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How to Make Explosion Box for Birthday

In today’s article, I’ll show you how to construct an exploding box, which is a one-of-a-kind personalized present that explodes open with photographs and memories the moment you open it!

I’m constantly on the lookout for unusual and amusing gift ideas, especially for family members. I’m constantly stumped when it comes to finding the right present for the “someone who has everything.”

That’s why I was ecstatic when I stumbled across the concept for a DIY explosion box (also known as an exploding box or an exploding memory box). An exploding box full of memories would be the ideal present for so many people on my list!

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may receive a fee if you purchase one of them at no extra cost to you.

An exploding box is an origami box that opens and “explodes” when the receiver removes the top, exposing photographs, messages, and even gifts within. It’s a more elaborate version of our Explosion Cards project.

This DIY exploding box can be used in an infinite number of ways. An exploding box might be used to commemorate a birthday, an anniversary, graduation, a prom-posal, or even an engagement.

The project’s versatility stems from its ability to be customized. I’ve even seen fandom explosion boxes for Harry Potter and Star Wars. With this one, the opportunities are truly limitless.

Explosion boxes are surprisingly simple to make, using just a few basic components and some basic origami methods. I’m happy to tell you everything you need to know about making an explosion box.

Explosion Box Card Ideas

You’ll need a few simple materials to construct an exploding box:

Several 12 × 12 cardstock sheets (I used 4 for the box itself and 1 for the lid) . Free scrapbook paper Scissors. A piece of glue, Decorations for photographs (I used ribbons and tin boxes, but you could use paper flowers, miniature bottles, or whatever else you choose.) A paper cutter (optional; it merely made the large cuts simpler). A scoring tool (optional – makes the folding process go more smoothly) All of the things I needed were available at my local craft store, but they are also available on Amazon.

Optional: a scoring tool (this makes the folding process run more smoothly). All of the items I needed were available at my local craft store, but they are also on Amazon. If you’ve ever scrapbooked, this project is a terrific way to use up some of those old scrapbooking stuff you still have laying about.

How to Fold Your Box 

  • Begin your explosion box by folding a piece of 12 by 12 cardstock into a box.
  • To do this, fold flaps 4 inches in on each side of the card stock, resulting in 9 smaller 44-inch squares on the page.
  • To help me measure correctly, I utilized my sewing materials’ rotary blade cutting mat. If you have one, I strongly advise you to use it for this project.
  • After you’ve folded your cardstock into 9 squares, you’ll need to cut the corners. Simply pull the folded edge of each corner together, compressing the extra cardstock into a triangle on the interior of the box to do this.
  • After you’ve folded your corners, you may trim them to give the box a more finished look. For this project, I formed star points by drawing a line from the tip of the angular fold to the center of one of the smaller squares’ adjoining fold.
  • Then clipp it along the line and the box’s edge to produce a pointed look.
  • I’ve also seen explosion boxes with hearts carved out of the corners. This is a wonderfully charming effect that is also quite simple to make.

Layers of an Explosion Box 

  • After you’ve finished the initial layer of your explosion box, cut and fold extra layers for the inside. To get the bursting box look, each layer should be smaller than the previous one.
  • I constructed a four-tier box, each layer 1.5 inches smaller than the previous one. If you want to incorporate more levels, use smaller increments. It’s all up to you.
  • You only need to make sure that each layer folds into the 9 square patterns like the exterior layer, changing your dimensions accordingly.
  • For clarity, let’s suppose you’re constructing a four-layer explosion box like mine.

Here’s how I put up the layers for my box:

  • Outside dimensions: 12 inch x 12 inch – folds every 4 inches
  • Layer #2: 10.5 inch x 10.5 inch – 3.5 inch folds
  • Layer #3: 9-inch x 9 inch – 3-inch folds
  • Layer #4: 7.5 inch x 7.5 inch – 2.5 inch folds
  • After you’ve folded all of your layers, cut the corner boxes out of your three interior layers to create a plus form.

When you’ve finished cutting all of your layers, stack them on top of each other, glue the centers together as you go.

Now that everything is put together, it’s time to have some fun! You’ll be designing your explosive box!

You’ll want to collect photos and mementos to put within your box. I didn’t want to use original prints for my Photobox, so I scanned and printed some digital photographs on card paper that I had on my computer.

This allowed me to trim them to the exact sizes I need without destroying the sole copy of certain images I had.

I pasted them within the box flaps after cutting them to the proper size.

The majority of my additional decoration was done using a complementary color card stock and ribbons.

In the box, I utilized this basic overlapping fold method twice, once with curved edges and once with square ones. This is accomplished by simply folding the parts over each other as if you were closing a box.

I also made a small pull-out pocket, which I like. To make the pocket, I folded a piece of paper and glued the sides together. Then I embellished it with a small piece of ribbon.

I glued the image on another piece of card stock and made a pull string out of a little piece of thin black elastic cording. It came out very lovely!

Making It to the Top

  • The top of your explosion box is the final phase. This stage might be challenging since your measurements must be perfect.
  • For my top, I cut a 7 inch by 7-inch square and folded it in 1 & 3/8ths (one and three eighths) of an inch on each side.
  • Fortunately, I created a printable for you to utilize! Simply print it on an 8.5 × 11 inch piece of card stock and fold it appropriately. 

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