Christmas time is a magical time for all of my family. There are so many traditions we follow each year as the weather cools and the holiday specials begin to air. Cookie exchanges are one of those traditions that are particularly special for Debbie, Jennifer, and myself. Jennifer started her first annual cookie exchange over a decade ago when the three of us still lived in Pensacola, Florida. Our dearest friends joined us to marvel in the sugary goodness and brag over who had the most adorably extravagant packaging for their cookies. There were prizes and gifts, decorations and laughter. I wish I could express how much I would love to share that Christmas experience with the three of us together again.
I was the first to leave four and a half years ago, moving over 1000 miles away, north to Virginia. The Florida cookie exchanges continued in my absence but I was always included in the joy and hilarity that surrounded them. After one year without one, I couldn’t take it any longer and decided I needed to host my own annual cookie exchange. The first was a huge hit and great motivation to continue them in the years to come. Well, this is my last year in Virginia and I have to admit, this cookie exchange is going to be a little bitter sweet as my last one before I move ANOTHER 500 miles north up to Rhode Island.
In a few days my house is going to be filled with piles of terrific cookies. Some recipes passed down through generations. Some grabbed straight from Pinterst. There will be delicious drinks like this Pink Peppermint Russian. There will be an adorable Christmas tree shaped cheese tray.
There will be ridiculously creatively packaged Christmas cookies (no pressure if you’re reading ladies!)
As I was squishing between the other 500 people shopping a my craft store on this Saturday morning a week and a half before Christmas strolling through my local big box craft store looking for inspiration for my packaging, I came up with NOTHING. The cutest containers were going to be more than a dollar per person and I am really trying to keep my December budget as low as possible. I had relegated myself to the fact that I would just be wrapping my cookies up in some plastic wrap and tying a ribbon around them. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that at all. But I have always tried to do a little bit more.
It wasn’t until I returned home and was talking to my husband about our kids’ origami hobbies that it hit me! I could make an origami box for each package for free! Better yet…I could get my eight year old daughter to make them!
Each box is made with a 12 x 12 piece of craft paper – something we have oodles of in this house. My daughter and I made the first three together and then she was off on her own with the rest. From beginning to end it took her less than an hour to make all 12 boxes. Don’t let the pictures fool you. The boxes are bottoms only, though you could make tops with a piece of paper that was just SLIGHTLY smaller than 12 x 12. And I mean probably not even a quarter inch smaller. Each completed box has a base that is slightly larger than 4 x 4 and it is two inches tall. Need a smaller box? Just start with a smaller piece of square paper. Origami is easier with light weight paper, but my daughter had no problem folding these boxes using the craft paper (not card stock, just craft paper). Just make sure you make a good, sharp crease every time you fold.
I will be filling my boxes with Paleo inspired chocolate turtle candies. Recipe to come later!
How to Make Your Own Origami Paper Box
Begin with a 12 x 12 sheet of paper
Fold paper in half so you see the white side of the paper
Fold in half again
Open the paper, color side down, so that you see the mountain fold you created
Fold each corner of the paper
So that all four corners meet at the middle you created with the mountain fold
Fold the right and left sides of the paper in to meet at the center point
Undo the last three steps so you are left with the picture below on the right
Tuck the two corners in where the color meets the white paper
Fold the point over
Tuck the paper down into the existing crease so that the point meets with the other two points
As with all origami, it should hold itself
Repeat on opposite side
If it makes you feel better, you can place a piece of tape in the middle where all the points meet.
Voila! You have a box bottom great to for a cookie package, small gifts, kids’ craft box, bead holder, and more. What else do you think you could use these cute little paper boxes for???