Easy to make origami boxes add depth, elegance and fun to LED and other string lights.
BEAUTIFUL & EASY | We’ve used a combination of origami light cubes and bare LED bulbs (in a ratio of 1 boxed light to three bare bulbs) on every Christmas tree we’ve decorated in the last dozen years. The origami boxes produce beautiful, diffuse squares of light, something you don’t normally see on a Christmas tree. Some years we’ve chosen to box only white string lights, but mostly we box multi-coloured ones. To make our boxes, we worked with vellum squares (available at art supply stores or online) that deepen and intensify whatever colour light they cover.
Though a number of steps are involved, basic origami boxes are quick and simple to make. Once someone shows you how to fold one, you’ll be turning out cubes in your sleep. The Internet is a wash in diagrams and how to videos on this subject. For diagram sites, I refer to a combination of these two: Wit & Whistle (CLICK HERE) and Oricube (CLICK HERE). For video instruction, CLICK HERE to watch Tavin 15’s solid tutorial.
If you don’t want to make origami boxes yourself, crafty types are ready to do it for you. Although her featured paper patterns are not particularly suited to Christmas, I love Whimsidoodle’s origami box light sets pictured above, which you can custom order on her Etsy site (CLICK HERE to visit).
If I truly had the knack for it, I would make origami ornaments like those produced annually for the American Museum of Natural History’s origami holiday tree, which is on view right now in Manhattan. This year, the theme is the world’s largest dinosaurs, and origami folders from around the world have contributed some of the most gorgeous and complex constructions you’ll see anywhere. (CLICK HERE to see the tree). —C. Rule