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Fabric Origami Wine Gift Box

Lerna B. Eng demonstrates an origami fabric folding technique for her wine gift box.

Lerna Eng enjoys coming up with new combinations for fabrics and colors for her beautiful origami gift boxes.

Materials and Tools:

solid cotton fabric
print cotton fabric
white glue and water
drying rack (or clothesline with clothespins)
iron and ironing board
self-healing cutting mat
rotary cutting tools
scissors
rulers
bone folder
scoring tool
pencils and fabric markers
beads
buttons
needles and thread
railroad board to line finished box
large rectangular plastic container

Steps:

1. Preparation of fabric: Cut both a solid color fabric and a print fabric of 100-percent cotton into half-yard lengths. Saturate the fabric with a glue and water mixture (approximately 2/3 glue to 1/3 water). Place the fabric in a rectangular plastic container and distribute the glue and water evenly on the fabric with your hands (figure A). Hang the fabric up to dry for about two hours. Iron the fabric to remove wrinkles.

2. Cut the fabric for the hexagonal box:

  • two 8-inch squares for the lid
  • two 8" x 18" rectangles for the base

Lid:

3. Fold the square in half and crease using the bone folder, then open.

4. Fold the right and left edges to the centerline and open (figure B). This should provide four vertical panels, 2 inches wide. Name the lines starting with the left edge and moving right A,B,C,D,E.

5. Fold the lower right corner E to line D approximately 4-1/2 inches from the top edge, making sure that the lower left point of this triangle is right on line C, crease and open.

6. Measure 1-1/4 inches from the top edge and fold down. Mark with a scoring implement to get a nice clean crease. Let’s call this first horizontal line, "line #1."

7. Make a second horizontal line 3-1/4 inches below the first and crease. Refer to this as "line #2."

8. Fold the bottom edge up to "line #2" crease and open; and now we have "line #3."

9. Fold left edge A to line C.

10. Fold corner B to "line #3" crease and open (figure C).

11. Fold square in half--left edge A matches with right edge E.

12. Fold corner C to "line #3" crease and open.

13. Fold right edge E to line C crease and open.

14. Fold lower corner D to "line #3" crease and open. Now there are three overlapping triangular folds. Next, make another shorter fold by placing "line #2" on top of like DE, crease and open.

15. All of the folds we’ve made so far are referred to in origami language as "valley folds" because they essentially make a "V" shape. The next step is to change lines B, C, and D below "line #2" into what are called "mountain or peak" folds.

16. Fold lower left corner A to "line #3" and crease.

17. The next step is a combination of valley and peak folding, similar to making pleats.

18. Fold the last little triangle on the bottom right inward. This completes unit one.

19. Repeat another unit as it takes two units to finish the lid (figure D). This type of origami is often called "unit or modular" origami because two or more identical pieces are required to complete each piece.

20. Once you have completed the second unit, tuck the last panel of unit one into the first panel of unit two twice, and your lid is finished.

Base:

21. The folding techniques for the base of the box are almost identical to the lid. Again make two matching units.

22. Cut two rectangles 8" x 18" to create a tall hexagon, capable of containing a bottle of wine. For a shorter hexagon, adjust the height measurement.

23. Place the rectangle on your table lengthwise and measure 1/4 inch on the right side and fold. The base needs to be just a little bit narrower in order for the lid to fit over it.

24. Fold the rectangle in half creasing with the bone folder and open (figure G).

25. Fold right and left edges to the centerline, crease and open for a total of four panels.

26. Fold lower right corner E to line D, crease and open. Measure 2 inches from the top, score and make a horizontal crease.

27. Make a second horizontal crease approximately 12-1/4 inches below this one--this will be our "line #2.

28. Make a third horizontal fold by folding the bottom edge up to meet "line #2" crease (figure H) and open.

29. The base technique is the same as for the lid (figure I). Once the two base units are completed tuck into one another.

30. Glue the unit pieces together. (see tips)

31. Make a cardboard liner and insert inside the unit to help the box retain its shape.

32. Glue or sew on a matching button or a bead on the lid to embellish your fabric origami wine gift box.

Tips:

  • When you first begin folding fabric into origami shapes — Lerna strongly recommends that you initially fold the box using origami paper and progress into working with fabric. Obviously there are slight adjustments you need to make to compensate for the thickness of the fabric.
  • Typically, Lerna makes the lid first. Remember, origami is a very precise art; therefore it is essential that creases are sharp and that the edges match.
  • Ensure that each fold has a nice sharp crease with the bone folder.
  • Make a liner for tall boxes only.
  • Glue the unit pieces together for this wine gift box although generally unit origami doesn't require gluing in the manner that it is constructed.

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