Saturday, May 15, 2010

Explosion Box / Scrapbook In A Box

closeup of cake topper

box open, there are tags inserted between the yellow and navy layers for journaling

closeup of paper crafted flower and tag

Baby's First Birthday - a fun way to keep photos from her fist year of life

I know that there are numerous web sites out there with instructions for explosion boxes or scrapbook in a box. I had several requests for instructions for my creation that I shared on Stampin' Connection (the website for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators), so I decided to try my hand at posting to a blog.


For the box base and sides you will need 3 pieces of 12 x 12 card stock trimmed to :

12" x 12" (outermost layer)
11 1/4" x 11 1/4" (middle layer)

10 1/2" x 10 1/2" (innermost layer)
6 1/8" square piece of card stock for the lid

Be sure to do any stamping, embossing, inking, distressing, corner rounding, etc before assembling !
Use patterned card stocks to save time.

Score the 12x12" piece at 4" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 4" squares.

Score the 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" piece at 3 3/4" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 3 3/4" squares.

Score the 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" piece at 3 1/2" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 3 1/2" squares.

Cut the corner piece from the three large scored pieces of card stock. You will remove 4 corner pieces from each leaving three "plus" shaped pieces of card stock. These will become your box base/sides.

Score the 6 1/8" piece at 1" along each side.
Fold in; use your favorite adhesive to stick in place creating the lid.

If you want to add extra layers to the sides for photo mats, journaling, decoration :

Cut 4 pieces at 3 3/4" square (outermost layer)
Cut 4 pieces at 3 1/2" square (middle layer)

Cut 4 pieces at 3 1/4" square (innermost layer)

You could cut 8 of each size to make more photo mats; the box would have photos on each side of the piece of card stock side piece. My project has photos on the front side only, the backs are blank. I didn't want to take a chance on photos sticking to each other or other embellishments. This is also why I made tags for journaling rather than writing on the sides themselves. I wasn't going to risk having ink transfer to a photograph (especially since I made these for gifts and the recipient may not have a photo safe/permanent pen)

Layer the squares onto the scored/cut "plus" shaped card stock pieces. I use adhesive on the two sides and bottom leaving the top open so I can slide in a tag for journaling.

The 3D cake is created with the Sizzix / Stampin' Up! Bigz XL Pop Up Cake Die. After I cut out the pieces I run them through embossing folders or Texturz plates, stamp, spray with shimmer mist, paint, etc before assembling the cake.

I assemble the cake next and adhere it to the middle of the smallest "plus" piece, the 10 1/2" square piece. After the cake is totally decorated with ribbon, punches, glitter, etc I carefully adhere this layer to the other two. I do it this way so I have less of a chance of accidentally ruining all three layers of the box if something happens as I am decorating the cake.

Thank you for looking !

More details about the wedding cake box that I didn't think to add to my initial post:
I ran the side cake pieces through the Sizzix/Stampin' Up! Finial Press Textured Impressions embossing folder.
The tops of the cake layers (die cut pieces) were run through the small polka dot Sizzix/Stampin' Up! Texturz plate.
I painted the raised portions with Lumiere paint (made by Jacquard, sold by Stampin' Up! years ago, now we have shimmer paints that should work the same).
The bride and groom were detailed with Stampin' Write markers, teeny circle pieces punched out from the eyelet border punch, tissue paper, mulberry paper, dimensional paper paint (not from Stampin' Up!; something I bought years ago).
All stamped images on the project were made with retired Stampin' Up stamps and Night Of Navy classic ink.
The large yellow rose was made with the new Large Fancy Flower Punch from Stampin' Up! There are hundreds of tutorials online that show how to make paper roses.

A few details about the baby cake:
I  used various punches, card stocks and inks; Sizzix pop up cake die, retired Dots background stamp, retired alphabet set Brushstroke, Texturz plate, ribbon, glitters, homemade shimmer mist spray - all Stampin' Up!

Thanks for looking !


  1. Great job on both cakes!!!! TFS........I had just as much fun makign these, too.

  2. I love this box! I finally tried one using your instructions. Thanks!!!

  3. Hello!

    I love Magic Boxes and your wedding box is lovely! Love the color combination and the flowers are beautiful!

    Wishing you a good day today!

    Barbara Diane

  4. I just love this, have been looking for a long time for instructions. Thank you so much, you are so very talented can't wait to try.

  5. Where do you get the cake die? I looked on the stampin up site but it isn't coming up.

    1. I did buy mine through Stampin'Up! several years ago. Perhaps they don't carry it anymore since it is not an exclusive to them item. Do a search online and you'll find that still sells them (currently on sale for $23.99, regularly 39.99 USD). You will surely find others that do as well. Thanks for your interest and Happy Holidays !


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)