Exploding Box Birthday card tutorial

Exploding box cake card bike ang top  Exploding box cake card bike closed ribbon tied

Morning everyone, how are you all?

This was a recent customers order. My brief was bright, colourful, very special, she likes bike rides on the Tarka Trail, knitting and line dancing. What do you think?

I snapped some photos as I was making it, so that I could share the process with you all, so if you wanted to make your own you could give it a go 🙂

Making the card:

The first thing I did was get all my materials together (ingredients list at the bottom). I then cut out all of my shapes and layers. I use a mixture of hand cutting and my Silhouette cameo to do the cutting.

Grass strips

Exploding box card Grass strips

Elements that match the theme/brief.

exploding box card elements

My layers, which are the base and the 3 cake sections.

exploding box card multiple sections

The panels for your side flaps.

exploding box card flap panels

I then crease all of the sections on their perforated lines

exploding box card multiple sections creased

And then stick all edges together with a strong glue.

exploding box card multiple sections folded

For thinner elements, where there isn’t alot of card either side of the perforated strip, I use a metal ruler against the perforated line, to crease against. This is because you may end up twisting or tearing the smaller pieces otherwise.

exploding box card creasing   exploding box card creased

I then build up my cake tiers, starting with the top (smallest tier) you work your way down. You need to start at the top, or the flaps you need to secure will not be accessible as you work your way through. In this case I was also adding a pop up ’80’ onto the top tier so this was the first thing i had to do.

To do this I cut a slit in the top.

exploding box card top cut

I creased the 80 flap over, but tried to create a deeper slightly rounded fold rather than a crisp neat fold, as i need it to wrap around the layer when poked in through the slit.

exploding box card 80 for top

I then poked this carefully through the top tier and adhered securely using glue and tape.

exploding box card fixing pop up top

I then continued to carefully put together the rest of the tiers.

exploding box card fixing cake tiers

Again, I used glue and tape to secure the flaps. The flaps from each section are literally poked through and then folded down.

Below is how it will look once you get to the very bottom and have secured it to the base.

exploding box card fixing base

Then pop on the bottom section, making sure its round the right way so that the colours match the rest of the outside of the box, make sure you’ve added any ‘handmade by’ etc stamps to the bottom panel before sticking it on, as you risk damaging the box or not getting a clear stamp impression if you try and do it once it is on.

exploding box card complete base

Once the tiers are all built and secured to the bottom section, you can start to add your elements. The fist element I added was the grass, remember it has a little lip that you folded, this adheres to the base.

Exploding box card Grass strips fixing

I then mounted the cyclists to the grass. To make it stronger, in some areas I used little squares of sticky pads, stacked on top of each other and then stuck between the element (in this case the cyclists) and the cake.

exploding box card element bike fixing       Exploding box cake card bike foam pads

For the sign post, which was already printed with a wood effect, I added some Vintage photo distress ink around the edges, just to enhance it and add to the wooden look. The font i used was matched to the actual sign (if you look up the route online) that is on the trail.

exploding box card element sign post distressed

I added this and the other elements to different parts of the cake. (Although the sign post looks like its touching the lady cyclists head, its not and in real, you can see a clear gap/space).

Exploding box cake card bike side line dancers Exploding box cake card bike side knitting Exploding box cake card bike close bike

I then added double sided tape to all of the flap panels. I don’t use glue on these, this is because I don’t want to risk them getting even slightly warped from wet glue.

exploding box card fixing flap panels

Plus I like them not to be completely stuck down flat, I like to see the layers as such. To finish the cake, I used some Avocado liquid pearls to add an ‘icing effect’ around the base of each tier (not the very bottom).

exploding box card flaps

For your tag you can either pop a hole in it, so you can add it to your ribbon, or you can pop a pearl or embellishment where the hole would be and adhere the top to the lid, I would recommend writing on the tag first or leaving it loose to write on, with a little bit of double sided tape on the back, ready for popping on after its written. I like sticking mine to the top as its always there then and won’t get lost if it slides off the ribbon. This one has a little silver brad as it went with the clean and fresh feel of the card.

Exploding box cake card bike closed ribbon undone

Attach some appropriate coloured ribbon to the box outer, i use extra strong double sided (red) tape at the bottom and a bit on each side, this holds the ribbon flat and in place and when the flaps are lifted and the lid popped on, you can tie your ribbon to hold everything in place and to leave you with a beautiful looking box.

Exploding box cake card bike closed ribbon tied

And that’s it all finished 🙂 You can make the card in any colours and you can add any elements/quotes etc that you would like.

Exploding box cake card bike ang whole 2 close


Cardstock – Double sided for base box section / varying weights 300gsm for box. Elements and cake range from 160gsm – 300gsm

Card template, for drawing – Coming soon

Card template, Silhouette cutting file – Coming soon


Double sided tape – Available HERE

Sticky pads – Available HERE

Ribbon – Available HERE

Liquid pearls – colour to match your theme/colours, I used Avocado

Small silver brad

Distress Ink – Vintage Photo

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20 thoughts on “Exploding Box Birthday card tutorial

  1. Wow! What a fun project! Thanks so much for joining us at PDE Linky Party! Hugs, DT Karla

    1. Thanks Karla x

  2. How gorgeous and thank you for the tutorial..the clearest one I have seen for such a box. Thank you for sharing this with us over at Crafty Girls Creations. Sue DT

    1. Thank you Sue x

  3. Thank you for sharing the how to’s of your card. Lots of work, but the end design was worth it. Thank you for sharing with us at the C.R.A.F.T. Challenge. – Myrna DT

    1. Thank you Myrna 🙂 x

  4. Wonderful exploding box. Thanks for joining us for our Spring Colours Polkadoodles Challenge

    Karon DT, Polkadoodles

    1. Thanks Karon x

  5. Amazing creation!! Very fitting for a special birthday! Thanks for playing along with us at C.R.A.F.T. this week 🙂
    Susan DT

    1. Thank you x

  6. Lovely work, thanks for sharing at Simply Papercrafts!

    1. Thank you Carla x

  7. Great job! I love the grass, bike and street sign. Thanks for joining us at PDE Linky Party.
    DT Janis
    Sunny Day Crafting, Photo Inspiration Chs
    Paper Play Sketches, Sketch Chs

    1. Thank you Janis x

  8. Great make! Creative Blessings, Tracy x

    1. Thank you Tracy 🙂

  9. Gorgeous Sam thank you for joining us on this fortnight’s challenge over on Morgans Art World
    Dianne xx

    1. Thanks Diane x

  10. Fabulous creation Samantha. X

    1. Thanks hun xx

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