- Lots of 12 x 12 double sided cardstock. The number of sheets of cardstock will depend on how many boxes and insert pieces you make. I used this wedding cardstock book I found at JoAnn Fabrics. I think deciding on colors and patterns that go together is usually the hardest part of a project. By selecting papers all from the same book, you know they will all work well together.
- A way to cut everything out. I used a Cricut Maker, but the Cricut Explore or other similar machines will also work. A Cricut joy would not work however, because it will not be able to cut the larger pieces. You could also cut everything out with a pair of scissors.
- A green or blue cutting mat depending on how thick your cardstock is. I typically like to use a blue light grip mat for cutting cardstock.
- Craft glue or tacky glue with a fine tip. I like to use Bear craft glue for my paper crafts. I used tacky glue for this project, because I was waiting for more bear craft glue to be delivered.
- Double sided tape to add photos.
- Scoring wheel or scoring stylus. Both will work depending on the machine you use and your preference. The scoring wheel will only work in the Cricut Makers. If you cut your pieces by hand, then you can use a bone folder to create the score lines to help you fold your pieces easily and straight.
- Scraper tool to help fold along score lines.
- The design. I was going to make my own exploding box, but there are a lot of designs out there already. I really liked the heart details on Jennifer maker’s so I decided to just use her design. You can find her design here.
- Small clips to help hold box pieces together as it dries.
- Optional: heart hole punch. You could also cut confetti pieces out with your Cricut machine.
- Cut all of the pieces you would like to use out. I decided to make 4 boxes, but you can make as many or few as you would like. If you make more boxes, just make sure the larger sizes will fit on your cutting machine. I even changed up the design a little by making different note inserts for different box sections. If you do this, then just pay attention to the sizes and use the other note pieces in that box as reference points to resize the other note pieces.
- Get organized. There are a lot of layers and different pieces in this project. So, it is worth taking the time to lay everything out and group things together. I put everything for box one in one group, then everything for box two in another group.. This includes all the extra note pieces as well.
- I like to use my scraper tool to help me fold along my score lines. I recommend watching my YouTube video to help you determine which way to fold each piece. Some of the folds can be a little tricky, but it is okay if you fold it the wrong way first.
4. Once I knew which way all of my folds and different pieces needed to go, I applied glue where needed. You can make each box first then the insert notes second. I like to keep everything together, so I made the box and all the notes that go along with that box first before moving onto the next box. I used small clips to help hold my box edges together as they dried. So, I assembled and glue my box first, then while that was drying I assembled my notes for that box.
5. Now that all of your pieces are assembled you can add your photos and write notes.
6. Starting with your largest box apply a good amount of glue to the inside center of your box, then place the bottom of your second largest box directly on the glue. You can place something small and heavy to help hold things in place as the glue dries. Repeat this process until all of your boxes are glued together.
7. Starting with your smallest box, make sure all of your notes and things are in place and put the lid on top. Repeat this for all of your boxes starting with the smallest one first then working up to the largest one.
You can make these boxes for any occasion! I made this one for my now husband as a gift to open on our wedding day. He loved it and it made the perfect gift to reflect back on all the happy memories we shared together. I added small confetti pieces to the very most inside of my exploding box, but I almost added those butterflies that fly out. You could also add cash or tickets to activities and/or events inside instead of some of the notes. They are just a lot of fun to open and to explore all of the many different layers and compartments. They do take a lot of time and paper to make, but I think it was wo
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