Box · Curve Folding

Boxes, with Curved and Bi-Stable Folds

square boxes with curved tops
square boxes with curved tops

I have a few books which present curve folding. Tried my hand at some, but it wasn’t until I read Curved Origami by Ekaterina Lukasheva that it started making more sense to me. Good thing, because her tips helped me feel more confident when I tried to make these little boxes that have a curved closure. I’m referring to this particular folded closure as a bi-stable fold because it has two resting positions, like a wall mounted light switch. You know how a light switch has two resting positions that it clicks into? That’s called a bi-stable switch: two stable resting positions. I like folds that do that same double-resting position thing, especially when they seem to click into position.

Two resting positions for the closure fold

Even though other things I read might have had this same information, what Ekaterina Lukasheva’s book impressed upon me the most is the need to create a template for the curved fold, and to score the curves using this template. While she recommends making them from the plastic cover of an old spiral notebook, I also make do with cutting them from thick paper which is not as good, or as sturdy, but it does work.

Here’s a PDF of the template I made for these boxes. It seems to me that, between the photos and the template, that you’d be able to work out how to make the box. Let me know if I’m wrong about this.

Truffle boxes
Praline box from Ed

Now here’s a little backstory on the boxes.

I was visiting with book artist extraordinaire Ed Hutchins. Before I left he handed me two little boxes of pralines, packaged in these adorable little boxes. The candies were lovely, but it was the packaging that enchanted me. In fact, I let my husband have the chocolates because I wanted the boxes to be emptied.

Here’s the large piece of paper that’s printed with a couple of the boxes that I folded up. It was fun to figure out the graphics. If you use my PDF above, use a cover weight paper, and perhaps do your decoration on the back side of the copy, so that the lines are hidden.

I chose to make the floor of the box by folding in the bottom squares, with the triangle flaps sandwiched in-between. This is not the way the boxes that Ed gave to me were folded, but there was a precision to those cuts that I didn’t want to get into. There are many ways of folding in box bottom. If you try out this box, and have a favorite way to make the floor of a box, there’s no reason not to do it however you like.

I loved this little exploration. There are other projects I’m working on, but taking some time to reverse engineer boxes, then play around with some patterns is just the sort of summertime project that suits me just now.

One last detail about the curve folding: Lukasheva recommends cleaning up the curved fold by using a tool or a finger nail, but to not touch the curve with your fingers, as it adds unwanted moisture to the folds. I used the edge of my bone folder to smooth the curves, which worked well, but I have to admit that my fingers kept touching the folds. I guess I need more practice.

2 thoughts on “Boxes, with Curved and Bi-Stable Folds

  1. Hi Paula, These little boxes are adorable! I couldn’t wait to have a go at making one. . . . and was pretty darn proud of myself when the curved folds made those satisfying ‘pops’! But try as I might, I can’t figure out how to get the bottom to close. I’ve never been good at math, but I think I’ve tried every possible order/configuration of folding in those squares and triangles with no luck Could you possibly send me (or post) a photo of the bottom of your box so I might see where I’m going wrong? Thanks! Carol


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