I did not invent or discover this technique, but other great origami designers have used this maneuver before, like Tomoko Fuse, Shuzo Fujimoto, Toshikazu Kawasaki.

If you don’t know much about origami twist boxes, but would like to learn how to fold them, then I can recommend you the single-sheet origami box books by Tomoko Fuse. I currently own 28 of her books and can honestly recommend them.

If you would like to see how a 4 Sided Origami Twist Box is made, please read the article and watch the accompanying video tutorial.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Have You Seen a 20 Sided Origami Twist Box Before?

Many of you have folded or seen Tomoko Fuse’s Hexagonal Single Sheet Boxes. The principle of the 7 sided twist box is exactly the same as a 20 sided one. I have seen origami boxes that were 10 sided, and myself folded a 15 sided miniature twist envelope a few weeks ago. So the 20 Sided Origami Twist Box, seems like a huge challenge compared what I have seen from others so far.

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20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Design Makes Use of a Formula

As I immersed myself into different origami twist boxes and origami twist sachets before, I know how to plan the whole box design without looking into a single book. It is all really based on a formula that lets you calculate the segment width to the height to form a proper closed bottom or top. If you want to know more how to calculate your own dimensions, please read my article to the Incense Sachet. There I described this process more in-depth.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

In A Nutshell …

If you want to know the theory in a nutshell how this 20 Sided Origami Twist Box works, then imagine you connect a rectangular tube with 20 + 1 overlapping segment to form the lid or bottom. The twist closing mechanism has to have a particular ratio (as mentioned briefly in the previous paragraph).

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Once you pre-creased all folds, you insert the first segment into the 21st segment and collapse the twist closing. In my box from this article, I collapsed the lid actually twice. The second time I formed another decorative twist on top of the first one.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Going More into Detail How to Fold this 20 Sided Origami Twist Box

First off I calculated a reasonable paper length to fit 21 segments. Even if you consider 40 cm length, each segment will only be 1.9 cm length. Take also into calculation that the lid is slightly larger than the bottom of the box.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Special Paper?

When I that specific design popped into my mind, I knew from which kind of paper I wanted to fold it. As you need two large pieces of paper, almost all Kami or other economic paper is already off the table. The twist fold method itself requires proper strong and flexible paper. The best choice for the 20 Sided Origami Twist Box is Tant or Elephant Hide paper.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

In the end I decided for 35.5 cm and 34.5 cm length. The 1 cm difference between lid and bottom is exactly right to give the twist box a snuggly fit. The segment size is rather small with 1.9 cm and 1.6 cm – especially with a twist height of 10.6 cm and 10.4 cm. Please see from my sketch below the exact measurements I used for my red 20 Sided Origami Twist Box.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

The Most Difficult Step

The folding itself is already routine for me, as I know these kinds of twist boxes by heart. Watch my video to the Incense Sachet to see how to do that. The collapse is the most difficult step as you need to collapse 20 segments at once so the twist maneuver happens. As the diameter of the box is very large compared to twist boxes I folded in the past, that added to its difficulty.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

Please pay attention that the overlap from the lid needs to be folded in before the collapse – and the overlap and the twist closing of the bottom need to be folded in. The lid is slightly easier to collapse as the whole action of the twist happens on the outside. The bottom is a lot harder, as you need to reach into the box and do the twist maneuver from the inside out.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

From choosing the paper, cutting it to measurements, planning size, folding and collapsing of both the bottom and top, the whole process of the 20 Sided Origami Twist Box took a few hours.

20 Sided Origami Twist Box

I am glad I experienced this model as I thought of in my dream. It was one of the more difficult things I folded up until now. Maybe difficult is not the right word, but certainly challenging.

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.