I learned this fold a long time ago, then re-discovered it recently as a “Victorian puzzle purse”. The picture below shows three stages of folding.
The structure has been used for love notes and valentines in Europe and North America. Here’s an example from the Houghton Library at Harvard University,
I have used this fold for a valentine. You can find the original post with instructions here, but if you want to work it out from the crease pattern, here it is.
Some people have used this fold for the top layer pockets of a Zhen Xian Bao, but I find it adds too much bulk for such a small a storage space.
Although I learned this fold from an origami book years ago, what I learned only recently is that the fold was (is?) used by children in Japan to make a homemade version of playing pieces for a game.
The South Korean version is folded from two squares of paper, but if you are using heavier paper (like copy paper), you might want to try folding your menko card from strips. Rather than do a lot of measuring, I cut some scrap paper into strips, folded it, then cut off the excess.
First fold: fold the bottom left corner up to the top edge.
Second fold: fold the left hand tip to the right.
Third fold: fold the right edge to the left. The new fold should be made at the point where the tip of the triangle meets the top edge.
Fourth fold: unfold your last two folds. You should have a strip with a folded point at the left end. Fold the right hand end down along the third fold. Flip the paper vertically, then trim off the excess.
You should have something that looks like step (c) in the Wikipedia article shown above. Follow the rest of the illustrated steps shown in the article.
The menko made from strips makes a good temporary wrapper for small items. It can be made more permanent and re-usable by gluing the centre squares of the two strips together. The menkos could also be used for seasonal coasters, or strung together to make bunting or a Christmas tree garland.
In other book arts news:
Timothy C. Ely has been writing a series of posts about sketchbooks.
His most recent one discusses one of his favourite methods for binding a sketchbook.