Spring Cleaning . . . Recycled Calendar Boxes

If you are like me and are just getting around to taking down your 2011 calendars, you are in luck because today I will show you how I make origami gift boxes out of recycled calendars.  And if you recycled your calendars months ago, don’t worry, pretty much any paper will work for these boxes, although heavier weight papers work best for larger boxes.  These boxes are a great way to recycle pretty papers that you have around the house and wrap small gifts or candies or to hide small clutter!

The first box may take awhile to make, but they get easier with practice. I know from experience.  For our wedding and reception, I made a few hundred of these out of recycled gardening catalogs to hold candies and thank you notes.  The bright floral pages of the catalogs worked well for our outdoor garden wedding.  Ever since I was a kid I have loved reading gardening catalogs and even now we always have several lying around the house.  There is something magical about planning out a garden and growing plants from seed (or daydreaming about it!).  Our current apartment does not have garden space, but I am looking forward to having a garden one day.  For now, I make do with a few pots in a west facing window where I grow herbs (mint, chives, basil, rosemary and sage) from seed to use in the kitchen.

1.  To make the boxes, I took two same sized pieces of paper and squared them off by cutting along the edge of the top paper as indicated by the arrow/bone folder.  I then used the resulting square sheet as a template to cut the other sheet.  (For the candy boxes, which I was making in bulk for our wedding, I used a 5 ½ inch square cut out of a cereal box to make a template that I used to cut my paper).

2.  I marked the center of my paper square by drawing lines corner to corner to make a “x”.  I usually use a pencil and mark the paper lightly, but I used a pen in my example so that my lines are easier to see.

3.  I folded each corner to the center (of the “x”).

4.   For the box bottom: I folded opposite edges of the paper to the center, unfolded, and repeated with the other sides.  I used the bone folder to make sure that my edges were crisp.

5.  I made four cuts in the paper (two on each side).


6.  I assembled the box, using a piece of tape in the inside to keep it together.

7.  I used the same steps to make the box top, except that at step four, I folded the opposite edges of the paper just short of the center, unfolded, and repeated with the other side.  This makes the box top slightly larger than the bottom so that they fit together.

For our wedding, to personalize our candy boxes I printed small (1 ¾ inch square) squares with a thank you message for our guests and my then fiancé and I both signed the message.  We pasted the squares into the box tops, added a strip of tissue paper (2 x 6 ½ inches), and filled the boxes with wrapped candy.

Here are a couple of pictures of the boxes that we used at our wedding:

To make each box, I used:

  • 2 pages from a calendar (or two sheets of other paper)
  • A pencil or pen
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • Bone folder

For the wedding candy boxes, I also used:

  • Cereal box
  • Craft knife
  • Tissue paper (gold)
  • Card stock
  • Printer
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Spring Cleaning . . . Recycled Calendar Boxes — 22 Comments

  1. Congrats on the blog. Love the boxes! Do you need more calendars? I have lots from various organizations that I always hate to toss and would to give to you if you are interested.

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  3. A lady after my own heart. This is one of the best tutorials I have seen. Love it. I hate throwing my beautiful calendars away. Thanks!

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  5. I used to make these boxes with my grandmother. I was so excited to see this tutorial. I forgot how to make them. So excited to do this again!!

    • I’m so happy you found this. I love rediscovering projects that remind me of good times spent with family and friends. A good friend taught me how to make these boxes when I was a kid and I think of her every time I make one.

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  8. I love to make these boxes from my Christmas cards after Christmas. I use them for my jewelry or fill them with red and green M and M, s for party favors. I use the front of the card for the top and the back page for the bottom. When the pages are made square,there is a small strip leftover that I use to cover the folds on the inside.

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