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Great to see you're back. In the first part of this series, I introduced you to the basics of designing an explosion box and the different types of base areas (here. go to the first part of the blog entry). Today I would like to show you how you can make this gift box for your partner, family or friends with just a few tools and thus conjure up a great, unique gift for your loved ones. The box is suitable for a wide variety of occasions, such as an anniversary present for your partner, a present for Mother’s Day, a birthday present for friends or just to bring joy to a loved one:
The box is made up of three different layers and contains my favorite design elements for incorporating photos and messages. At the end of the blog post you will find a PDF quick guide with sketches and dimensions for all the presented design elements in real size for a 10,0x10,0 cm explosion box. You could easily print this out in A4 and use it as a template.
You need the following materials to create the box:
Optional for faster and more precise work:
If you like the design of my box, here is a list of the boxes and decorative elements I used to buy:
Also have a look at this blog post if you need further tips and tricks for crafting with paper.
1 The base area
1.1 Base area: lower layer with heart corners
1.2 Base area: middle layer
1.3 Base area: top layer
2 Moving design elements with photos
2.1 Waterfall card
2.2 Slider card
3 Moving design elements for hidden messages
3.1 Draw card - version 1
3.2 Draw card - version 2
3.3 Flower envelope
4 Other decorative elements
4.1 Card with ribbon
4.2 Insert pockets
5 The lid
5.1 Lid decoration
6 You did it!
Now let's start with the base of our explosion box. I already explained in detail the creation of the heart base area and other base area types in the first part of the blog entry including sketches and templates. If you haven't read the first part of the blog post, please have a look here. .
To create the base, we first cut our first box to the dimensions 30,0x30,0 cm. Then we draw an auxiliary line every 10 cm with our pencil (please do not press too hard so that it can be removed later without leaving any residue). The sheet is then rotated 90 ° and the process repeated. Then draw a diagonal auxiliary line on all corner squares of the base area.
To create the corners of the heart, we need another piece of cardboard with the dimensions 10,0x10,0cm. Tip: the freebie from part 1 of the blog post contains a heart template. This will help you to save yourself some time during the next steps. Now draw a diagonal line and fold your cardboard into a triangle. Draw an auxiliary point on the folded side at approximately 8,5 cm. Also mark a point on the open side at around 6,5 cm (measured from the same starting point). Now connect the two auxiliary points with an arch-shaped line. This will later be the top round part of your heart. If you are satisfied with the shape, cut out the heart and your corner template is ready. Now place the pointed part of the heart at the lower center of the corner squares and trace the top of the heart shape with your pencil. Repeat this process four times. Now cut out your base area on the outer lines, bend all the remaining pencil lines inwards and smooth them out. To get a straight fold line, it is best to place a ruler flush with the line and press the box against it. Another option is to lay a ruler flush and to trace a line lightly with a cutter or Precision Craft Cutter * cut. You just have to be careful not to apply too much pressure and damage the paper. Instead of a cutter, there are also other aids such as one embossing pen * that you can use. After you have folded the box, draw the fold line. The best way to smooth out the line is to use a folding stick *. Finally, erase the pencil lines.
The first layer of our explosion box is already finished. Let's continue with the second layer:
The middle of this layer should have a square the size of 9,5 cm, i.e. it should be a little smaller than the middle of our first layer and set off a little from the background through the motif cardboard. I particularly like to use a motif cardboard with a pattern that matches the color of the box. In order to be able to guess something of the lower layer, the side surfaces are also a little shorter this time, namely 9 cm long. As a starting point for this second layer, you can proceed differently. Either you use a motif cardboard of the size 27,5 x 27,5 cm (variant 1) or two rectangles with the size 27,5x9,5 cm, if you have a DIN A4 cardboard box (variant 2).
Variant 1: Large box
After you have cut your cardboard to 27,5 x 27,5 cm, we draw a parallel auxiliary line at a distance of 9 cm and repeat this process for each side. Please measure the square you get in the middle. It should have a size of 9,5 cm. This layer has no pockets or other extras. We can simply cut out the 4 squares created at the corner points and bend the remaining auxiliary lines - done. Round off the corners with a corner punch if you have one at hand. For normal round corners I can recommend this * Recommend punches. For corners with patterns, for example this * punch here is great as well.
Variant 2: A4 cardboard
For the second variant, we cut two rectangles with the dimensions 4x27,5 cm from our A9,5 cardboard. After you have cut the cardboard correctly, draw a parallel auxiliary line with your pencil from the outer edge. The resulting rectangle in the middle is 9,5 cm in size. Now fold the cardboard at the pencil guidelines. Round the corners with a corner punch * if you have one on hand. Repeat the process with the second rectangle. Then give glue (paper glue * or double-sided adhesive tape *) on the middle rectangle of one box and glue it on the middle rectangle of the second box.
For the third and last layer of our box we need a box with the dimensions 25,0x25,0 cm. The middle of this layer consists of a square with the size 9 cm and has sides of 8,0 cm in length. Now draw four parallel auxiliary lines again, but this time measured 8,0 cm from the outside.
Before we put our sides together, we decorate the outer walls of our explosion box. Cut out 4 squares with 9,8x9,8 cm from a motif cardboard that you like. Put glue on the back and stick the motif cardboard in the middle of the four outer walls of the heart base area.
Now let's put our three layers together. To do this, simply put some glue on the underside of the middle surface of your second layer and place it in the middle of your heart base. Then you apply your third layer in the middle according to the same principle and our box blank is ready!
Pictures say more than 1000 words! Put your best memories together with these impressive design elements in your box:
My favorite photo element and a real classic that you should definitely try out! At first glance, there is only one photo to be seen, but if you pull the tape, the so-called waterfall map starts to move: the first picture folds back and releases the second picture and so on. Every time I am amazed at how the pictures move when I pull them. After you have looked at all the pictures, you simply push the pulling mechanism back into its original position.
For the box in our example, I used two large and one small waterfall map:
Large waterfall map (8,0x8,0 cm)
For the large card you need 4 white cardboard rectangles with the dimensions 6,0x3,5 cm. I also use a corner punch * with the size M to round off the corners. In addition, you need two squares with the dimensions 8,0x8,0 cm and a rectangle with the dimensions 15,0x6,0 cm.
Now take one of the 8,0x8,0 cm squares (also here I have rounded the corners with the size M) and draw a parallel stitch to the right outside about 8 mm from the edge with your pencil. Then draw another line parallel to this line at a distance of one cm. The lines drawn should each be 6,4 cm long, so we have to measure 8 mm from the top and bottom and mark this point. Now we use a ruler and a cutter to help us and cut the two lines from the upper to the lower marked auxiliary point. Our pulling element, to which the photos are attached, will later be pulled through these two slots.
In the next step we will make the pulling element. Cut out a rectangle measuring 15,0 x 6,0 cm from cardboard. Measure 3,5 cm from the right side and draw a parallel guide line with your pencil. Now draw three more parallel auxiliary lines at a distance of 1,0 cm. Optionally, round off the corners of the left side of the rectangle with a corner punch (M). Now use a hole punch * (3 mm) or alternatively a normal hole punch if you don't have one at hand and punch a hole in the middle on the left side. Our tape for pulling will be attached here later. In the next step we make fold lines on the four auxiliary lines drawn by placing the ruler and slightly cutting the cardboard with our cutter. Then we fold the box backwards on all lines.
Now it's time for the pictures! You can use your 4 white rectangles as stencils, draw a frame and then cut out the picture a bit smaller so that a narrow white frame remains around the picture. When I print out the pictures in the store, I use photo collage apps to edit the pictures on my mobile phone to bring my pictures to the approximate size that I need for the card. For home printing, I use Word and thick printer paper *. To make it as easy as possible for you, I've made a Word document with a frame for you in the sizes of all the photo elements explained here. You can check out the Word template here. or at the end of the article together with the PDF quick guide. All you have to do is insert your desired images into the Word document, place the images behind the respective frame and adjust the size. Then you can simply print them on A4 paper (if possible use thicker paper, such as this * here) and cut them out on the frame. Now round off the corners and stick all the pictures in the middle of the 4 white rectangles. Then glue the first image on the right side of the rectangle and attach 3 strips of double-sided tape between the fold lines as shown below. Then stick the left edge of your second picture onto the strip of double-sided tape next to the first picture. The third and fourth picture follow the same principle.
Put the card together by applying a strip of double-sided tape on the 8,0x8,0 cm square between the two slots. We attach the back of the outer right edge of our pulling mechanism to this adhesive surface. At the last fold line we fold the cardboard completely and thread it through the slots. The side with the hole is now to the right of our picture sequence. In the last step, we give narrow double-sided tape (3 mm *) or a very thin line paper glue * on the back of the four outer sides of our card. Be careful here. If the glue gets too far inside the card, the drawing mechanism of your waterfall card can be blocked. When you have applied the glue, glue the square flush to the second 8,0x8,0 cm square that we cut out. Last but not least - thread a ribbon through the hole and knot it. Now you can stick the finished card in your box. I use two large waterfall cards each for my boxes. One on the lowest (heart) level and one on the middle level. Finished!
Small waterfall card (6,5x6,5 cm)
The small waterfall card also works according to the principle described above, only the dimensions are slightly smaller. You need four white rectangles for your pictures with the dimensions 3,0x5,0 cm, two squares with the dimensions 6,5x6,5 cm and one rectangle with the dimensions 12,0x5,0 cm. The pictures are attached at a distance of 7,5 mm. With my box, I have attached the small waterfall card on the top box level.
With this great card you can pull on one side and a message or pictures appears on the both sides as if by magic.
To create this card, you need three squares with the dimensions 8,0x8,0 cm and two rectangles with the dimensions 7,5x5,5 cm.
First, we cut out the cardboard elements shown above and round off two corners of the 7,5x5,5 cm rectangles on the short side with a corner punch (M).
Take the first square and draw an auxiliary line around it at a distance of 1,0 cm. Then draw a further 1 cm long auxiliary line on two opposite auxiliary lines, each offset by approximately 6,0 mm inwards. Take a cutter and cut out the lines that are 1 mm apart. This is how you get two narrow slots as shown below:
Now we cut an approximately 5,5 cm wide and 13,0 cm long strip from an old plastic bag. We thread it through our two slots and glue the plastic tape together using a piece of double-sided adhesive tape. Please don't stick the tape together too tightly, but rather loosely. Try whether the plastic band can move smoothly. If not, you may have taped it too tightly. In this case, undo the bond and stick it back together a little looser. Cut off the excess.
We now push the glued together part of our plastic tape to the left side of our square. Then we cut off a piece of double-sided tape and put it on the non-rounded short side of one of our rectangles. The rectangle is now glued to the left outer edge of our plastic tape. Then turn the whole thing around and repeat the process with the second rectangle on the right side of the plastic tape. A rectangle should now peek out on the left side and a rectangle on the right side of your square.
Try out whether your pulling device works: By pulling on one of the rectangles, the second rectangle should also move in the opposite direction by itself. If that works, we put a couple of 3D adhesive pads on each of the side edges where there is no pull-out rectangle and stick one of the 8,0x8,0 cm squares flush on top. Now all we have to do is repeat the same thing on our back and our slider card is ready. Now stick a photo (approx. 7x7 cm) on the middle of your card and write a personal message or stick a picture (approx. 6x5 cm) on the two rectangles. Finished! Now you can glue the finished element onto the bottom layer of your gift box.
Another great element is the draw card. When you pull the ribbon, a hidden message appears.
First cut out two squares with the dimensions 6,5x6,5 cm and a rectangle with the dimensions 7,0x5,0 cm. I rounded the corners of the squares again with my corner punch (M).
First, take the oblong rectangle. Use your punch pliers and make a hole in the middle of the upper short side. The two corners next to it are cut off at an angle (approx. 1,5 cm from the corner). Now take one of your two squares (motif cardboard) and draw auxiliary lines on the back on each side at a distance of 7 mm. From one of these auxiliary lines we draw a parallel auxiliary line at a distance of 2,0 cm. Then another at a distance of 2,0 cm (see sixth photo below).
Now cut the left, right and lower auxiliary lines with a cutter. The upper auxiliary line is only slightly traced to make the paper easier to bend. Also trace the two remaining auxiliary lines on the inside with your cutter or use an embossing pen instead. Now fold the cardboard backwards on the middle auxiliary line and forward on the other two auxiliary lines.
Then we put glue on the back of the lower bent part and glue the rectangle onto it with a puller. In the last step we glue the element we just made onto the second square. Caution: Only put glue on the lower, right and left outer edge so that your pulling mechanism is not hindered at the top. Now thread the ribbon and the drawing card is ready. I like to decorate it with a punched one heart * or a flower *.
After you have written your hidden text on the card, you can stick it on one of the sides of your top box level.
I want to introduce you to another hidden message draw card. This card works well for messages that consist of two parts. It makes the first part of your sentence visible at first. Then when you pull the ribbon, the second part becomes visible.
To make this card you need two squares with the dimensions 7,5x7,5 cm and a rectangle with the dimensions 7,5x6,5 cm. I rounded off all corners again with my corner punch (M) and then punched a hole in the middle of the short side of the rectangle with my punch pliers.
Measure 3 cm from the bottom of your rectangle and draw a parallel auxiliary line with your pencil. Cut this auxiliary line now just closely before the end of the paper (leave approx. half a cm). Then measure 1 cm around one of our squares and draw four auxiliary lines.
We cut the two opposite sides with the help of our cutter until we meet the guidelines above and below. S.o There are two 5,5 cm long slots on the left and right side of your square. We can now erase the pencil lines. We assemble the element by pushing apart the rectangle on the incised line and pulling the open end from behind through one of the slots in our rectangle. Then we thread the cardboard through the second slot and connect the cut cardboard at the back with a piece of thin double-sided adhesive tape:
Now we just have to glue the finished element flush with thin double-sided adhesive tape on the second square. Caution: Do not glue the top to not hinder the pulling mechanism.
Attach another piece of tape to pull, write your text on the card and stick it on one side of the second box level. To decorate this element I used a 3D flower sticker (see link above).
This mini envelope has the shape of a flower and becomes a small hexagon when you open it. In the envelope you can place a photo or a small message.
To make it, you need a compass or you simply use the print template from my PDF quick guide at the bottom of this blog post.
Place your compass on a ruler and set it to 5 cm. Draw a circle in the middle of cardboard. Keep the setting of your circle. Make a small marking point somewhere on your circle and start the circle there. Mark the point at which the compass meets the circle again. Place the circle on this new marker and make your next marker where the circle meets the circle. Repeat the process until you come back to your originally set marker. Now connect all adjacent markings with a straight line to create a hexagon. In the next step, draw connecting lines between the markings again, but this time leave out one in the middle. This creates a triangle. Repeat this process and start at one of the three remaining markings. This creates another triangle in the middle of your circle.
Now measure the distance between two points of your drawn hexagon and draw an auxiliary line at an angle of 90 °. Place the circle in the middle of the hexagon sides and draw a semicircle. The finished result should now look like this:
Now cut out the whole thing on the arc-shaped outer edge with scissors. Then use a cutter and ruler to draw all the lines of our two triangles as well as the six auxiliary lines leading to the outer circles so that we can bend them later. Now it is time to fold. First, we fold the cardboard forward on all of the triangle lines. Then we fold the cardboard inwards on the six straight lines to our semicircles.
The last folding step is a bit difficult to put into words, but I hope you can see it in the picture below:
Finally, erase your pencil lines and stick a photo in the middle of your envelope. Done! I prefer to place this beautiful element on the top box layer where it can be seen immediately.
For a triple card that can be closed with a ribbon, we need a box with the dimensions 27,0x7,0 cm.
We measure 9,0 cm from the left and right outer edge, draw a parallel guide line and follow it lightly with our cutter. Then the first auxiliary line is bent forward and the second backward. This creates a 3-sided card with a surface of 9,0 x7,0 cm each, which still needs to be decorated.
I usually stick a photo with a size of 7,0x5,0 cm on the front of the card and frame it with washi tape. I stick a tape on the back of the card, which will later seal the card. There is enough space inside the card for a personal message, vouchers or pictures.
For our lowest box layer, we quickly create two insert pockets.
We need two rectangles with the dimensions 11,6x7,0 cm. Now we measure 1,0 cm from the right, left and bottom and draw a parallel auxiliary line. To create three glue flaps we use our scissors to slightly cut off diagonally the six corners towards our fold lines.
We draw our auxiliary lines slightly with a cutter or an embossing pen. Then we fold the resulting glue flaps backwards, put paper glue or double-sided adhesive on the glue flaps and glue the flaps on two opposite sides of our lowest box layer. I personally like to place the flap with the open end facing out. I find this more user-friendly because it makes it easier to get inside the flap.
In the example above, I simply put a 14,0x8,0 cm card in my pocket. But not only greeting cards but also vouchers or pictures fitt well in our explosion box. Another nice decoration idea for using flaps is a card garland:
For example, I implemented the card garland "5 reasons why I love you". Simply attach 5 small pieces of paper (approx. 5,0 x 3,5 cm) to a tape. To do this, measure the width of your tape, make two slightly larger slots in your box and thread it on the tape. One end of the ribbon is knotted and the other end is glued to the inside of the bag with hot glue. Caution: Make sure that your bag does not stick together.
Now that we have finished our base area, we need a lid to close the box. First, I would like to show you a simple lid type which is super fast and easy to create: Draw a square on our cardboard which is about 3 mm bigger than our box base area (i.e. for a box with an outside dimension of 10,0 cm we need a square with a side length of 10,3 cm). Now you have to decide how wide the lid flaps should be. Personally I think 4,0 cm is a good length, because it can hold together even heavier boxes filled with many design elements. Let's draw two lines with a length of 4,0 cm at each corner and connect them. Next, we have to create our glue flaps to hold the lid together. These four flaps should be approximately 1-2 cm wide and face each other:
Now cut out the outer lines, lightly trace all the inner lines with a cutter and bend the resulting fold lines with a folder. Then put glue on the adhesive flaps (if possible, use strong double-sided tape) and put your lid together.
Finally we decorate our lid with a picture frame. I have chosen a frame made of golden mirror cardboard to match the rest of the box. So that the frame stands out better from the background, a slightly larger white square is placed under the golden frame. We first prepare this white square with the dimensions 8,5x8,5 cm in front. For the roof, we cut a square with the dimensions 8x8 cm from golden mirror cardboard. In the next step we turn the mirror card over and measure 1 cm from the edge and draw a guide line all around. Then we take our cutter and cut out the drawn square. We then place the resulting frame in the middle of our white cardboard and trace the inner frame with our pencil. In the next step, the drawn square helps us to glue the photo in the middle. The photo should be around 6,5x6,5 cm. After we have glued on the photo, we put 3D adhesive dots on the back of the golden frame and glue them in the middle of the photo. This creates an additional spatial effect that rounds off our lid. Lastly, we put double-sided tape or paper glue on the back of our photo element and place it in the middle of our lid. Our Explosiosnbox is ready, congratulations! 😊
As promised, you can find below a guide with sketches and dimensions as PDF download:here. This is the most simple and easiest way to create your own first explosion box. For birthdays, for example, we just released our new DIY explosion box template HAPPY :
If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments and I will answer you as soon as possible. You can also follow me on Instagram @suzupapers and share your results with me (#suzupaperDIY). I'm looking forward to seeing your homemade explosion boxes! 😊 If you are looking for ready-made explosion boxes, please have a look here. We offer a variety of explosion boxes for weddings, births, Christmas and other special occiasions. What would you like to see next on our blog post?
See you soon! Your
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I think the instructions are mega and I am busy tinkering with them.
I am currently working on a box that has different dimensions.
How can I customize your measurements for me?
Is there some kind of formula here?
I would also like to use five images for the waterfall card. How can I expand this?
I would be very grateful for your help.
A thousand THANKS, dear Suzu, for this great guide. I can do a lot with this basis! It makes the jump into this creative work easy!
Hello Aileen. thanks I am very happy that you like the instructions 😊. Yes, you are right, a small mistake has crept in. I corrected that, thanks for letting me know!
Wow, thanks for this great guide! That's insane. However, I noticed a small mistake. With the card with ribbon you measure 9cm instead of 7cm from the left and right edge!