Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Exploding boxes tutorial

Wonderful Wednesday...what shall we make today????

Well today's tutorial is how to make an exploding box!  At fist glance it looks like a plain old box but....

...take off the lid and the inside opens out to reveal a cluster of flowers!

You could do all sorts and there are plenty of other designs out the if you search.  This tutorial is just to show you a two level box.

1.  This design only uses 3 sheets of paper.  I have chosen double sided for two of them (these will be the main box) and the third is super glittery!  All the sheets are from the same paper pad and measure 12x12".

2.  Start by measuring 4" in from each corner and then joining the lines up to form 9 even squares.  I have used a pen so you can see the lines but ideally you should either use a pencil or score directly onto the card so that you can't see it when you are finished.

3.  You now need to cut the four corner squares out.  You should be left with this cross shape.

4.  Next take your second piece of paper, this will be the inner box.  This will need to be smaller than the one we have just done so cut your 12x12" paper down to 9x9".  Now measure 3" in from each corner and score along the lines before cutting out the four corner squares like before.

5.  I used a corner punch to round my corners off but you could leave them pointed.  Turn your smaller cross over and attach double sided tape to the middle square.  Now stick the smaller cross into the centre of the bigger one like above.

6.  Now we will need to do the lid.  You will need to cut your paper down to  7 1/8" square.  Next step is to mark out 11/2" in from each corner.  Now score your lines (I have used pen so you can see them)

7.  You need to cut along 4 lines now, one from each corner and going along one edge of each corner square.  Fold all lines well.  Hopefully you should have something like the above picture.

8.  Turn your paper over so the pattern is facing you.  Each corner has now become a tab.  You need to use glue or double sided tape on each of the four tabs and then stick so that the lid is formed like above.

9.  Now get creative! let yourself go wild!  In this box you can see that I cut down the square sections of card I removed from the crosses, cut them down and stuck them on each cross (I turned them around for a coordinating colour)  I also used some of the card we dis-guarded to make flowers.   

I used thin acetate strips to make the flowers pop out in  centre and popped sticky gems in the middle of each flower.

In order to make some of the box panels stand up when open I curled up some card and stuck it behind two of the sections.  This means that when the box is open and sitting on a table it doesn't go completely flat, adding a little more depth.

For the lid I wrapped a ribbon around the edge and then stuck a layered flower in the centre over the seem.

Here are a few other exploding boxes I have made recently as a bit of inspirations.  

This box is filled with photos to flip through!

This box has 9 layers in all, the middle one also has it's own lid so you can hide another little treat in there!


  1. Wow this is amazing. Your tutorial makes it look so easy.
    Ali xx

    1. Thanks so much Ali. You will have to give it a go and see if it is really that easy! xx

  2. It's very clever. Thanks for the tute - I'll be popping back to follow it and have a go! Have a great week, Chris xx

    1. Thanks so much for popping by, and if you do have a go please do send a piccy! would love to add it to the gallery! xx

  3. Great tutorial, very clear pictures and explanations. I'll be back to have a go at this for Xmas presents :-)

    1. Hi, Christmas ones are fab! I will repeat this tutorial nearer Christmas as there are some lovely things you can do! I make little 3d Christmas trees to go in the middle which is fun!

      Good luck with them and don't forget to pop back with some piccies! xx

  4. that is so clever, thanks for sharing :) x

  5. So pretty, I'm going to have to try this out and see if I can make my own exploding box, thank you for sharing x

  6. A really clear tutorial, thanks for sharing. I've always thought exploding boxes were tricky to make, but you've made it much clearer.

  7. I've just found this post which answers my question about exploding boxes, so please ignore me! These are fab, the one with photos in looks really interesting and a great keepsake.