Use this fun explosion box template to surprise someone special! This heart explosion box is a wonderful and unique gift to give! You can even hide cash surprises inside the “exploding” box!
Explosion boxes are one of the funnest gifts to give. If you aren’t familiar with them, an explosion box is a paper box that “explodes” open when you lift its lid. Okay, so, it doesn’t so much explode as fall open — when you open it up, the sides fall down. These make great gifts because you can put in little notes, photos, and even cash! My first explosion box tutorial was such a big hit and we’ve had many requests for another explosion box template. I’ve come up with this fun and beautiful Heart Explosion Box Template for all of you to make! These boxes might look complicated, but they aren’t hard — they just take some time.
Watch my step-by-step video tutorial to see me create this heart explosion box, perfect for Valentines Day!
I love that this heart explosion box template is so flexible! You can change the theme of the box just by switching up the cardstock. Whether for a birthday, Valentines Day, Easter, graduation, or Christmas this explosion box is so easy to modify, making it one of my go to gifts to give!
One of the best things about my explosion box template is its just made of paper and glue. My favorite way to make explosion boxes is to use pads of coordinating cardstock, especially ones like this double-sided stack. You can also make them with just solid colors, and I’ll show you both up close later to help you decide which one you like best before you pick your paper.
To make this heart explosion box, you need 17 sheets of 65 or 80 lb. cardstock — the 12″ x 12″ size. If you use a pad of coordinating cardstock, then you already know the papers go together! It really doesn’t get any easier!
You’ll also want an adhesive. The question is: What adhesive works best for explosion boxes! Options are tacky glue, hot glue, and double-sided sticky tape. I’m going to try all of these adhesives and let you know which one works best for this project!
I used a Cricut cutting machine to cut my cardstock, along with the fine point blade and a standard grip cutting mat.
And that’s all you need, other than some time … this project could occupy an entire afternoon or evening!
So let me show you where to find the heart explosion box template, and then I’ll show you how to cut and assemble your explosion box! 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 to Make a Heart Explosion Box
- Seventeen (17) sheets of 12″ x12″ 65-80 lb. cardstock (solid or patterned double-sided)
- Small amount of Tacky Glue (or another adhesive of your choice)
- (Optional) A way to score your cardstock, such as the Scoring Stylus or Scoring Wheel
- Cricut Scraper Tool
- Cricut blue or green cutting mat
- A way to cut your cardstock (I used the Cricut Maker cutting machine but you can also use a Cricut Explore cutting machine or a pair of scissors!)
- Design #280 (My free SVG/PDF/DXF design files are available in my free resource library – get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
How to Make A Heart Explosion Box
STEP 1: GET MY FREE HEART EXPLOSION BOX TEMPLATE
First, download my free heart explosion box template (Design #280) available in SVG/DXF/PDF formats from my free resource library. If you're going to cut it on your cutting machine, upload the file to your design software. This is what the Heart Explosion Box SVG file looks like in Cricut Design Space.
Tip: 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.
Each box and its related components are in its own group in Design Space.
Please note that there is a printable diagram inside the file that contains a picture of every piece of this template and its name -- this will be useful for keeping track of all the pieces and understand which piece is which as we put this fun project together!
STEP 2: CUT THE EXPLOSION BOX PIECES
This design contains four boxes and lids with various pockets, envelopes, and notecard inserts. And when you first upload them to Cricut Design Space, they are all on top of each other. If you want to see the pieces clearly, you can click Ungroup in the upper right and then separate each of the four boxes from one another.
Idea: If you don't feel like hand writing special notes on the white notecards in this project, you can have your Cricut do the work for you. Read my Cricut Writing and Pen Tutorial for tips, tricks, and font ideas.
This design includes many score lines, which makes the box easier to fold. Scoring your box is very helpful, but not necessary.
I've pre-set and attached these score lines for for you, but Cricut Design Space may or may not see these. You can tell by checking the Layers panel on the right side of Cricut Design Space-- if all you see are Basic Cuts, and you see nothing that says Score, then that means you need to set and attach your score lines.
HOW TO SET & ATTACH SCORE LINES
To set and attach score lines in this project , select the design on the Canvas and click Ungroup. You'll also want to ungroup the four other large groups you see -- you can identify these by the word "Group" in the Layers panel. When complete, you should no longer see the word "Group" in the layers panel. Now begin checking the Layers panel for layers that look like nothing more than empty, uncolored lines -- those are the score lines. Another way you can identify the score lines in this project is to look for two layers that are in a small group with themselves -- in these small groupings, the top in the score line and the bottom is the base layer.
So once you've found a Score line, select it in the Layers panel, then go to the Operation menu, and choose Score. You should see that layer change from Basic Cut to Score in the Layers panel. Now hold down the Shift key and select the layer below that, then click Attach. Your Score line is now set and attached to its base layer. It's very important you tell Cricut Design Space which layer you want scores by attaching it, or you'll just have scoring happening on empty mats. Continue going down the Layers panel until all of those layers that just seem like empty lines are set to Score, and make sure you Attach them to the layer immediately below it each time. When you feel you've got them all — and I count 31 layers that are score lines -- click Make It and carefully check each mat. If you see any mats that appear to just be odd black lines, that means you forgot to attach some score lines to their base layers. Go back and find them, and then select the score line and the layer immediately below that, and click Attach.
This video shows you exactly how to identify and set each of the score lines in this template:
To make this project as easy as easy as possible for you, I colored the layers in rainbow order. I did this so you can click Make It right away and know that the the pieces will cut out in order from box 1 to box 2 to box 3 to box 4. This is because Cricut Design Space always sorts your layers by color into the cutting mats, and it will put white first, then black, then all the colors in rainbow order. To learn more about cutting mat order, see my blog post at jennifermaker.com/cricut-mat-order
I will show you how to make this explosion box with solid colored cardstock that matches the color in the design file and in the printable diagram, that way you always know which color I am working with.
Now the solid rainbow colors are fun, but I actually prefer the way the project looks using double-sided patterned cardstock. So if you also want to use patterned cardstock, or just want to use different colors than I have, you can keep this easy by NOT changing any of the colors in the design file to preserve the cutting order, but then just put whatever colors or patterns of cardstock you want on your cutting mats as you go along!
So when you're ready, click Make It, then Continue, and choose your material -- I am cutting my cardstock on the Medium Cardstock setting with More pressure and the Scoring Stylus. Then just place the material you want for your first box onto your cutting mat, load it into your machine, and press the flashing button to begin cutting.
Here's a tip for those of you with double-sided patterned cardstock: put the side you want to appear on the outside of your box face down on your mat, that way your scorelines will be on the side of the cardstock that is inside the box, which is where you want it to be.
When the cut is finished, unload your mat, flip your mat over onto your surface, and peel your mat away from the cardstock to avoid ripping or curling your cardstock.
Now just continue cutting until all 17 sheets are cut out. And note that those very light colored layers you see in my design file can all be cut on white cardstock, as these are the notecards and you'll want to put messages on them.
As you cut each layer, put them in stacks by box number. Refer to the printed diagram sheet if you are ever unsure which pieces goes with which box, but remember that if you do not change the colors, everything will cut in the proper order!
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE YOUR EXPLOSION BOXES
Let's assemble our first box! With all your pieces cut, refer to the printable diagram and separate the pieces according to the box design.
Heart Explosion Box #1 (First Box)
Collect all of your pieces to assemble the first heart explosion box (box 1).
Take the main box piece and begin folding the four box sides on the score lines with the inside of the box face up. I am using a scraper tool to get a sharp fold.
Push in the corner heart as you bring the two sides of the box together.
Repeat this process for the remaining three corners of the heart explosion box piece.
This is what box 1 should look like with the corner folds in place.
Take the half-heart pieces and begin gluing them to the heart-shaped corners of the box piece. The part of the half heart with a sharper point at the top (as shown below) is the inside part of the heart.
Add glue to the half heart piece.
Note: When I made my first box I thought I would try double-sided scrapbook adhesive. I do not recommend using this type of adhesive for the project. I found it was not strong enough and the pieces were lifting and falling off. I also tried using a hot glue gun. That ended up being a bit messy and bulky. Instead, I recommend tacky glue!
Press piece in the corner of the box piece.
Add glue to the next heart-shaped piece and place it next to the piece we previously placed as shown. Repeat this process for the remaining three corners.
This is what your box one piece should look like.
Grab the lid piece and begin folding the four sides of the lid.
Add glue to the tab at the end of each side of the lid.
Place this tab under the adjacent lid side. Repeat this process for the remaining three corners
This is what the lid looks like assembled.
Heart Explosion Box #1 Extras (Pockets and Notecards)
Grab the five-sided note piece with heart flaps and begin folding each flap toward the inside of the piece.
Take the five small note heart pieces and glue one to the end of each flap on the outside of the notecard.
Grab the five-sided insert piece. Add glue to one side of the note and place it in the inside center of the notecard.
To close the notecard, fold one of the flaps inward followed by the second tab.
Fold the next two flaps down until you get to the last flap. While lifting up the first flap, slightly bend and slide the fifth tab under the first tab.
Add glue to the back of your notecard and place it on one of the inside sides of the box piece.
Grab a square pocket piece and begin folding the three tabs toward the inside of the piece.
Add glue to the three tabs of the pocket.
Align pocket to one side of the box and glue in place.
Repeat these steps and add the other two pockets. This is what your box should look like.
Next, grab the framed note piece and matching framed note face. Add glue to the framed note face and place on the note piece.
Insert the card into the slanted pocket.
Grab the long folding notecard piece and fold on the score lines like an accordion.
Glue a white note to each of the four panels.
Fold card flat and insert into the pocket.
Grab the last notecard piece and begin folding on the diagional score lines toward the inside of the notecard.
After folding the diagional folds, fold on the score line between the two hearts the opposite direction from the diagional folds.
Your folded piece should look like this.
Glue the three white notes to notecard.
To close the notecard begin folding one side down as you push the heart-shaped sides inward.
Repeat to close the other side of the card.
Place the finished notecard into the last pocket.
Heart Explosion Box #2 (Second Box)
Grab the cut pieces to assemble box two.
Repeat the steps used to assemble the box piece and lid as we did for box one above.
Heart Explosion Box #2 Extras (Notecards and Envelope)
Grab the square framed note card and glue the note face to the card.
Grab the envelope A piece and fold on the score lines.
Glue and place the white card to the center of the notecard.
To close the notecard, fold down the first three flaps. Fold and slide the fourth flap under the first flap.
Grab the next piece, which is envelope B. Fold the two side flaps toward the inside of the envelope and add glue to the bottom edge of the longer flap.
Fold up and press onto the two middle flaps. You now have an envelope.
Insert the corresponding white card into the envelope.
Grab the long rectangular piece and fold it as we did with the same piece for box one. Glue the four white notes to the notecard.
Next, fold the two pocket pieces (like you did with box one) and glue them to the sides of box two. Insert the notecard into one of the pockets.
Insert the other notecard into the second pocket.
Add glue to the back of the two envelopes and glue to the sides of box two.
This is what your finished box two should look like.
Heart Explosion Box #3 (Third Box)
Grab the cut pieces to assemble box three.
Repeat the steps used to assemble box piece and lid as we did for boxes one and two..
Heart Explosion Box #3 Extras (Notecards and Pockets)
Grab the spiral notecard piece and fold each of the score lines on the four flaps toward the outside of the notecard.
Then fold the three flaps toward the inside of the notecard. Add glue to the note face and insert it into the card.
To close the notecard, fold down the first three flaps. Slide the fourth flap under the first flap.
This is what your notecard should look like.
Add glue to the back of the notecard and place it on one side of box three. Grab the two pocket pieces. Fold the tabs, glue, and place each one on a side of box three as we did for the pockets of the previous two boxes.
Grab the corner notecard and begin folding the four sides toward the inside of the notecard. Then fold on all the diagional scores so your piece looks like mine.
Add glue and place the white note face card in the center.
Fold down two sides of the notecard to the corner to close the notecard. Repeat for the remaining three corners.
Glue the small heart on top the closed notecard to keep it closed after you have written your note inside the card.
Add glue to the back of the note card and place on a side of box three.
Grab the long rectangular piece and fold it as we did with the same piece for box one. Glue the four white notes to the notecard and place the notecard in the pocket in box three.
This is what your box three should look like.
Heart Explosion Box #4 (Fourth and Final Box)
These should be the remaining pieces you have left which will be used to assemble box four.
Repeat the steps used to assemble the box piece and lid as we did for the first three boxes.
Heart Explosion Box #4 Extras (Pockets and Notecards)
Next, take the four pocket pieces and fold, glue, and place one on each side of box four. Your box should look like mine.
Glue the note face card to the notecard as we did with the previous boxes.
Grab the long folding notecard piece and fold it as we did with the same piece for the previous boxes. Glue the four note face cards to the notecard and place the notecard in a pocket in box four.
Grab the heart envelope piece and fold on the three score lines.
Glue two heart notes to the notecard
Push in the sides to close the heart envelope and place it into one of the pockets on box four.
Grab the oragami envelope and fold on the score lines. This card folds the same as the accordian piece we folded in box one.
Your notecard folds should look like mine.
Glue the note face cards to the oragami envelope and place the card in the last pocket.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE BOXES TOGETHER
Grab box two and glue the bottom of the box then place the box in the center of box one.
Glue box three to the center of box two and box four to the center of box three.
STEP 5: SHOW IT OFF
Your box is finished and its time to write your notes and add your personal touches for that special someone. This is what my heart explosion box looks like when I used patterned cardstock.
Heart Explosion box measurements:
BOX #1 (LARGEST SIZE):
H = 3 13/16 inches
W = 4 inches
L = 4 inches
H = 3 9/16 in
W = 3 3/4 in
L = 3 3/4 in
H = 3 3/16 in
W = 3 3/8 in
L = 3 3/8 in
BOX #4 (SMALLEST SIZE):
H = 3 in
W = 3 3/16 in
L = 3 3/16 in
Special thanks to the JenniferMaker Design Fairy Team, specifically Design Fairy Caitlin, for helping me design and assemble this awesome design.
Answers to Your Questions About Making A Heart Explosion Box
Q: What is the best cardstock for an explosion box?
In this tutorial, I used 65 lb. cardstock, but you can use 80 lb. cardstock as well!
Q: What is the best glue to use for this explosion box?
I used tacky glue but you can use double sided sticky tape, or hot glue.
Q: Is this project good for beginners?
This project is good for beginner to intermediate crafter. The cutting is easy, perfect for beginners. The assembly, since it has so many pieces can take some time, and can fall between a beginner and intermediate level. I have made this as simple as possible by including a color coded diagram you can use when assembling this project!
Q: How long does this take?
This project will take several hours to assemble, perfect for a snow day or a long evening at home!
Q: How do you get pictures small enough to fit in the box?
The best way to do this is to upload your pictures to Cricut Design Space, resize them to fit wherever you want them to go, then print and cut them out on glossy sticker paper. Then it’s just peel and stick!
Q: How do I make an explosion box without the corner hearts?
Use my original explosion box template and tutorial here!
Q: At the beginning of the video, you stated that we needed a green mat for this project. When you load your paper into the Cricut, it is on a blue mat. Will this make a difference?
Not really! I prefer using the green mat, the standard grip mat, for almost all cardstock projects because it holds both glitter and regular cardstock so well, in my opinion. You can certainly use the blue mat, though!
Q: My template came into Design Space really small. Did I do something wrong?
A: Not at all! Design Space will sometimes resize patterns on iPads/iPhones, for some unexplainable reason! All you need to do with this SVG is to select the stacked pattern on your canvas and resize it to 11.5″ x 11.5″ ! All will be well!
Q: My template came in without score lines set. What do I do?
Watch this video to see how to set and attach your lines!
Get my free SVG files to Make a Heart Explosion Box
I love this fun heart explosion box template! These unique boxes are so fun to give as a gift any time of year! Please do share a photo of your heart explosion box in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker when you finish yours … I love to see your projects!