Flat box with high onion dome

flat box with high onion dome 1

Anna made the patterns for this new flat box with an onion dome top.

For my box I used paper of quality 80 g/sqm. This is not quite heavy enough for the large container. 100 g/sqm or possibly 120 g/sqm would be better. However, the small squares in the top of the onion dome can hardly be made from paper heavier than 100 g/sqm.  You need to compromise or use different paper weights.

Flat box with high onion dome pattern 1 Flat box with high onion dome pattern 2 Flat box with high onion dome pattern 3 Flat box with high onion dome pattern 4

Flat container

For the box’s container you need:

  • 2 x 20 arms (B1) in two colours A and C OR 4 x 10 arms (B1) in the colours A, B, C and D. Remember to mirror one set if you are using paper with different front and rear sides
  • 1 narrow strip (B2) in colour A and one in colour C
  • 1 zig-zag strip (B3) in colour A
  • The 5 circles (B4) (B5) (B6) (B7) (B8) for the bottom. The circle (B8) must have colour A, the rest shall be different so that the same colour do not meet when layered.

First you shall make the sides.

  • Take the narrow strip (B2) in colour A and fix the first set of 20 arms (B1) (in colour A OR A and B alternating) side by side to the strip using the small square. The arms must all swirl in the same direction
  • Fix the second set of 20 arms (B1 mirrored) (in colour C OR C and D alternating) so that each “arm square” is just above one in the layer below but the arm swirl in the opposite direction
  • Crease all arms around the strip (B2)
  • Form a circle from the strip (B2) and fix the circle so that the plain smooth side is on the outside and the arms point outward. This end of the box is to become the upper part
  • Weave as if this was a sphere (see Sphere #001) using paper clips. The weaving must be tight and even. Consider that the small squares shall be perpendicular to the direction of weaving forming straight “lines” running from top to bottom.

You have weaved just enough, when the item ends like indicated on picture #1.

picture 1picture 2

  • Tighten up so that the box is flat and the weaving is even
  • Fix thoroughly with glue. The glue must be distributed on the entire area below the end of the arms (orange on picture #1)
  • Allow the glue to dry
  • Take a pair of scissors and cut slits perpendicular from the box edge to the points of the last set of full squares
  • Take a table knife. Place the knife edge most precisely reaching from point (end of cut) to point. Crease the ”new arms” around the knife edge. The arms shall point directly upwards. Do this for all 20 new arms
  • Take a strip (B2) in colour C. Fix the new arms to this strip one by one. The strip shall be on the outside end the strip must stand up perpendicular to the box bottom
  • Cut away any surplus arm standing up from the up stand.

Now you shall make the bottom. The pattern is made so that it should fit the sides you have woven. But your sides may have turned out slightly different. If the circles are too small the pattern will allow for this. If the circles are too large you have either 1) to cut down the circles (B4), (B5), (B6), and (B7); or 2) you have to rescale the pattern slightly and cut a new set. Try how one of the circles fit inside the bottom opening you made.

  • Layer the 5 round pieces so that you get a pattern of concentric circles, i.e. the circle (B8) is on top
  • Fix with glue
  • Crease the flaps of the last circle (B8) using the other circles as a mould
  • Crease the flaps so that they stand up from the side with the pattern of circles.

And now you must fix the bottom to the box sides.

  • Place the bottom inside the bottom opening. The ends of the creased sides shall follow the edge of the up stand on the sides. Use a pair of tweezers to get a precise fit.
  • Take the zig-zag strip (B3) in colour A and smear glue on the part with the small triangles and fix it all along the up stand. Consider aligning the points of the triangles and the points on the box
  • Check that the bottom piece still has a precise fit
  • Smear glue on the rest of the strip (B3) and crease along the edge thus fixing the bottom to the sides. Take care to make an even and smooth crease. Press and fix to the inside of the ring.

Onion dome top

The onion dome is started using the same procedure as for weaving a cone. However you cannot cut the arms in one piece from a single sheet of paper. You must cut them individually and fix them to the top cone one by one. This is because the diameter of the onion dome is not increasing in a linear way from the point, it increases faster and you need some extra material.

For the onion dome top you need:

  • 2 x 10 arms (T1) in two colours A and C OR 4 x 5 arms (T1) in the colours A, B, C and D. Remember to mirror one set if you are using paper with different front and rear sides
  • 1 top cone (T4) in colour A
  • 1 narrow strip (T2) in colour C
  • 1 zig-zag strip (T3) in colour A
  • 1 mould (T5) any colour

You make the onion dome like this.

  • Take the small cone (T4) in colour A and fix the first set of 10 arms (T1) (in colour A OR A and B alternating) side by side to the cone using the small long rectangles. The arms must all swirl in the same direction
  • Fix the second set of 10 arms (T1 mirrored) (in colour C OR C and D alternating) so that each “arm rectangle” is just above one in the layer below but swirl in the opposite direction
  • Weave as much as possible while the items is still flat
  • Form the cone and fix with glue using the flap
  • Form and fix also the mould (T5)
  • Inset the mould in the cone and weave as if this is a cone using paper clips to temporarily keep arms and mould together
  • Take care not to crease the point of the small top cone.
  • Stop weaving when the form starts to turn wider than the mould. Tighten up the woven item using a pair of tweezers to make a firm and even fit
  • Go on weaving now as if you are making a sphere using paper clips. Leave the mould inside the dome to ensure stability of the top
  • Weave on until nearly all is woven.

The pattern for the dome is actually a pattern for a closed form, a “drop”. Thus when you require an onion dome you must end the weaving differently and cut away the lowest part.

  • Tighten up so that the shape of the onion dome is not askew and the weaving is even
  • Identify the square with a diagonal width from side to side of about 1.8 cm. These diagonals are to form the bottom line of the onion dome
  • Fix thoroughly with glue. The glue must be distributed on the entire area below the arms and include the squares with the diagonals and the squares one step further up on the dome
  • Allow the glue to dry
  • Take a pair of scissors and cut slits perpendicular from the hole between arms to the points of the last set of full squares
  • Take a table knife. Place the knife edge most precisely reaching from point (end of cut) to point. Crease the ”new arms” around the knife edge. The arms shall point directly upwards. Do this for all 10 new arms
  • Take a strip (T2) in colour C. Fix the new arms to this strip one by one. The strip shall be on the outside end the strip must stand up perpendicular to the dome bottom
  • Cut away any surplus arm standing up from the up stand.

Now you may test that the dome fits the upper opening of the box. If much too large you may consider building up a heavier up stand on the box. But wait until the onion dome is quite finished to get a perfect fit. If the dome is too small (it should not be) you must cut open the dome arms and fix them once again to a new strip now allowing a little more space between arms.

  • Take the zig-zag strip (T3) in colour A and smear glue on the part with the small triangles and fix it all along the dome up stand. Consider aligning the points of the triangles and the points on the dome
  • Smear glue on the rest of the strip (T3) and crease along the edge. Take care to make an even and smooth crease. Press and fix to the inside of the ring.

Place the onion dome lid on top of the container and the box is ready.

picture 3

Files for cutting: Flat box with high onion dome cut 1 ; Flat box with high onion dome cut 2 ; Flat box with high onion dome cut 3 ; Flat box with high onion dome cut 4

14 thoughts on “Flat box with high onion dome

  1. I’m not quite understanding how you must weave the onion dome top. Do you glue the first set of A and B strips to the small cone and THEN glue the other alternating C and D arms on top of the already secured A and B strips? And when and how do you insert the mould into the partially formed cone? I am sorry for asking so many questions but I really want to get this project right the first time around since it’s to be a present for a friend.

    • Thank you for trying. It is always a pleasure to learn that someone takes an interest in our work.
      You glue the first set of A and B arms to the small cone and next you glue the other alternating C and D arms on top of the already secured A and B arms so that each arm makes a perfect fit onto the small triangle below, but the arms swirl in the opposite direction. Wait until dry. Weave as much as possible while the item is still flat, because it is so much easier than weaving the 3 d item. Then form the cone and fix with glue. What you have now is what resembles a woven cone. Form the cone mould and place it inside the dome top. You may even fix it with glue to keep it in place. Then go on weaving as if it was indeed a simple cone. After a short while the cone mould does not work anymore, it is too slim. But it supports the top so just let it stay.
      I hope this is helpful. Lene

    • Dear Noam. I shall be only too glad to help you. But I do not understand your question. Where in the process of weaving the onion dome is your problem? The top/dome is started and woven like a simple cone. Did you try to make one of those? Lene

  2. I am always in awe of the things you do and that you share them with all of us out here in cyberspace. I wonder do you have a computer program that figures our the exact proportions and angles and curves that the paper needs to be to achieve the shape your creating? It’s genius!!

    • Hi Karin
      Yes, Anna uses the computer software RHINO‘ to generate the strips and arms for the shapes. You may download a test version with 25 saves. Anna is a trained architect and using the software is not simple. Lene

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