The best origami CD/DVD envelope in the world

The best origami CD/DVD envelope in the world

by Roberto Verzola,

[Note: I have posted in YouTube, here, a step-by-step video of the folding instructions. Or you can just click on the video below.]

I have been looking for a good CD envelope made with paper-folding techniques, but have found nothing satisfactory. The envelopes either unraveled at a slight tug, used unnecessary aids like Scotch tape or left the CD exposed). So I decided to design my own. I wanted something that does not unravel easily, is sturdy purely from folding, and protects the CD/DVD inside fully. What follows is the result of weeks of trying various designs. I think this is the best origami CD/DVD envelope in the world. (November 4, 2007)

  1. Start with 8.5”x11” or A4-sized paper. If you are recycling paper, use the blank side for the inner side, to minimize ink contamination inside the envelop.

  2. Fold the paper across the length into two, one part about an inch shorter than the other, so that a CD/DVD fits completely inside the fold, and the longer half provides about an inch of cover flap. We will call the crease formed by this fold the bottom crease. (See a different set of photos at the pages section.)

  3. 2.jpgPosition the folded paper with the shorter front half facing you and the cover flap on top. We will call this orientation the standard position.

  4. 3.jpgImagine two short 45-degree diagonals starting from the upper corners of the front half, and going down towards its center. On the cover flap, take each upper corner of the flap and fold it inward (forming a valley crease) diagonally, aligning the side of the cover flap with the imaginary diagonal and creating an acute triangle that points towards the center and somewhat upwards. Do not crease along the entire fold. Just pinch a short crease where the fold meets the side of the paper. The final angle of these creases will be adjusted in Step 15.

  5. Steps 5-7 will center the front square. Pull the upper right corner of the front face down diagonally, aligning the horizontal side of the triangle formed with the bottom edge. Don’t make a diagonal crease; just note where the corner touches the bottom edge — call it Point X.

  6. 4.jpgAt the midpoint between Point X and the lower left corner, make a short vertical inward (valley-forming) crease extending from the bottom edge to about half way up.

  7. 5.jpgRepeat for the upper left corner: pull it down diagonally, aligning the triangle with the bottom edge. Note where the corner touches the bottom edge. Midway between this point and the lower right corner, make a vertical inward crease extending to about halfway up.

  8. 7.jpgUnfold everything, then fold along the two side creases, in the same inward folding direction as the bottom crease and parallel to the length of the paper, marking the sideflaps.

  9. 8.jpgOn each folded sideflap, imagine a line along the length, parallel to the side crease, about one-third of the width from the paper’s edge. Make a smaller inward fold along this line, splitting the sideflap into two: a smaller portion that is half the width of the wider portion, the paper’s edge appearing to divide the wider portion into two. Keep the edges parallel. We will refer to the two new creases formed as the pocket creases.

  10. 9.jpgEach pocket crease ends in two corners. One corner is nearer to, the other farther away from, the bottom crease. Take the nearer corner and, keeping the pockets folded, fold (valley-forming) the end of the sideflap diagonally, forming a small triangle. Make sure the side of the triangle is aligned with the side crease. Repeat for the other sideflap.

  11. Unfold along the side creases, keeping the pockets folded. Refold along the bottom crease.

  12. 10.jpgPosition the paper with the shorter half facing you and the cover flap on top (standard position). The diagonal folds at the upper corners of the front half should be visible.

  13. 11.jpgTake each upper corner of the back face and fold it diagonally inwards along the diagonal of the small triangle, covering the small triangle with a bigger triangle similarly aligned and aligning the horizontal side crease with the upper edge of the front face.

  14. Unfold the small and big triangles. Keeping the bottom crease folded, unfold just the upper portion of the pocket creases on the back face, revealing the full length of the cover flap. On the top edge of the cover flap, note the three pairs of creases: the pocket crease, the side crease (point B), and the diagonal crease (point C).

  15. 12.jpgNote also the short creases on each side of the cover flap, made in Step 4. Make a diagonal inward fold along this crease, slightly adjusting if necessary the angle of the diagonal so that it ends midway between points B and C, creating an acute triangle pointing slightly upwards and towards the center. Reinforce the pocket crease over the acute triangle, unfold the acute triangle, and refold the pocket crease. Repeat for the other corner.

  16. 13.jpgKeeping the pockets folded, refold the bottom crease, the shorter half facing you and the cover flap on top (standard position).

  17. 14.jpgTake each bottom corner and make a small inward diagonal fold, making sure the vertical edge of the triangle formed is aligned with the side crease.

  18. 15.jpgFold the front sideflaps outward (hill-forming) along the existing side creases, hiding them behind the square front face and exposing the back sideflaps.

  19. 16.jpgFold the back sideflaps inwards, along the existing side creases, and tuck each back sideflap into the pocket (hidden) of the front sideflap. It is better to reinforce the existing creases first, before doing this.

  20. 17.jpgOn each sideflap, press the pocket crease with \your forefinger from the outside and your thumb from the inside, flattening the sideflap. Refold the acute triangle on the sideflap. 18.jpgThis will in effect sandwich the top edge of the front sideflap between the acute triangle and the back sideflap, locking it in. Refold the sideflaps back into a flat envelop. Note the zigzag pattern on the cover flap. 19.jpgRepeat for the other sideflap.

  21. 20.jpgOrient the envelop with a side edge facing you. Insert four fingers of one hand into the envelop between the back face and the sideflap. With the thumb, press the side edges together from the outside to flatten the side crease on the back face. 21.jpgOn the cover flap, note the 45-degree diagonal crease, which actually extends (though hidden) into the sideflap inside the envelop. 22.jpgRefold along this crease then flatten back the envelop, reinforcing the creases hidden inside. 23.jpgRepeat for the other sideflap.24.jpg

  22. 26.jpgYou can insert up to two CD/DVDs into this envelop, using the sideflaps as divider.25.jpg



  1. mike
    Posted December 22, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    really hard to follow! pictures don’t help either. complicated names for things 😦

  2. Roberto Verzola
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    The video version may be easier to follow. You can find it here and also at YouTube. Just search for “best cd envelope”.

  3. Janet
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    First of all, thank you for this design, I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. So when I worked through your written instructions and finally figure it out, I was really happy. But I thought I should let you know that I thought the instructions were pretty confusing and took some time for me to figure out (I did worked it all out just from your pictures in the end). Actually, I found the video a lot harder to follow because it was too fast and the contrast was a bit too high for my liking. Maybe you could consider slowing down the time the steps are executed on the video and maybe even adding in voice instructions as you go along? Just some suggestions.
    All else aside, thank you very, very much for coming up with this design! Good work!

  4. Roberto Verzola
    Posted January 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about the poor instructions and fast video. And thanks for the suggestions. I will try to make the improvements that you suggested. Greetings,

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