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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 yourself with just a few tools and create a great unique gift for your loved ones. The box is suitable for a variety of occasions such as anniversaries, mother's days, birthdays or simply to give a loved one a special treat:
The box consists of three different layers and has my favorite design elements for embedding photos and messages. At the end of the blog post, you will find a PDF quick guide with sketches and dimensions for all presented design elements for creating a 10,0x10,0 cm explosion box. You can print the guide out in A4 and use it as a template. I also made a video tutorial for you where I explain you all the relevant details. You can find the video here., (will be released soon)
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:
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 sheet 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 *. You just have to be careful not to apply too much pressure and damage the paper. Instead of a cutter, there are other tools 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 size of 9,5 cm, so it should be a little smaller than the middle of our first layer and the motif cardboard should set it apart from the surface. I particularly like to use a motif cardboard with a pattern that matches the basic color of the box. In order to be able to guess something from the lower layer, this time the side surfaces are also a little shorter, namely 9 cm long. As a starting point for this second layer, you can proceed differently. Either you use a motif cardboard with the size 27,5 x 27,5 cm (variant 1) or two rectangles with the sizes 27,5x9,5 cm if you have a DIN A4 cardboard (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 * punch. 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 we put our three layers together. 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 apply your third layer on the middle surface the same way and our box "skeleton" is finished!
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 (again, I rounded off the corners with the size M) and draw a parallel line to the outside right about 8 mm from the edge with your pencil. Then draw another line parallel to this one at a distance of 6,4 cm. The lines should each be 8 cm long. To do so, we have to measure XNUMX mm from the top and bottom and mark this point. Now we take a ruler and a cutter to help us and cut the two lines from the top to the marked auxiliary point at the bottom. Our pulling element which the photos are attached to, is later pulled through these two cutting lines.
In the next step we will create the drawing element. Cut out a rectangle with the dimensions 15,0x6,0 cm from the craft cardboard. Measure 3,5 cm from the right side and draw a parallel auxiliary line with your pencil. Now draw three further parallel auxiliary lines at a distance of 1,0 cm. Round off the corners on the left side of the rectangle with a corner punch (size M). Now use a hole punch * (3 mm) or alternatively a normal punch and punch a hole in the middle of the left side. This is where our tape will be attached later for pulling. In the next step, we make folding lines on the four auxiliary lines by attaching the ruler and cutting the cardboard slightly with our cutter. Then we fold the cardboard 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 have made a Word document with a frame for you in the sizes of all the photo elements explained here. You can download 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 (3mm *) or a very thin line paper glue * on the back on the four outer sides of our card. Be careful here. If the glue gets too far inside the card, the pulling mechanism of your waterfall card can be blocked. When you have applied the glue, put 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 for my boxes. One on the lowest (heart) layer and one on the middle layer. Done!
Small waterfall card (6,5x6,5 cm)
The small waterfall vard 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 a rectangle with the dimensions 12,0x5,0 cm. The pictures are each placed at a distance of 7,5 mm. For my box, I attached the small waterfall card on the top layer of the box.
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 slide the glued part of our plastic tape to the left side of our square. Then we cut 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 over and repeat the process with the second rectangle on the right side of the plastic tape. You should now see a rectangle 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 move in the opposite direction by itself. If that works, we put a couple of 3D stickers on the side edges where there is no rectangle to pull out and glue one of the 8,0x8,0 cm squares onto it. Now all we have to do is repeat the same process on the back side and our slider card is complete. Stick a photo (approx. 7x7 cm) on the center of your card and write a personal message or stick a picture (approx. 6x5 cm) on the two rectangles. You did it! Now you can glue the completed element on 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 elongated rectangle. Use your punch and make a hole in the middle on the upper short side. Cut off the two corners next to each other (approx. 1,5 cm from the corner). Now take one of your two squares (motif cardboard) and draw auxiliary lines on the back at a distance of 7 mm on each side. From one of these auxiliary lines we draw a parallel line at a distance of 2,0 cm. Then another one 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.
Now we put glue on the back of the lower folded part and glue the rectangle on it together with the pulling element. In the last step, we glue the element we just made on the second square. Caution: Only apply glue to 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 them with a punched out heart * or a flower *.
After you have written your hidden text on the card, you can stick it on one of the pages of your top box layer.
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 auxiliary lines above and below. So 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 ribbon to pull, write your text on the card and stick it on one side of the second box layer. I used a 3D flower sticker to decorate this element (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 auxiliary line and follow it slightly with our cutter. Then the first auxiliary line is folded forward and the second one folded back. This creates a 3-sided card, each with a size of 9,0 x 7,0 cm, 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, trace all inner lines slightly with a cutter and fold the resulting fold lines with the help of a folding stick. Then put glue on the glue flaps (if possible strong double-sided adhesive tape) and put the lid together.
Finally, we decorate our lid with a picture frame. I chose a frame made of a golden cardboard to match the rest of the box. To make the frame clearly distinguishable from the color below, place a slightly larger white square under the golden frame. We first prepare the white square with the dimensions 8,5x8,5 cm. Then we cut a 8x8 cm square out of golden mirrored cardboard. In the next step, we turn the mirror cardboard over, measure 1 cm from the edge and draw an auxiliary line all around. Now take a cutter and cut out the drawn square. We then place the resulting frame in the middle of our white cardboard and draw an inner frame with our pencil. In the next step, the drawn frame helps us to stick a photo in the middle. The photo should be approximately 6,5x6,5 cm in size. After we have glued the photo on, we put 3D adhesive dots on the back of the golden frame and stick it in the middle of the photo. This creates an additional spatial effect that makes our lid look more beautiful. Last but not least, we put double-sided adhesive tape or glue on the back of our photo and place it in the middle of our lid. Our explosion box is now complete, 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 questions, just leave a comment below and I will answer you as soon as possible. If you liked this blog post, follow me also on Instagram @suzupapers and share your results with me (#suzupaperDIY). I am looking forward to see your explosion boxes! 😊 If you are looking for an already completed explosion boxes, you can find great boxes on our online store 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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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!