Sophie is an origami nut and has been for a long time. Fiona loves it too in her own novice way. So when I saw instructions somewhere for using fabric stiffener to turn fabric into a durable origami-like material for crafts, I knew this would be a hit. We ended up buying a book of instructions and project ideas, but really it's very easy and you can use almost any simple origami pattern.
First we paint the fabric with Stiffy. We use a rigid squeegee to remove the excess Stiffy. A credit card or ruler would work fine too. Then we hang the fabric to dry. When it's dry it's as stiff as cardstock and makes lovely sharp creases with a bone folder or even a thumbnail. We iron it to eliminate wrinkles, using a cloth over top to protect the iron. Then we cut out our origami squares, taking care to get nice 90-degree angles. Sophie made a box and lid today (photo below, box in progress).
Sides, bases and tops can be strengthened with cereal-box-board inserts. Loose edges can be tucked in and glued. Embellishments, divider inserts and contrasting liners can be added. We need to get to a craft store to pick up some ribbons and other findings. Goodness knows we have enough little scraps of fabric to keep us going for quite a while. We think that this year's hand-made Christmas tree decorations may be folded fabric stars.
I'm sure there are lots more possibilities waiting to be discovered...