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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Exploding Box Tutorial

At least there's one plus side to a rainy day as it's given me a chance to sit down and get this tutorial pulled together as I know there are a couple of you who have shown interst in seeing it and giving it a go yourself :-)

Materials needed:

3 x sheets of A3 or 4 x 12" square card
Corner punch
Double sided tape
Wet glue (for the box lid)
Craft knife / guillotine
Ruler or Hougie board

Instructions on how to make the box:

1)  From your first sheet of card cut a 27cm x 27cm square and mark at 9cm and 18cm along all edges (see diagram 1 below)


2)  Cut away the four corner squares leaving a cross shape (see diagram 1 above)

3)  Score along the lines of the internal square (see diagram 2 below)


4)  From your second sheet of card cut a 25cm x 25cm square and mark at 8cm and 17cm along all edges (see diagram 3 below)


5)  Cut away the four corner squares leaving a cross shape (see diagram 3 above)

6)  Score along the lines of the internal square (see diagram 2 above) 

7)  From your third sheet of card cut a 23cm x 23cm square and mark at 7cm and 16cm along all edges (see diagram 4 below)


8)  Cut away the four corner squares leaving a cross shape (see diagram 4 above)

9)  Score along the lines of the internal square (see diagram 2 above)  

10)  Using your corner punch round all the corners (see diagram 5 below)

11)  Take the largest "cross" shape and put double sided tape (or wet glue) in the centre square ONLY.  Lay the middle sized "cross" shape onto top of this ensuring that the sides are level.  Repeat with the last, and smallest, "cross" shape.  Your base should now look like the picture below but obviously without the decoration.

12)  Decorate the internal sides of the box (ensuring that it still allows the sides to fold up to form the box shape).  Decorate the outside of the largest shape so that this is visible when the box is folded up - see picture below.

Instructions on how to make the box lid:

13)  If  you are using A3 sized card you should have a large enough piece of card left, alternatively if you are using 12" square card you will have to use another piece of card.  Cut a 17.5cm x 17.5cm square and follow diagram 6 below for the measurements for the folds.


14)  To make it easier when folding your box lid you will need to reduce the amount of card that goes into the corner folds.  Following diagram 7 below cut off the excess pieces.


15)  Fold along all the scored lines forming the shape of the box lid.  If you use wet glue at this stage it will allow you more time to get this stage correct whereas double sided tape only gives you one chance.  You now have your finished lid which, once the sides are gathered up, will fit on top of your exploding box.

16)  You can adapt the depth of overhang the lid has over the box sides by adjusting the measurements.  For this box I've used 2cm, but you can reduce or increase this amount to suit.

Instructions on how to make the cake:

17)  You should be able to use the offcuts of card from the box and lid for the cake tiers.  For the largest tier cut a 15cm x 15cm square and follow diagram 8 below for the measurements for the folds.


18)  For the middle tier cut a 12cm x 12cm square and follow diagram 9 below for the measurements for the folds.

19)  For the smallest tier cut a 9cm x 9cm square and follow diagram 10 below for the measurements for the folds.


20)  Fold along all the scored lines forming the shape of each cake tier.  The outside fold will not be tucked inside as it was for the box lid as these will form the tabs to secure the tiers to the box base and the other tiers (only after they have been decorated though).  If you use wet glue at this stage it will allow you more time to get it correct whereas double sided tape only gives you one chance.  You now have your finished cake tiers which can be decorated BEFORE fixing them to the box base.  Unlike the box lid overhang there is not as much allowance for the size of the cake side as this needs to fit inside the box to enable the lid to fit.  You could reduce the cake to only 2 tiers which means that you could increase the size of the sides (sorry if that sounds confusing).  Your cake tiers should look something like this once they have been decorated.

 Here are some more pictures of my finished project.  

I hope that these instructions, diagrams and pictures have been easy enough to follow and that you enjoy making your own exploding boxes.  I would love to hear your comments.

Please feel free to reference this tutorial, along with your project, on your blog and any craft sites but PLEASE spare a thought for the time and effort that has gone into producing this and a link to this tutorial would be very much appreciated :-)


  1. wow thank you so much you have spent so much time on this ... and made it look so easy ... you have really inspired me to have a go ... thank you once again happy crafting and love sandy xx

  2. Brilliant tutorial, really easy to understand and your diagrams are fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to do this tutorial. And YEAH....Im now a follower of your blog.. Lee xx

  3. Ps........your exploding boxes themselves are magnificent. Really pretty. Lee xx

  4. So beautifully done, gorgeous exploding box, and very easy to follow tutorial, usually I find reading tutorials turn into blaa blaa blaa and I forget everything, but I found this kept my attention, and was easy.Thankyou so much, and the end result is gorgeous.
    Luv CHRISSYxx

  5. This is totally cool, thanks for sharing and thanks for the tutorial!
    And of course...Thanks for visiting the Pixie Blog and for the shout out for Pixie, good luck!

  6. What a great TUT. Will give it a try in my summer hols..
    Thanks for adding my candy and becomming a follower at my blog :O)
    Hugs Laila

  7. wonderful tutorial! I am "bookmarking" your page so when I get a chance I can try this! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a kind comment! I am also a follower of yours now!

  8. WOW those are fabulous creations,.
    thanks for your lovely comment on my blog.

  9. Hi Sazzle! WOW!!!! This is amazing and beautiful! What a wonderful tutorial! I have never attempted anything like this before, but...if anyone could inspire me, I think it might be you!
    Hugs, Sheryl

  10. Gosh, you have some great tutorials on here! Love your blog. Jx

  11. Thank you so much Sazzles for a a Brilliant Tutorial, My first effort last year was rubbish. I think I could try again now with your brilliantly detailed explanation xxxxx
    Your box is Beautiful xx

  12. How is the bottom part of the cake that is 10cm when folded and put together going to fit into the bottom of the explosion box that is only 9 cm ???????????

    1. The bottom tier is 8cm square which fits perfectly in the bottom of the exploding box. The sizes are explained for the tiers in numbers 17, 18 and 19 along with the measurements and diagrams. I think you may have got mixed up with the box lid measurements/instructions.

      xx Sazzle xx

  13. Fantastic Tutorial! It will be my first time creating one of these. Hoping to use it as my mums 60th birthday invitation with lots of old pictures!! Your creations are amazing!!! Thank you again

  14. Hello! Did I count wrongly or is there a little mistake on diagram 9. As 1+1,5+6+1,5+1=11 not 12cm :) Otherwise fantastic tutorial, working on ym own box right now!

  15. Hey Sazzle, thank you thank you for this fantastic tutorial. I just made one...and I would love if you come stop by on my blog....

    Here's my exploding box

  16. Thank you very much for this tutorial. I made a card and it's beautiful. I posted a picture on Pinterest and placed the link to this tutorial.

  17. WOW - what a great tutorial. I've popped over to see it as Amanda from the Snippets Playground has made an exploding box using your instructions.

    TOP MARKS xxx

  18. WOW !!! Very beautiful box .

  19. Wow!!! lovely tutorial...beautifully done

  20. Hey...If i have to make a 4 layer box cud you please help me with the dimensions...1st layer wud be 29cm x 29cm and mark at 9.6cm x 19.3cm ?
    Can you giv me measurements of Cover of box according to 29cm x 29cm dimension...

  21. beautiful box n i made it with ur measurements it turned out perfect.......... thnx for woderfull tutorial.....

  22. Really helpful tutorial dear.... made my day... Thanks alot

  23. Thank you for this amazing box.

  24. hi there, how can i fit in the box and the lid on an A3?? the size of an A3 is 29.7x42cm. therefore when i create the box, only 15cm will be available. :(

  25. grazie per questo tutorial, รจ molto esaustivo

  26. Can u tell me on the sides how u did the framing

  27. Can u tell me on the sides how u did the framing

  28. Can u tell me on the sides how u did the framing

  29. thankyou so much for the tutorial! it's amazing :)

  30. Hi there!! Thank you so much for making this wonderful tutorial including the templates and sizes����
    Btw i have a few questions here (sorry if it sounds a bit silly):
    How did you make the top cover of the box?
    Which one will make the work easier: cut the paper first and them print them, or print on the paper first then cut them?
    Thank you so much

  31. Great tutorial (clear, complete and easy). Thank you very much for sharing: it helped me a lot through my very first experience with an explosion box! :-)

  32. Thanks for this,a question I,ve made a 4inch by 4 inch explosion box,could you tell me how big the lid needs to be,sorry not good at calculations xx

  33. Www.Facebook.com/css.shivani follow this page for art and craft

  34. grazie!!! stupendo e chiarissimo tutorial


xx Thank you for all of your lovely comments xx