Explosion Box

Exploding Box Tutorial, Exploding Box Template Pattern
Scrapbook in a Box
Etui Box Tutorial

This page has been overhauled and updated December 2017


I have had to move this page from my blog to here due to link restrictions (certain links not allowed and were disabled). I hope no one minds, but I felt all the info was important to share.

A while back, some photos were posted titled “box in a box” by Belinda (link below as well as tutorials)).

The concept was three boxes of three different sizes. Remove the box lid and the sides of each box collapsed to reveal another box. So the bigger box is what you see, but take off the lid which is what holds each box shape together, and there is another box of a smaller size placed kitty corner, remove that lid, and there is a third smaller box placed kitty corner. When all three boxes are open and flat, the sides now all laying down, looks like a flower with a lot of petals.

Other terms used to describe these boxes were “exploding box”, “exploding memory box”, “scrapbook in a box”.

The true historical term to describe these boxes is “etui box”. They were originally made of fabric and padding and housed needlework supplies to take on the go in the days of yore. There are many patterns available to create such boxes for needleworkers.

These paper/cardstock boxes can be made to house a fold down, knock down scrapbook.
Watch this quick video of the concept (right click open new window).

Basically, you cut three or four cross shapes of various sizes for each box on cardstock.

Here are some basic written instructional tutorials to help you create your own masterpiece:


Dolly’s Dreamings has a Valentine Box Tutorial.

Exploding Box Tutorial at a Cherry on Top (great photos)

Printable Template — limited instructions from Crafty Templates.

The Scrapbook House has a downloadable file for an easy box.

Scrapbook in a Box at Vintage Page Designs

Examples and Inspirations

Belinda’s Exploding Box as mentioned above. Very clever engineering as the box can be pulled shut. Very nice how each box is kitty corner to the previous one giving it a flowered layered look. More pictures. Check out her gallery!

Mama of a Monkey at sb.com has plenty of examples in her album.

Leah Killian (formally at lifeaslou.blogsome) inspirations

Exploding 3″ box ornament diagram/pattern Check out the other photos while you are there.

Exploding Box Gallery at sb.com

Hope this helps some one.