Your shopping cart is empty!


Exploding Box Instructions by Suzanne Saltwell

These boxes are very popular at the moment; everyone seems to be having a go. These are just wonderful for those very special occasions, weddings, christenings, milestone birthdays etc. So for those of you who have never made one, maybe it’s time to try.

Exploding Box - Step One

I will put instructions for all the items I used to make this box - although you might wish to adapt the box and use different images or even photos:

For the box you will need:

3x 12x12 sheets of cardstock or A3
3 A4 sheets of backing papers - marble in the olive green option
1 set of 4 toppers from the flower ladies - 4 of each so you can decoupage front of box and inside layer
1 set of 3 of each topper from the flower on green backing section
1 set of 3 of each toppers from the fruit section
Small pieces of matching backing papers from each of the corresponding fruit papers
5 butterflies printed onto acetate and an initial of your choice
(All images are from the Victorian Companion CD)
Thin organza green ribbon

For the lid you will need:

1x A4 cardstock matching the 12 x 12 cardstock†


Scoring tool, like a bone folder etc
Metal ruler
Double-sided tape
4 paperclips or pegs (to hold card in place while drying) Ė optional
Corner punch of your choice
Gold pentouch - optional
Silicone glue

I would recommend that your four sheets are either exactly the same colour or tone with each other.

First the box itself.

Take your three sheets of 12 x 12 or A3 cardstock and cut them as follows:

ē One sheet to 27cm x 27cm
ē One sheet to 25cm x 25cm
ē One sheet to 23cm x 23cm

Also cut a piece of card from your A4 sheet 13.2cm x 13.2cm and mark 2cms in around the edge


Step Two

I have cut one notch on the bottom of the corner of the box - this needs to be done on all 4 corners of the box - starting with the straight line on the pencil line then cut to an angle from the side nearest the corners - and set aside for later this is for the lid.

Now score each sheet according to the measurements below, you score on all four sides

  • mark with pencil on the 27cm square sheet , 9cm from the edge on each side
  • mark with pencil on the 25cm square sheet,† 8.3cm from the edge on each side
  • mark with pencil on the 23cm square sheet, 7.6cm from the edge on each side

Join the lines and rub out lines once you have scored the paper or simply score with your scoring tool to gain marking - I have marked in pencil for you to all see where the lines are.


Step Three

Cut off all four corners on all three pieces, this leaves you with this cross shape.

At this point I used the corner punch to give a nice edging to the box.


Step Four

Now to cut all your background squares - this takes a while but it is worth it to then have everything ready to assemble towards the end. I then punch each corner with decorative punch - this takes a bit of time but is well worth it.

I also find it best to take one of each different size of the squares, from the bits you cut off the corners, then trim off 6mm off top side and right hand side - So now you have a template for the large layer, one for the middle layer and one for the small layer - this gives you a good template to cut all the background pieces without having to keep measuring everything.


Step Five

You need 8 of the large size square in marble green - 8.4cm square if you donít use the template

You need 8 of the middle size in marble green - 7.7cm square if you donít use the template

You need 8 (2 of each of the 4 designs) in the fruit design - 7cm square if you donít use the template.


Step Six

Now we have to cut out all the toppers for decorating the box.

For the large layer I cut out 4 images for each flower girl so that I could decoupage the picture. This is optional but adds to the overall effect - so use 2 toppers for the base, the other 2 for decoupage. The images are just copied to a blank word document sheet using the Adobe camera snapshot tool from the Companion CD, so that you can make the images the right size for this project - I also trimmed about a cm off the bottom lady image to make it a bit more square, so that it fitís the outside of the box better Ė baring in mind that this will have the lid on and needs to be that little bit smaller. A tip is to carry the border around - cut above the white line - cutting the cm off and then with Double sided tape on the back, tape the border edge back on - this gives the image back its complete border.††

For middle layer - I used one flat topper for the back of the box and decoupage the inside one.

For the small layer - I did the same for the fruits.† These can be all be changed to suit your own choice - you just use which designs you want instead - or which photos you want.


Step Seven

Now you can assemble your decoupage - it is optional whether you edge the toppers with the gold pen touch at this stage, but it does add an extra dimension.


Step Eight

Now to decorate the card - I used the green as the background - build up your crosses using Double sided tape to secure the green pieces.

Put the large cut squares on the front and back of the largest piece, do the same on the middle layer, then place the fruit backgrounds on the front and back of the small layer.


Step Nine

Now place the prepared toppers onto the green backgrounds.† On the back of the large one - the piece that will be on the outside of the box , this is the topper that we cut slightly smaller and needs to be placed towards the bottom of green background square - so when the lid is put on there is enough room.


Step Ten

So now you have a front and back piece ready for assembling.


Step Eleven

Now you need to assemble all the pieces together itís easiest if you start by putting the smallest piece on to the middle piece and then the medium (+smallest) piece onto the largest one. I would suggest you use double-sided tape for this. I havenít cut the Double sided tape so it shows up more on the photo.

Öand donít forget you do NOT need to place it on the back of your largest piece.


Step Twelve

Once you have put them together, you should end up with something looking like this


Step Thirteen

And now you have finished the main part of the box, itís time to bring back the lid you prepared earlier.

Having made the notches in the corners of the lid - you need to apply your glue and I also use Double sided tape beforehand to right side of the corners of the box , then tuck them under the edge of the box and place either a peg or paper clip to secure the lid whilst the glue goes off.


Step Fourteen

Now we need to embellish the Lid and inside of the box.† I havenít added these bits to the first list of items youíll need, in case you wish to make up your own ideas.† Here I have printed on acetate some of the blue butterflies (youíll need 5 for the way I have done this) and also 2 initials so that you can decoupage one.

Now place a piece of the green marble with corners punched on the top of the lid and in the middle of the box. Having cut out your butterflies and initials arrange 3 butterflies on the centre of the box using silicone glue and arrange the decoupaged initial slightly off centre and place the 2 butterflies towards the corner as shown below, then finish off the box with some thin organza green ribbon.


Step Fifteen

So now your completed box should look like this - ready for you to place the lid on top


Step Sixteen

Closing the box is done by lifting the sides up and placing the lid over the corners of the box to secure it all together - And there you have your finished Exploding Box.

Have fun making this box or adapting it with† your own images - I also like to put a small piece of card with a message on in the middle of the box so the person receiving it will get a lovely message.

Suzanne Saltwell

Top 50