How to make an explosion box card (video tutorial)


Learn how to make an explosion box card perfect for any occasion with this video tutorial and step-by-step project by Sam Calcott.

Explosion or exploding box cards are a great card technique to master and you’ll see just how easy they are to create! 

Once you know how to make them, you can make them for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and beyond! When you open them up, the panels drop down and you can fill the inside box with gifts like photos, sentiments, and embellishments. They’re great for colleagues as there’s plenty of space for people to sign. Get stuck into this explosion box tutorial…

How to make an exploding box card

By Sam Calcott, a.k.a. Mixed Up Craft.

Follow the step-by-step tutorial below or watch the video.


You will need

  • Coloured cardstock 216gsm Tonic Studio cardstock
  • Dovecraft Make A Wish paper pad
  • Mirror card
  • Adhesive

Explosion box card tutorial

1. Score a piece of 12x12in cardstock at 4in and 8in on both sides so you’ll have nine 4x4in squares.

scoring card for explosion box card

2. Score a piece of 9¾x9¾in cardstock at 3¼in and 6½in on both sides.

scoring cardstock for explosion box card

3. Score a piece of 7½x7½in cardstock at 2½ and 5in on both sides. Fold and burnish all three pieces.

scoring cardstock for exploding box card

4. Score the four corner squares on all three pieces on the diagonal.

scoring four corner squares

5. Using some copy paper cut a 4x4in, 3¼x3¼in and 2½x2½in square. Fold all three in half on the diagonal and draw one half of a heart shape as shown.

heart shapes for exploding box card

6. Cut out each heart shape and trace around it in each corner of all three pieces. Make sure you line up the centre of the heart template with the diagonal scoreline.

cutting out heart shapes for exploding box card

7. Cut around the heart shape and fold and burnish the centre scoreline.

cutting around heart shape for exploding box card

Love learning new cardmaking and papercrafting techniques? Making Cards & Papercraft magazine has you covered with tutorials in every issue, along with expert tips, inspiration and a gorgeous set of craft papers!

8. Cut nine pieces of 3¾x3¾in mirror card and 3½x3½in pattern paper to cover the largest piece, nine pieces of 3x3in mirror card and 2¾x2¾in pattern paper and then nine pieces of 2¼x2¼ and nine pieces of 2x2in pattern paper. Adhere to all of the sections on all three pieces.

adhering sections to explosion box card

9. Add glue to the base of the medium and smallest sized pieces and adhere to the centre of each other.

adhering card pieces to exploding box card

10. Cut a piece of 8.1/16x8.1/16in cardstock for the lid and score at 1in and 2in on all four sides. Fold and burnish all the scorelines. 

making the exploding box lid

11. Cut down the 1in and 2in scorelines to the second scoreline only on both sides.  

cutting lid tabs for exploding box card

12. Remove the three smaller outer squares and trim the corners of the tab as shown. Repeat on the other side.

explosion box card lid

13. Add some liquid glue to all four tabs and stick inside to form a lid shape.

adding liquid glue to lid tabs

14. Apply some glue to the four remaining longer tabs and fold inside the lid to re-enforce it.

reinforce exploding box lid

15. Cut a piece of 3¾x3¾in mirror card and 3½x3½in pattern paper and adhere to the top of the lid and cut four pieces of 3¾x3¾in mirrored card and adhere to all four sides of the lid. Decorate the top as desired.

finished explosion box card


Now you’ve mastered an explosion box card, learn another cardmaking technique... pop up cards! We have two for you to try – one using tabs to add the pop-up element and the other using the card blank.