art, beautiful things, color, mixed media, origami, paint, painting, printing

Mono Print Origami Boxes

If you love mono-printing, and what’s not to love, you may face a dilemma about what to do with all that luscious paper you made. You can use it in your art journals, on canvas, to make cards and so on. You know this, but perhaps, like me, you see more potential. 

Enter mono-prints as origami paper. Origami can be done will a variety of papers, not simply the ones you buy in packs. The two main things about the paper you use for origami are: 

1. It needs to be able to take a sharp crease. 
2. It needs to be able to hold up to a lot of creasing. 

While it is very popular to print on deli paper or tissue paper, these are not an ideal paper for origami. They just don’t hold up to the folding. Something the weight of copy paper is actually best. 

While origami can be done with many different shapes of paper, the most common shape used is the square. To accomplish the square, I used my Fiskar’s paper cutter. My paper with 5″ wide, so I cut it to be a 5″ square. 

I wanted to make the most of the color on the page, so I auditioned the best section I could get and shaved off each side to get the most interesting square. 

Here I have a stack of interesting squares. 

I am not going to give step by step directions for folding the box. I always use the style from Tomoko Fuse’s book Origami Boxes. Full disclosure, I worked for Japan Publications Trading Company in the 1990s as a copy editor and translator. I have a fondness for this particular book because of the wonderful projects, but also because they actually paid me to fold all the boxes to see if the directions were understandable! 

If you are interested in the book, it is available through Amazon. A quick search of my state’s library catalog shows that this book and many other of her books are available through interlibrary loan. Any book showing how to make origami boxes will work for you. Some of them use just two pieces – one each for top and bottom. Some require six or eight or even ten papers! 

Once I folded each of the six papers required for this style box, I sorted them into top and bottom. Find the best combination of colors. 

Connect the pieces. Here is what the pieces look like from above. 

This view shows how lovely the inside of the boxes is. 

Put the pieces together. This is a view of how the top and bottom coordinate. 

Notice how each side looks different. 

I like to rotate them to find the most pleasing combinations.

View from the bottom.

Finished box. It is lovely simply as decoration. I love to use these boxes as gift wrap. 

If you try this, I would love to see what you make. Leave a comment and a link so I can visit your creations. 

What do you do with your mono-prints? 

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  1. Super article and great idea to use up mono prints as Origimi boxes. I normally use mine as paper collage.

  2. Thank, Ciara, for stopping by! I'm glad you liked the idea of using the prints to make origami boxes. Like you, most of my mono-prints are used for collage. Yet, you know there are presents to wrap throughout the year….

  3. Lynda, what an exciting idea! I love your boxes and using up monoprints is a great idea. I can't wait to give it a try.

  4. Thanks, Jill! I hope you have a lot of fun making some. I look forward to seeing what you create.

  5. I adore this post, Lynda. I think I'll have to make some of these when I give jewelry or "smalls" at the holidays. They're so pretty!

  6. So glad you liked the post! They are fun to make and very handy. You can make them any size. Just depends on how big of a paper you can get. If you make four of these in green paper you can stack them to look like a pine tree.

  7. very cool boxes! I love that you can see many different phases of the prints!
    on another note, Lynda, is it possible to add a follow by email link on your blog? just checking
    Jackie ")

  8. Thanks, Jackie. They really aren't hard to make, but what a visual impact! It's fun to see your pieces come together. At your request I have added the follow by email feature to the top of my blog. Hope that helps.

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