Suzu Papers Blog

The ultimate step-by-step guide to your first explosion box - Part 1

by Susanne Meixner on January 16, 2019

Hi everyone,

Thanks for dropping by at our blog! In this series, I would like to show you how you can create your first own explosion box without having any extensive knowledge about handicrafts. Don't worry, it's easier than you think and your work will be rewarded with the perfect gift. Your family and friends will be happy about an individual and self-made present that comes from the heart. Whether it's a wedding, birthday or any other event - an explosion box can be given as a gift for any occasion. It gives the receiver a great surprise effect and offers endless design possibilities. But with the many possible options, there also comes a problem before you start with the creation of a new box: "Where do I start?" In this blog entry, I will help you decide which type of base area of your explosion box is most suitable and show you step by step how each different base areas are created. At the end of the article, there is a short manual (PDF) with templates including dimensions to download, print out and rebuild. I have also made a video for you in which I explain the individual steps of creating the base area in detail (will be published shortly). Are you ready? Then, let's start!

Overview with links to the main topics of this blog post:
1 The base area
1.1 Base area A: The simple basic model
1.2 Base area A: The basic model with heart corners
1.3 Base area A: The basic model with triangles
1.4 Base area B: The corner box model
1.5 Base area C: The stage model
2 The lid
2.1 The simple lid
2.2 The wave lid
2.3 The motif lid
3 You did it!

1 The base area

The most common type of an explosion box consists of a square base with four simple square sides which unfold "explosively" as soon as the lid of the box is removed. It is also possible to create a corner backdrop by arranging and fixing two adjacent side faces at right angles (XNUMX°). Miniature displays of rooms, for example, can be designed particularly well in this way. Another possibility is to fix only one of the side faces vertically to the base area by using a design element.

Three base areas explosion box - Three basic areas of explosionbox

Now let's make a box with the outer dimensions 10x10x10 cm together. All you need is a ruler, a pencil, an eraser, a glue and scissors. In order to ensure a sufficient stability of the box, the cardboard that you use should have a grammage of approximately 200-300 g/m2 and be at least 30x30 cm in size. You can use, for example, a common cardboard (220g/m2) or a photo cardboard (300g/m2) from your surrounding craft shop. Scrapbooking papers (usually available in the sizes 30.5x30.5 cm) with a sufficient grammage are also suitable. The papers I used in the picture above, are available online in different colors, for example at Faltkarten.com. On this website, you can also find beautiful pastel shaded colors which are recently popular lately as well as various design and special papers.

1.1 Base area A: The simple basic model
In the first step, we draw a 30x30 cm square with a pencil and cut it out. Then we draw an auxiliary line with our pencil at a distance of 10 cm (please do not draw the line too strongly so it can be removed again later with the eraser without leaving any remains). We rotate the paper now 90° and repeat the process.

Base materials - Base area materials Pull fold line - draw a folding line

Now we have different possibilities to design the corners of the box. The easiest way is to completely cut out the squares in the corners, fold the remaining auxiliary lines and remove the pencil lines. Done!

Cutting base area - cutting base area Base cut - base area cut

Here's a tip on folding: It is best to place a ruler flush with the line and press the carton against it. To get a cleaner edge, place your ruler flush and cut the line softly with a cutter or craft knife (available in our shop). All you have to do is be to careful not to apply too much pressure and damage the paper. In addition to the cutter, there are other folding and buckling aids such as the embossing pen* or the folding stick* that you can use. After you have folded the carton, draw the fold line. If you have one at hand, it is best to use a folding bone to smooth it out. You can find more tips for handicrafts with paper in my blog entry "Handicrafts with Paper - My Tips and Material Recommendations".

Pull fold line - draw folding line DIY Explosion Box: Remove Guides - DIY Explosion box: Remove support linesSelf-tinking explosion box: folding - DIY explosion box: folding Self-tampering explosion box: Base area finished - DIY explosion box: Base area finalized

If you would like to have side pockets to insert greeting cards, money or vouchers into your box, please proceed as follows:

Make your own explosion box: base with pockets - DIY box with box Make your own explosion box: base with pockets - DIY box with box DIY Blister Box: Base Area with Pockets - DIY box: base area with side pockets DIY Blister Box: Base Area with Pockets - DIY box: base area with side pockets DIY Blister Box: Base Area with Pockets - DIY box: base area with side pockets DIY Blister Box: Base Area with Pockets - DIY box: base area with side pockets

The opening of my pockets always points outwards, because I find it more user-friendly. However, you can also let the pockets point inwards if you like it better. This base area forms the basis for a large number of my explosion boxes, for example, also my wedding box "Aiyana". For this box, I have created one side with a greeting card for congratulations and designed the opposite side as a side pocket:

DIY Blister Box: Base Area with Pockets - DIY Box: Base Area Comparison - Wedding Box

If you don't need the side pockets, you can also connect the side walls with shaped corners like hearts or triangles.

1.2 Base area A: The basic model with heart corners
Boxes with heart corners are particularly suitable as an anniversary or birthday gift for your partner. To create this base area, you need another piece of cardboard with the dimensions 10x10 cm. Draw a diagonal line and bend your cardboard to a triangle. Now draw an auxiliary point on the folded side at about 8,5 cm. Additionally mark a point on the open side at about 6,5 cm (measured from the same starting point). Now connect the two auxiliary points with an arc-shaped line. This will later represent the upper round part of your heart. When you are satisfied with the shape, cut out the heart and your corner template is complete. Then draw a diagonal auxiliary line at all the corner squares of the base area and place your heart on the line. Trace the edge of the heart with a pencil and now cut out your base area at the outer lines. Fold and bend all remaining pencil lines and smooth them out. Last but not least, erase your auxiliary lines. In my PDF download at the end of this blog post, I've already created a finished heart template for a 10 cm box. Simply print out the PDF and use it for the creation of your heart corner box. This will save you a few steps 😊.

    Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patternsMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Base Area with Hearts - DIY explosion boxes: base area with heart patterns

    1.3 Base area A: The basic model with triangles
    To create a basic model with triangle corners, draw again a diagonal line at all corner squares and an auxiliary point halfway along the diagonal. Connect the auxiliary point with the end points of the auxiliary lines to the right and left and cut out the outer lines. Then bend the base area at the remaining pencil lines and smooth it with a folding stick. Finally, erase the pencil lines. You can get a nice effect by cutting out eight small triangles of colorful motif cardboard (matching the basic color of your box) and gluing them on the triangles. Cut a square with 8x9,7 cm out of the cardboard of your choice and draw a diagonal line with your pencil. Rotate the paper 9,7° and draw another diagonal auxiliary line. You will get four small triangles that fit perfectly on the corners of your base area. I prefer to use two different motifs which match the color of the box and glue them alternately on the base area:

      Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base areaMaking explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base areaMaking explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base areaMaking explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base areaMaking explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base areaMaking explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area Making explosion boxes yourself: Connected base area - DIY explosion boxes: connected base area

      Personally, I often use the simple basic model for my explosion boxes since the "explosion effect" is the biggest here. In the other two versions, the four side walls are connected and therefore the resistance to "explode" is slightly higher. I also like to use the sides of the simple basic model to create side pockets. Nevertheless, the other two models look very nice and if you weigh down the side walls of your box with design elements, they will also "explode" in a beautiful way.

      A great advantage of the simple base area is that it can be easily extended by additional base elements. Depending on how much space you need, you can add more layers and create "more boxes in the box" 😊, so to speak. For example, I like to make boxes with three layers to integrate various photos and drawings into the box. I'm going to explore this layer model in more detail in the second part of this blog entry (coming soon) along with the different design elements you can use to decorate this box. As an example for this layer model, I would like to show you my very first explosion box that I have created a few years back:

      Explosion Box - Exploding Box - Layered Example

      1.4 Base area B: The corner box model
      Let's now move on to the next base area variant - the corner box. I use this base area, for example, for my baby boxes:

      Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Comparing Base Area with Gift Box Eiko - DIY explosion boxes: Eiko

      In the example above, I used a corner type to build a children's room. In the center of the box there is a cradle and a rocking horse. I cut out a rectangular hole in one of the side walls to create a window which further enhances the spatial effect. The focus of the corner box is clearly on the middle. The two remaining sides are mostly used for a simple side pocket and a card.

      If you're thinking of an event and a room scene pops into your head, you can turn this idea in most of the cases into a corner box. How about a classroom box as a gift for a school enrollment or a living room box for a housewarming party? There are no limits to your creativity!

      The first steps to create this box are the same as above: Cut the cardboard of your choice to 30x30 cm and draw four lines with your pencil. Now cut out only one of the corner squares and cut through the adjacent auxiliary line until you hit the center square of the base area. To design the side pocket, we cut the opposite corner squares at the diagonal and the auxiliary lines above them (as shown below):

      Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: Corner Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Corner-based explosion box

      We bend the remaining auxiliary lines again with the help of our ruler and smooth the fold lines. Then we add glue to the right side of the base area. The glued side is then set up at right angles and glued again to the back of the other side. Our corner box base area is now complete. Tip: You'll find it easier if you decorate your center and sides first and then glue the sides together.

      Another tip for gluing: I prefer to use double-sided tape. Double-sided adhesive tape provides a very high adhesive strength and you don't have to wait until the glue has dried. In addition, there will be also no waves in the cardboard when drying. These waves can lead to unattractive results when using liquid glue, especially when gluing thinner types of cardboard or when using a high amount of glue. You can find my "all-rounder" adhesive tape from the brand 3M (6 mm, 50 meters) here.*. This offers a sufficient adhesive strength for the firm bonding of cardboard and has as I find a good price-performance ratio. The second adhesive tape that I use very often is from the brand Rayher (6 mm, 10 meters) and is available in our shop. This tape has a slightly higher adhesive strength and is available in smaller quantities if you don't need it that often. This tape is also often found in handicraft shops. Many more tips for handicrafts with paper can also be found in this blog post on our website.

      1.5 Base area C: The stage model
      For this last type of base area, we need a design element in the middle that supports our back wall. I especially like to use this type to create long roads or sceneries. As an example, I would like to show you a box for baptism: Here the back wall is fixed with the help of a church:

      Make Explosion Boxes Yourself: Compare Baptism Box - DIY explosion boxes: Comparison of base area to baptism explosion box

      Another popular use case for this type of base area is stage designs. Just create a small rectangular podium and connect your base area with it at right angles. This design can, for example, be used to create great gift boxes for musicals, theater or concert vouchers.

      The first steps to create this type are the same as above: Cut our a cardboard of your choice to 30x30 cm and draw four lines with your pencil. The example below shows a box with a side pocket to the right and the left of the stage. Proceed according to the photo instructions below. Then make a rectangular podium that is a bit smaller than the center of your base area (in our example 9x8x1 cm) and glue the bottom and the back of the podium to your base area. Your stage is now complete and you can decorate it as you like.

      DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wallDIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall DIY explosion boxes: Explosion box with a wall - Explosion box with one-sided wall

      2 The lid

      2.1 The simple lid
      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 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 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 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:

      DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box

      Now cut out the outer lines, slightly trace all the inner lines with a cutter and bend the fold lines using a folding stick. Put glue on the glue flaps (or if possible, double-sided adhesive tape) and put together your lid.

      DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion boxDIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion boxDIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion boxDIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box DIY explosion boxes: The simple lid of an explosion box - DIY explosion boxes: The basic lid of an explosion box

      2.2 The wave lid
      To make the lid more beautiful, you can also use a wave cut instead of a simple straight cut. I have included a template of the wave cut for you in the PDF download below. Simply print out the template, cut it out and draw the border.

      Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Yourself: The Well Cap of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: The curled lid of an explosion box

      2.3 The motif lid
      Another great way to add beautiful patterns to your lid are motif punches. These are available with many different motifs and will definitely bring your lid to the next level (here you can find an example of a border punch with flower pattern*).

      Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion boxMaking Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box Making Explosion Boxes Your Own: Motifs for the Lid of an Explosion Box - DIY explosion boxes: Motifs and patterns for the lid of an explosion box

      3 You did it!

      The first stage of this blog series is completed and you are now ready to start with your own explosion boxes! 😊 As promised, here is a short manual with sketches and dimensions available for you: PDF Download. If you also need further guidance on how to create your explosion boxes, then please take a look at my digital templates on this website. Among other digital products there is a DIY template for making a birthday explosion box. The template HAPPY contains not only the design templates for printing, but also detailed craft instructions and many tips and tricks for crafting with paper. Here you can continue with part 2 of this blog post. I will introduce you to various design elements for the inner area of an explosion box. Since this is my very first blog entry, I would be very happy if you leave me a comment and give me feedback on how you liked my tutorial and what I can do better in the future. Please feel free to ask any questions if something is unclear or you have problems. Also you can follow me on Instagram @suzupapers and share the results of your explosion boxes with me (#suzupaperDIY). I'd really love to see some of your new handicraft work!

      See you soon! Your

      The IDEE Creativmarkt and Rayher Hobbymarkt are great online stores for craft supplies. Here you will find all the necessary material for your DIY projects: handicrafts, knitting, sewing or jewelry making - there is something for everyone here! Take a look at the following links *:

      The links marked with an asterisk (*) are so-called commission links. If you click on a link and make a purchase through this link, Suzu Papers will get a commission from your purchase. The price does not change for you as a consumer. [Source: affima.de]

      As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

      10 comments
      by Sunny on January 28, 2020

      Excellent! I've already gone through dimensions etc. in my head, and I'm thinking about how it could work with the bags ... I'm thrilled, how easy you understand it and how simple the steps are, I would have reached the goal in a complicated way, but that's how it was it much easier! THANK YOU

      by Gabi on January 13, 2020

      Hello!
      We are thrilled ... by the great instructions for the explosion box ... We dared for the first time and even a non-hobbyist in our triple round managed to make a great box ... 💕👍😀 Thank you for the great elaboration and explanation ... Many greetings Gabi u. their handicraft guests

      by cardboard24 on December 22, 2019

      Hello great post! I came across the article in my search for cardboard boxes. Kind regards

      by Susanne (Suzu Papers) on November 09, 2019

      Hi all,
      Thanks for all the nice comments! I'm really pleased that the blog entry is so well received and many of you are interested in a second part. Unfortunately, the second part has moved back a bit, as I have designed some new products and prepared for the Christmas business. But I've decided to publish the second part by mid-December at the latest! Thank you for your patience and support. I would be glad, if you also stop by the second part.
      Best regards
      Your Suzu

      by Franzi on November 07, 2019

      Hi Susan,

      Very great instructions 👍👍👍 great explained. Bastel himself for over a year explosion boxes and think it's great that there are people like you are then something new in the design show, namely that with the stage structure, I can not yet. I already worked on 50 boxes.

      Thank you very much
      LG Franzi

      by Chiara on October 20, 2019

      Hello
      First of all thanks for this great guide.
      When does 2 get out of this?

      by Trish Bryers on October 19, 2019

      Hi Susanne,
      Thank you so much for your paper blog on Explosion cards, photos are very clear and helpful. So the free PDF!
      Looking forward to giving it a go now I have your instructions.
      Many thanks,
      Trish

      by Leandra Battisti on October 19, 2019

      Thank you for this great guide !! Very clear and explained in great detail !! I will use this guide in the coming days to make my first Explosionsbox. I'm looking forward to the second part !! Thanks again and best regards

      by Sunny on October 19, 2019

      Super nicely explained and great result :), we tinker with enthusiasm and eagerly wait for Teil2 for the inner workings.
      Best regards

      by John on June 24, 2019

      Thanks a lot for the tips! Very helpful!

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