Welcome to my pop out explosion box tutorial! Last night I worked on what’s known as an “exploding box card” This one is a really cool twist on the traditional greeting card…it’s like a card on steroids because it’s not just a card…it’s a box!
Now it doesn’t actually “explode” thank goodness. On the outside, it looks like an adorable gift box, but when the lid is removed, the box falls open to reveal cute greetings, tokens, photos, etc. and the lucky recipient thinks WOW I did not see that one coming!
🎁Explosion Box Materials List
This post, and project, was done courtesy of Sharri’s Berries. On the link you’ll find some excellent templates to download if you’d like to try out this fun idea for yourself! I would’ve gone that route, but unfortunately my printer has gotten tapped out on ink.
That was when I realized I needed to acquire some new cardstock, ’cause I was tapped out on that too! I got a nice set from Scrapbook.com…it’s in all kinds of great colors.
For this you need some cardstock paper in at least the 60-lb weight in 12 by 12″ size. It can be any color combo you want. In addition you’ll want to have:
- an x-acto knife or scoring tool
- paper-friendly adhesive, such as glue dots , Avery glue stic, etc.
- craft scissors, optionally a corner rounder or decorative hole punch
- assortment of materials to decorate the inside (includes scrap paper, glitter, tape, ribbons, etc.)
Be prepared to get comfortable using a ruler as you’re going to be doing a good bit of measuring here! I’m using warm tone colors for my box. It’s fall right now (yay!) and I love red and orange so I chose dark red, bright red and orange.
Explosion Box Measurements
Ok…ready? Grab your ruler and let’s go to town! With your first sheet of cardstock securely in place (my sheet is flush with a masonite board I’m using to protect my workspace) hold your ruler parallel exactly to the sheet of cardstock.
Divide three sections each of them being 4″ apiece…Using a pencil, mark them off. Now rotate the sheet and repeat the same measurements. It’ll kind of like be like creating a “tic tac toe” board. Using a scoring tool, make a crease to make the paper easier to fold.
Now you’re going to take the next second and third cardstock sheets and repeat what you did with the first sheet only this time you are going to make them a little smaller .
With the second sheet, trim off one-fourth of the perimeter, and the third sheet, trim off a half of an inch.
The reason we are making these inside sheets a little smaller is that they are the successive layers that will go inside the first layer of your exploding box and will peek out nicely. The center square will remain the same size.
Carefully trim your three sheets cut off the first, third, seventh and ninth squares. What you will have remaining will resemble a plus sign.
Apply adhesive to the center square of the second and third layers to the middle of the first layer so they will stay in place but the side panels will “pop out”.
You can also do something jazzy with the outside edges, too, on one of the layers. Check out this exploding box example with scalloped edges; you could also do something similar, make the edges crimped or scalloped on the outside (first) layer and alternate on the third for a really good effect!
🎁How to Decorate Your Explosion Box
All right! You have gotten the technical stuff out of the way. Give yourself a pat on the back…now this is where the fun REALLY begins. We’re going to decorate the layers of our exploding box card!
Whatever the occasion is that you want to present your card, you can use many items: scrap paper, gift wrapping paper, glitter, stick-on gems, the possibilities are really endless.
I’ve been going to town with a combination of these. In addition I used my gel pens to draw embellishments.
Making the Center Square
Now let’s tackle the center of the box – you need a cute little adornment to go in the center. First, though, we need to create a little platform for it. Try this hack to make it super-easy:
Take one of the squares you cut out previously and fashion it into a tiny mini-box by dividing it in half using the ruler and scoring tool and folding it into a box shape. Glue it into the middle square.
🎁Explosion Box Inside Ideas
What you can put in the center depends on your imagination – and the occasion coming up – you can tailor it to whatever that may be -perhaps a birthday, anniversary, moving away, etc.
Need some extra-special ideas for what to surprise someone in the middle of the box with? Here ya go…
- A miniature gift box
- A ring (hint hint, for guys thinking of a new way to pop the question)
- A small trinket of sentimental value
- A scale model version of an item that represents your social occasion (think dollhouse furniture)
This was tricky for me because, first of all, I didn’t have an occasion, and second…an object that was “just perfect”. I finally found this cute kitty I made out of clay way back when 🙂 What do you think?
Glue your chosen object to the center mini box (Use a more non-porous glue for this – I am using Aleene’s clear tacky glue)
Remember that with multiple layers, you’ve got a LOT of territory to cover, so don’t stop at the center…decorate the inner layers too! You can use gift paper scraps, gem embellishments, sequins, beads, glitter…I think you get the idea…Pimp that baby out!!
🎁Creating the Lid
Well, now we come to the lid….What you need to do now is get your fourth sheet of cardstock and measure out a square in the middle that is the same size as the one from the very first sheet layer you cut (4″).
Measure about 2″ from around the perimeter. Mark them off just as you did earlier with the card layers. Score the edges and fold the perimeter up to create the edges of the lid.
The corner edges, as you can see in the image above, can be trimmed off. As you fold the paper into position, removing some of that excess bulk of side flaps, will make that part easier.
Use glue to secure the sides. I think you know where this is going but here goes….Bling up that lid too with a little razz-a-ma-taz!
Gather up the sides of your main box that you’ve decorated….If executed correctly, you should be able to place the lid over it securely.
When the recipient removes the lid, the magic happens and it falls open to reveal all your handiwork 🙂
🎁Ta-da! An explosion box!♥
I know this project looks complicated, but when you get started you’ll be surprised…it just looks that way. Try it sometime and let me know how it goes for you. If you get stuck let me know in the comments. Happy carding!