Monday, July 21, 2008

Explosion Box with a Surprise!

A friend from the Cricut Message Board asked me if I could design a cut file to make a type of explosion box she had seen on a scrapbooking video online. The show is called "The Scrapbook Lounge" on Craft TV and the designer of this project is Judi Watanabe of JudiKins . It is called "Surprise Box with Flair" and here is the LINK to the episode.

The focus of the video was on the decorating of the inner "petals" of the surprise box and there are downloadable templates on that site to trace and cut for making the box. I designed a way to cut these on the Cricut to save time and obtain very uniform results. I have photographed the steps leaving the cardstock totally plain - you can decorate with stamps or photos as shown in the video or in many other ways - this file just helps take away some of the tedious busy work so you can have more fun decorating. Please watch the video and remember that the idea was not mine - I just found a way to make it easier to do!

The video tells you how to make the outer box - basically you score a 12 inch sheet of cardstock at the four inch line on all four sides resulting in a tic-tac-toe pattern and then cut one line on each side to the center square at quarter turns - here is a photo of the scored and cut outer box

When you use this design studio file you will load the mat twice - I have the cuts set up to make four flaps of each type on one 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock in the Plantin Schoolbook file. (If you use the George file you will need to load the mat four times - two for the side flaps and two for the corner flaps). You will end up with four side flaps and four corner flaps for the interior of the box. Here is a corner flap

You will need to score this 3/4 of an inch from the tip. I found that by placing it on my ScorPal with the tip on the 3 1/2 inch mark I could score on the 4 1/4 mark to get that line - just be sure that it is straight on the board.

Here is the side flap

you will score it in the same way.

After all eight pieces are scored you should apply adhesive to the tabs - I use the Creative Memories Precision Point adhesive pen - it goes on white and then turns clear. When the glue has turned clear and shiny you are ready to start assembling the box.

Take one of the corner flaps and place it in the corner of the center square as you can see here

Fold it back to the outer area like this

Next - you need a side flap piece. You will make a small cut (approximately 1/4 inch) in the tab to help get the overlap correct (see photo below).

Take that flap and adhere it to the outer part of the box, centering it so that it is one inch from the fold mark as you can see below

Continue in this manner - adhering the corner flaps to the center square and the side flaps to the outside of the box as you can see in the following series of photos

Make sure to center each side flap and slide the short cut edge over the corner flap to continue the pattern

When you get to the final side flap, fold the first corner piece in to the center and attach it overlapping the corner piece to the left in the same pattern

when all of the flaps have been attached correctly the result will look like this

There are various ways to make a lid for an explosion box - here is the method they used on the video illustrated with my photos. This will use a full sheet of 12 x 12 paper and results in a very sturdy lid.

First draw 2 lines on the diagonals of the paper to make an "X" in the center.

Then fold each corner in to the center point and use a bone folder to smooth the fold.

Then fold each side in parallel to the center and crease well to get a neat fold (a bone folder really helps for these folds).

After all four sides have been folded in and creased, unfold two opposite sides and carefully cut along the fold lines to the center square.

Lift up the two uncut sides and fold the flaps in to form the sides

Then lift the remaining sides up and over and the outer tips should meet in the center forming another "X"

Here is a view of the inside of the finished lid - you can add a bit of adhesive under the tips if you like - or add a photo or piece of patterned paper to help hold it together but it should stay assembled even without glue.

To fold up the box, gather the four sides up and in, making sure that the inner flaps are "swirling" in the proper direction

Here is a top view of the box when fully folded up

When the box is opened there is a lovely wreath which can be decorated is many ways - watch the original video for ideas or "do your own thing."

Of course, I have several variations of this coming in more posts - I'd love to see how some of my readers finish and decorate this box!

Explosion Box Center Flaps - Plantin Schoolbook

Explosion Box Center Flaps - George


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to post photos and walking us through the directions step by step.

  2. Thank you for all the beautiful file. This new explosion boxes are beautiful.

  3. This is terrific. thank you for the detailed directions.

  4. Wow thank you for sharing. I'll have to get the full instructions when I get home to make a few for Xmas gifts.

  5. I am looking for a file for the other explosion box---the one with 3 layers. Does anyone know how it is done with a cricut? jb

  6. Hi jb,

    It is almost more trouble than it is worth to cut a regular exploding box on the Cricut.

    There are some great directions for these boxes on various blogs and websites - here is one to check out

    I hope that helps!


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