These multi layered boxes make lovely mementos, ready to fill with photos, memories & more. They are called explosion boxes as when you first look at them they look like simple gift boxes – but when you lift the lid… all the layers just pop out, ta-da!
So, I want to show you just how simple making one with Heather’s fab templates can be – I promise it really is very straight forward & requires the absolute minimum of equipment: your printer, card, scissors or craft knife and a little adhesive.
To encourage you just a little more, I have a lovely surprise from Heather just waiting for you at the end of this post, though I think the post title may have given it away…! Oh and remember, the 10 point hybrid portfolio challenge over in the Sweet Shoppe forum this month is to make your own explosion box too
Sooooo, the first thing is to choose your style of explosion box. Heather has outdone herself with the selection of explosion box DIY Printable Templates she has in her store (available as a bundle too):
For this tutorial, I have decided to use the square version.
I have also decided to make a box with a difference – there will be no photos, and my box will have a fun but specific purpose in mind which if you have children you might find a cute idea to try too:
My son likes to write stories, but he often comes to me and asks what he should write about, so I decided to make an explosion box to help spark his own imagination with some fun mini scenes, plus some ‘good writing’ prompts for him to remember to include things like interesting sentence starters, adverbs etc. This is what my finished Story Planner box looked like, using oodles of Heather’s kits!
Let’s start the how-to:
Step 1: Each box is made up by 3 layers plus a lid. Start by opening the 4 templates & decorate them to your own design.
Note: the central portion of only the top, smallest layer of the box will be visible, so only add any extra decoration here.
Step 2: Print out all 4 templates (the 3 layers & the lid), then reverse them & pop them back through your printer to print a colourful background onto each.
Note: the background paper on the largest, bottom layer of the box will form the outside of the completed box & will be on-show when the gift is presented, so choose your paper design with this in mind.
Step 3: Cut everything out, remembering to protect your work surface if you are using a knife. The outer guidelines on Heather’s templates are easy to follow.
Step 4: Crease & fold where indicated on the templates & Heather’s detailed instructions, where the ‘joints’ of the sides & centres meet. I now use a scoring board & bone folder to do this, though I have very successfully used just an inexpensive bone folder & ruler.
If you enjoy making hybrid goodies or want to make your own cards from scratch, I would definitely recommend adding a scoring board to your Christmas wish list, as it makes scoring/ creasing/ folding immeasurably much neater & simpler!
Step 5: Finish assembling the box lid. I used double sided craft tape as my adhesive (and oh, how I need a manicure!)
Step 6: Time to assemble the box. Using glue dots or similar, stick the base of the middle layer to the central portion of the bottom layer. Next stick the base of the top, smallest layer to the central portion of the middle layer, as seen in the photo.
Step 7: Finishing. Hold the sides of all 3 layers in shape, and put the lid on. Take your time doing this, get one side in position and then fold the sides in a little to get the lid comfortably in place.
The box is now complete! You could add extra embellishments (buttons, flowers, glitter…have fun!) to the lid , or even tie the box up with a ribbon for the first opening if it is to be a gift.
Here are a couple more examples of explosion boxes by the team, using other template shapes from Heather’s collection:
I hope I have added to your confidence in giving one of these fab explosion boxes a go for yourself, and to encourage you even more here is a lovely coupon from Heather!
I hope to see your amazing creations in the gallery very soon!
PS In case you were wondering, I used the following kits by Heather to create the story scenes & decorate my box:
Knight & Dragon – Good Knight
Fun Fair – Amuse Me (a collab with Libby Pritchett)
Animal Friends – Jungle Antics
Alien Greetings – Spaced Out
Dec 24th – Its Cold Outside