Origami Paper Storage

For casual paper folders, origami paper storage can be as simple as leaving the sheets in it’s original wrapping. But for serious origami enthusiasts who have many sizes and textures of paper, paper storage becomes a real issue. Here are some ideas to consider:





Zip-Lock Bags
When the original packaging has torn, origami paper can be stored in plastic zip lock bags. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your various papers. They are transparent so you can see what is inside. And, the write-on surface allows you to track where you bought the paper and how much it cost. See various ziploc bags here.

Divided Portfolios
An easy way to store and organize paper is to use an expandable portfolio that has compartments separated by dividers. These portfolios can be found in any office supply store and are affordable. They are not the sturdiest containers, but they will be fine for your casual paper folder. See portfolios here.

Diskette Cases
Back when CD’s were unknown, computer information was stored on diskettes, also called floppies. You're in luck if you still have some of these relics: these diskette boxes and cases are great for storing origami paper. The 3½” x 3½” cases are perfect for storing a stack of 3” squares. And by golly, those 5¼” diskette boxes are great for 5" paper. See diskette boxes & cases here.




Trays and Shelves
For those of you who do not have diskette boxes, The Container Store sells a variety of boxes, shelves, and trays that are quite handy for origami paper. Things to consider:

  • Size: get the right size container for the right size paper. A tray that is too small will cause your paper to curl at the edges. A tray that is too big will allow your sheets to slip & slide and damage the paper edges.

  • Stackability: get stackable trays so you are space efficient. Obviously, the containers must be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the trays on top (with the paper inside too).

  • Transparency: a transparent container is good in that you can look inside without having to open it. However, if you intend to store your paper for a long time, then a transparent container will not protect your paper against sun bleaching.

  • Accessibility: desktop trays and open-ended filing systems are great in that you can easily remove a sheet of paper without disturbing the other sheets. However, because these are not completely covered, your paper may get dusty and the color may fade at the exposed edge. See open ended shelves here.

    Completely closed boxes and files are great for keeping your papers clean and away from sun damage. But you will need to take the extra step to open and close the container every time you want a sheet of paper. Again, think about what you want from your paper storage system before you buy.




Gift Wrap Paper
Some people like to cut wrapping paper to size and use the lovely patterned paper for origami. How to store these rolls and rolls of wrapping paper? Amazon.com has a variety of gift paper storage systems especially for gift wrap rolls. Some of them are plastic tupperware types while other are tubular sleeves where you can pack everything in. See gift wrap paper storage systems here.



Map Drawers and Chests
For over-sized sheets of paper, a map drawer (also called map chest or flat-file drawer) is perfect. These cabinets have short, wide, drawers that slide in and out. They are a dream to have; but they are expensive and take up quite a bit of floor space. The cheapest map drawer is about $160 and the large ones are $1000+. See map chest here and map drawer here.


Paper Racks
Your other option with over-sized paper is a paper rack. You can make a paper rack with dowels and wooden rods, or you can buy one ($50 to $100). You can also modify a shoe rack or a towel rack to have the same function at a fraction of the cost. [Photo from paperworks.biz which also has a really cool colormesh origami paper.]

Paper racks are a visually stunning method of paper storage, but you need to think about their functionality. Paper draped on a rack will get a bump where the paper rolls over the rod. Plus, the paper is exposed, so it may get dusty and the color may fade.