What can go wrong by choosing any of Tomoko Fuse’s Modular Origami Box designs? Absolutely Nothing! Mrs. Fuse excels in so many aspects of origami, like single-sheet and modular origami boxes, other modular designs and even animals and other objects. This particular modular box can be found in the first volume of “Origami Boxes”, box lid: p. 38 – 41, bottom of box: p. 46 & divider p. 47. All 3 books are in Japanese, and the first volume was published in 2013.
Some details about this modular origami box
This is probably my favorite of Mrs. Fuses square modular box designs. It reminds me a bit of the classic windmill pattern. The title in Japanese for this box is 四角箱 ふた 末広 (square box, lid – spread out like a fan). I translated the brief summery that appears below the title, in case you don’t read Japanese, and still want to know more about it: 4 枚で組む四角箱です。本章ではすべての例で15cm 角の紙から折ります。模様変わりがたくさんできます。(It is a square box to be assembled with 4 pieces. In this section we will fold from 15 cm square paper in all the examples. You can do a lot of patterns.)
For this particular modular origami box design of the lid, you have to fold 4 units of B. Both the lid and the bottom of the box were folded from the same size paper. (Sometimes in origami you need to cut off from the paper(s) of the bottom to get a snuggly fit – but NOT in this case. Mrs. Fuse’s clever designs!)
Some details to the divider, that sits inside the bottom part. Title: X 仕切り (X Divider) 市販の折り紙用紙くらいの厚さの紙は、箱と同じ大きさから折ってよいが、それより厚い場合1ー2mm小さい紙がよい。(Paper with a thickness of about the size of commercially available origami paper may be folded from the same size as the box, but 1-2 mm small paper is better if it is thicker than that.) I used the same size paper as for the lid and bottom.
I used 10 cm / 3.9 in size Kami for my modular origami boxes.
Some personal impressions
The folding of the lid and bottom of the modular origami box is easy. When you assemble, don’t push the units all the way in, but leave some space until you connected all 4. Then see that the space is evenly divided among all 4, before you slowly wiggle the units together. Always try to keep the same space on all 4 units. Don’t push too hard with your fingers, it the units don’t go together too easily. You can try to gently tap with a flat object (I used my butterknife/ bonefolder), to slide the last milimeters in. It will be a little tricky, but at least you know that your box will be stable and won’t come apart. As for the X divider, the folding is easy as well, but you might need to think for a moment if you get to step 12. If you did step 7 correctly (not only folded the flaps backwards, but reversed them as well), then the design will most likely open up correctly. As for the last step, to get it into the final X position, fold the paper backwards along the middle axis. It’s sometimes hard to think multi-dimensional, when you see a flat drawing.
You can enjoy this design by choosing interesting colors for the top (maybe different colors), or keep it simple as in my examples. I really enjoy folding all of Tomoko Fuse’s designs, as everything works together so nicely and the designs are always well thought of.
If you like modular origami boxes, why not take a look at this fun single-sheet origami box, also by Tomoko Fuse, the Hexagonal Origami Box.