Beautiful Origami Envelope
Folding Instructions

square origami envelope

This delightful origami envelope opens up like a flower, and only takes a few minutes to make. Let me show you how to fold it...

You can make your own envelope like this and use it as a way of wrapping a flat gift (e.g gift card or jewelry) or enclosing a letter. Or you could write a letter directly on a square piece of paper and fold the envelope from the letter itself.

I love how elegant this origami envelope looks. It has a really pleasing symmetry to it.

square origami envelope

The closed envelope is a square shape.

square origami envelope closed

It opens out like a flower into this pinwheel shape.

square origami envelope semi-open

It also opens out another level into a square.

square origami envelope semi-open 2

Neat, isn't it?

square origami envelope fully open

Ready to make your own origami envelope? Choose from:

Video Instructions

Photo Instructions

Video Instructions for Origami Envelope

Click the image below to play the instructions. Making your first envelope will take about 5 minutes, and after that you'll probably be able to make them much faster.

If the video keeps stopping and starting, then pause it and come back in a few minutes when it's fully loaded. Or instead just follow the step by step photo instructions below.

Photo Instructions for Origami Envelope

Step 1

Start with a square sheet of paper. I'm using a sheet that's 12x12" (30x30 cm). The final envelope will be 1/3 of the size of the sheet you start with.

origami envelope square paper to start with

Fold the sheet into thirds. You could use a ruler to measure thirds, but I find that the quickest way to measure thirds is to bend the sheet into a Z-shape...

origami envelope bend into z shape

...and squash the Z flat to make little creases at the 1/3 and 2/3 points along the paper's edge.

origami envelope squash z flat

Place your paper blank-side up. It will have little creases at the 1/3 and 2/3 points like this:

origami envelope creases at 1/3 and 2/3 points

Use these guide creases to fold the sheet into thirds and unfold again.

origami envelope folded in thirds

Fold in thirds at right-angles to the first set of creases. Your sheet should now look like a noughts-and-crosses board, like this:

origami envelope folded in thirds both ways

Step 2

Rotate the sheet so it's oriented diagonally. Fold in half diagonally, but try to only make the crease in the left and right sections shown here by dashed lines.

origami envelope fold in half diagonally

Here's the paper folded in half. The sections to the left and right of my fingers are creased firmly, but the section between my fingers isn't creased.

origami envelope fold in half diagonally

Repeat the same fold at right angles. Your paper should now have creases in the places shown by dashed lines in the photo below.

origami envelope fold in half diagonally

Step 3

Turn the paper over so that the colored side faces up, and make a crease in the position indicated by the dashed line in the photo below. (I've drawn the other creases in black just so you can see them more clearly).

origami envelope step 3

Here's another view of what it looks like when you make this fold. The section to the right of my finger is creased firmly, but the section to the left of my finger isn't creased.

origami envelope step 3b

Rotate the paper a quarter turn and repeat the fold. Continue all the way around the square so that you have creases in the positions shown by the dashed lines in the photo below.

origami envelope step 3c

Step 4

Turn over the paper so that blank side faces up. It should have a pattern of creases like this:

origami envelope step 4

Grab the left and right corners and bend them so that the sheet bends into a bowl shape.

origami envelope bend into bowl shape

Push the sides of the "bowl" inward.

origami envelope bend into bowl shape

As you press the sides in, the "bowl" will magically collapse into this pinwheel shape (see 4:50 in video .)

origami envelope collapse into pinwheel

Step 5

Fold in the corners of the pinwheel one by one, working around in a clockwise direction.

origami envelope fold in corners of pinwheel

When you get to the last corner, tuck it in like this.

origami envelope tuck in last corner of pinwheel

Here's the finished envelope

origami envelope tuck in last corner of pinwheel

How did your origami envelope turn out? I hope you found these instructions clear. If you have any questions or comments, or just want to say hi, then please drop me a line with this handy form .

Using your Origami Envelope

Reader Reshma wrote in saying how she plans to use this envelope design to package the jewelry that she makes ( visit her store here ).

origami envelope reshma 1

origami envelope reshma 3

Thanks for sending in your photos Reshma!

The full story behind this whole web page is that it was actually Reshma who showed me this envelope design in the first place. She didn't know how to fold it though... she'd just seen a photo of it. So, she showed Tobias and I the photo, from which Tobias figured out how to fold it, and wrote the instructions for page.

What Next?

If you enjoyed making the origami envelope, you might also like:

Or check out my page of gift wrapping techniques.

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