Make: An Origami Box for Nature Collections

As part of our celebration of Shinrin-Yoku and quality kids’ time spent in the great outdoors, we made a set of origami nature boxes – perfect for collecting and keeping all of your outdoor finds – flowers, rocks, leaves, shells…bugs…! The best part? It only takes 3 pieces of paper! That’s it!

The paper for our DIY origami boxes fanned out on a white background.

There are some easy folds and some harder folds throughout this process, so we recommend adult supervision/help for this one. Once finished the box is amazingly sturdy – making it the perfect small collector to throw in a backpack or carry along for a hike.

Our completed green and yellow DIY origami boxes filled with nature collections sitting next to a pinecone and leaves on a white background.

Want to take outdoor nature investigation to the next level? See how we recycled a shoebox and other scrap items to make our own upcycled nature explorer’s kit!

To make your own nature collection origami box you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

We found the amazing tutorial below that will take you through each fold step-by-step. If you’d like a sturdier box that can be tossed into a backpack or mucked up a bit, we recommend using cardstock instead of traditional origami paper.

And don’t worry about making perfect folds or creases or lining everything up – we didn’t and the final product still works and actually looks awesome.  Can I also add, that knowing I can make a sturdy box out of paper anywhere, anytime in 5 minutes is oddly liberating and reassuring…!

Our orange and yellow origami box filled with small nature finds from the garden like flower petals and acorns.

Looking for more summer nature crafts? See how we made fairy forests out of paper straws, play dough, and nature clippings. Or grab a hammer for a super fun nature art project! And little ones will love working on their scissor skills with our simple mouse mail fine motor skill activity.

Our green DIY origami nature box laying on a table open and empty next to a sprig of wildflowers.

We’d love to see your collections! Tag @barleyandbirch / #barleyandbirch to share with us and if you have any questions along the way, be sure to leave them in the comments below – we made quite a few practice boxes before we got the hang of it, so we may have some tips that will help you out.

Make: Origami Nature Boxes

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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