Make an Easy Explosion Box Card with this Tutorial and Free Template and SVG Cut File #papercrafts #cricut #cardmaking #cricutmade

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Make a fun explosion box card to surprise someone special! This is a great way to share memories and even hide cash surprises inside the “exploding” box!

An explosion box is a paper box that “explodes” open when you lift its lid. What that really means is when you open it up, the sides fall down, usually revealing little notes, photos, or sentiments. I’ve had a number of you ask me to do a tutorial on explosion boxes because they seem complicated, but — good news! — they are actually quite easy.  Explosion boxes come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. I have another great themed explosion box to check out, too, depending on what you want to make! Today, I’m sharing a basic explosion box card tutorial and template that you can use to make many different types and styles.

An open paper explosion box card with orange ribbon

In fact, to make my explosion box as useful as possible to you, I’ve created what I’m calling the Endless Explosion Box. So the idea is that when you lift the lid, you find another box, and another box, and another box, and so on. My design has 12 boxes in all. So you can make them all and stack them together, or just pick and choose the sizes you want.

Get the free SVG cut file for this project

A special request I received for this project was to make it so the lid actually fits the box. So I paid particular attention to this and engineered each lid to fit each size box perfectly — nothing is too tight or too loose!

One of the best things about an explosion box is its just made of paper and glue. My favorite way to make explosion boxes is to use these pads of coordinating cardstock, especially ones like this double-sided stack. Not only do I know all the patterns and colors go together, but these paper stacks often include little cards and sentiments that I like to use for decorating the boxes. And I can get 3-4 endless explosion boxes out of one pad with 36 sheets of 12 x 12 paper.

Many thanks to the readers and viewers who requested I design an exploding box card (Donna B., DJarris, Pamela J., Cathi N., Julia, Theresa, Aurora M., Shawna, Chris P., Janice H., Randi Mi., Dawn W., Bonnie P., and Rosemarie M.). 

Key concepts taught in the video tutorial include how to set score lines, how to sync colors, how to consolidate elements on fewer mats, how to prepare mats for cutting faster, and how to assemble an exploding box.

See exactly how to make an explosion box card in this step-by-step video below:

NOTE: I updated the SVG cut file since this video was made and it’s now a simple upload-and-go project — the score lines are already set and attached to the layers. There’s no need to do anything other than possibly resize the project if you wish. 

Let’s make an exploding box card! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

Materials for Exploding Box Card

  • At least 8 sheets of 12″ x 12″ cardstock (I recommend getting a stack of double-sided coordinating cardstock — I used this exact stack of cardstock)
  • Tacky glue
  • A way to cut your paper (I used the amazing Cricut)
  • Design #131 – My free design (links available in my free resource library—get the password at the bottom of this post) 
  • Note: If you want to put a paper rose in your smallest box as I have, you’ll find my rolled paper rose pattern and tutorial here.

How to Make Explosion Box Cards

First, download my exploding box card design (Design #131) from my free resource library (you can get a password for it by signing up at the bottom of this page). There is also a version in my resource library that is already loaded into Design Space for you, and all the score lines are pre-set — beginners may find this version easiest to use.

If you’re going to cut this card on your cutting machine, either open the project or upload the file to your design software. If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.

NOTE: When you insert the SVG in Design Space, please verify the design size before you ungroup. (If you are using an iOS device, you may need to edit the design size.)
Size: 16.996″ W x 11.317″ H

To learn more about how to create the exploding box card, watch the video linked above! 

Get my free SVG cut files for the Explosion Box Card


If you use my exploding box card design, please share a photo in our Facebook group, email it to me at [email protected], or tag me on social media with #makershowandtell.

Get the free SVG cut file for this project

If you love exploding boxes and are ready for a new challenge, check out my heart explosion box template!

Make a beautiful heart explosion box to give as an amazing gift! Free SVG cut file and full instructions to make this on your Cricut at home!


Want to remember this? Save the Exploding Box Card Tutorial to Your Favorite DIY Pinterest Board!

Make an Easy Explosion Box Card with this Tutorial and Free Template and SVG Cut File #papercrafts #cricut #cardmaking #cricutmade

Learn how to make a fun explosion box card to surprise someone special! This is a great way to share memories and even cash surprises inside the "exploding" box! #cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore #svg #svgfile

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  1. Hi Jennifer
    Your video for making an explosion box is fantastic!!
    I have never made an explosion box because I felt so intimidated. Watching your video and instructions, I feel that “I can do it”. Very well done Jennifer.
    Thanks for sharing. Bee

  2. oh man, I see these things on Instagram all the time, but they looks intimidating. I dont’ think im ready to craft something like this yet, but I could handle the simple pop-up card. Love it!

  3. Thank you for designing this. I made one of these for my grandson. I know what you mean when you said you thoroughly enjoyed the process. I can’t wait to give this to him. I would love to see more explosion boxes.

  4. I love this and can’t wait to make one with love notes and pictures for my fiance for Valentine’s Day! More explosion box variations, please please please!

  5. So stinkin’ cute! Gonna do this for my kids for Easter !! Would love to see more explosion box styles!! Love the ones where you put photos on each flap!

    1. I hope you’ll share photos, Michelle. And thank you for the suggestion for more explosion boxes.

  6. Thank you so much for making this video and having file to cut!! This was so easy to make and fun. This will make a great and unusual gift!

  7. I would love to make this but I can’t find a he svg. I’ve watched ur video on how to locate files but still can’t find it. ☹️😩 Is it on this page and I just don’t see it? That would be awesome if it is. Thanx in advance!

      1. I am in the resource library and downloaded the zip file -there is no SVG that I can see – am I looking in the right place? Thank you

        1. The SVG is there, Renny! If you have your filenames cut off, you may see it as “Type” “Microsoft Edge HTML Document”. But, it is still an SVG!

  8. Just watched this video. I’m going to make one for my daughter-in-love’s birthday which is in July.

  9. Yes more explosion boxes. I’m getting supplies to make for my great niece and great nephews. Can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the video.

  10. I made one for my neice and one for my son– now I just have to find tiny bits of fun for all the pockets! Any suggestions?

  11. Hey this is such a great craft! I have a quick question – what do you mean that you need to edit the size when you do it on an iOS device? Obviously when I put in the 16 x 11-ish size listed it’s very elongated and wants to cut on a 24 inch mat. So do you recommend a size? Do I just need to turn the image? I’m kind of confused by that comment and it’s not explained in the video.

    1. Hi Silvia! I was just giving you a heads up that it might not import correctly on an iOS device and therefore gave you the measurements up front.

      1. But the measurements you give are bigger that 12 x 12?

        What should it be set to to use only 12 x12 materials?

  12. More boxes would be great! I plan to make one for my mom’s 70th with pictures and notes from the grand kids. Would like to do for the other grandparents as well (great table top item to enjoy over and over). Also plan to give to the kids too for when they need the reminder that we love them!

  13. I have a question about the paper used. This kind of patterned paper isn’t actually card stock, correct? It’s thinner and more just like pretty copy paper if I’m not mistaken. I just don’t want to buy the wrong thing!

  14. I just love this. I want to make this for my stepdaughter’s wedding for a sentimental gift just for her. You are so amazing to help out crafters with your videos and blog. What would we do without you??

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you for your very kind words! I am so happy this project is a perfect gift for your stepdaughter’s wedding!

  15. So awesome! I’m making one for my mother in law! I’d love an add on to this tutorial on how to make some of the fold outs and little additions I’ve seen before on other ones. Have you given any thought to that? It would be soooooooo helpful. 🙂

  16. Jennifer, Love this box so much!!! How about creating a hexagon explosion box for your adoring fans? Please? Pretty Please???

    1. Hi Joanne!

      To create the explosion box using only the 3 largest boxes, you will just need to ungroup and click on any unwanted layers. Once the box appears around the unwanted layer, click the x in the top left corner to delete that area.

  17. So I don’t have the Cricut Maker, but I have the Air and I bought a scoring stylus. How do I make this work so it scores. It says the file is not compatible with the Air 2.

    1. Jennifer, after you select your materials in Design Space, you will be shown the various tools your machine will call for, as long as you have Design Space set to the Explore Air, it should already show the stylus being called for, if not, you can edit this in that area of Design Space, just after selecting your material and just before hitting the Cricut button on your machine.

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