Learn to make your own simple explosion box for your girlfriend or boyfriend for Valentine’s Day in this step-by-step tutorial using a Cricut and the free explosion gift box SVG.
In 2022, I did a Valentine’s Day earring workshop that my friend Amy held, and made two super-cute pairs of earrings!
Such a cute gift deserves its own custom explosion box, right?
I started wondering… why we don’t give our girlfriends more gifts on Valentine’s Day?
Some people say it’s just a made-up holiday so just forget about it, but I think it’s actually a good time to reflect on the people who fill our lives with love. It doesn’t have to be just your spouse or partner.
I was hospitalized last year several times, and my friend messaged me every single day for about a year, without fail. I decided I would make an explosion box for her and use photos from the many times we’ve traveled together.
After my “not-so-happy” new year’s cards for our friends and family who need supportive cards right now, many of you mentioned people close to you who’ve lost husbands and kids and siblings.
I think the dangle heart earrings could be a very symbolic gift. The big heart has a hole in it, but that hole is actually the little heart at the top.
I really love the pink glitter dangling heart earrings…
… but the love letter ones are really awesome too! No one else is going to have Valentine’s Day earrings like these.
These were the other earring designs in Amy’s Workshop.
You could put any little thing in the center box, such as chocolate or candy.
Ready to make it now?
Materials Need To Make The Valentine Explosion Box Gift
- The free SVG file downloaded from the Free Files Folder; it’s design # 66 – the Gal-entine Explosion Box
- Bone Folder (I bought this one at my local crafting store)
- Glue – such as Beacon 3-in-1 Crafting Glue or Bearly Art Glue
- 12×12 inch lightweight paper for the base (this brand is perfect; you can also buy it at Walmart)
- Multiple colored scrapbooking paper or cardstock, such as Recollections 65 lb. cardstock
- Glitter card stock (if you choose to have the hearts glitter as I did)
- Brayer (I have both the Cricut brayer and the Speedball soft rubber brayer; I’m always setting them down in the wrong place)
- Photo paper (Glossy) or print out on Zicoto printable vinyl glossy sticker paper for no-gluing-needed
- Cricut Maker or Explore Air
- Cricut Scoring tip or stylus
- Blue LightGrip mat
* Links to products are for your convenience in finding tools and materials, however, they are affiliate links.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. *
Step #1: How to use the SVG file in Cricut Design Space
Download the free SVG file from the Free Files Folder. It’s design # 66 – the Gal-entine Explosion Box.
Double-click to unzip the file.
Upload the file “Gal-entine-explosion-box_minorDIY.SVG” to Cricut Design Space.
(Click here if you need to see step-by-step instructions for how to upload an SVG to Design Space.)
Insert the SVG file on the canvas and Ungroup.
Change certain cut lines into score lines as shown below. The cut lines that look like outlined squares are the layers that need to be changed to Score.
Click on the layer you want to change to highlight it.
Select multiple layers at once by holding down the shift key as you click. Select all of the layers with arrows as shown below.
Click on the Operation menu on the top left of the screen, then choose Score from the drop-down menu.
Now, you should see a dotted line (that indicates score lines.)
Next, click on the layer to select both the score line and the cut piece below it, as shown with #1 in the red arrow.
Then click on the Attach button as shown.
See how these layers are attached now? Do that with each layer with a score line.
Now you are ready to cut the pieces out.
Scroll down to see what type of paper you should use to cut out each piece.
Step #2: Cut out all of the pieces
✨ Tips For Cutting Paper: ✨
- Use a blue (LightGrip) mat. It shouldn’t be brand-new and very sticky, or the light paper will tear when you try to remove it.
- Make sure the mat is free from bits of debris, such as glitter or tiny bits of paper from a previous project. (Use a baby wipe to clean it, if needed.)
- Use a brayer to attach the paper to the mat well. (I really like this Speedball brayer. I used to just pat the paper down with my hand, but there is a significant difference when you use a brayer.)
- After the cut is finished, check to be sure it cut all the way through before you unload the mat. If some of the design is not coming away easily, just press the triangle button to repeat the cut. It will cut precisely on the same lines again.
- Always use the Cricut scraper to gently separate the paper from the mat. Put the mat upsidedown on your table, and peel the mat away from the paper. Hold the paper on the table if needed. Your paper won’t curl if you use this method.
See the red arrow? It’s pointing to the insides of the letters. They should mostly stick to the mat when you peel it away from the main piece.
Cut the heart base layer (shown in red) and the second layer (shown in pink) out of the 12 x 12 light paper.
The dark squares are the side pieces. You can cut them out of any paper.
The purple layers are the middle box and the box lid. You can see that the dark red piece and the dark pink piece are also lids.
Inside of cutting out the message shown, you could have your Cricut write a message on the top. (Tip: choose a writing font. You will need Cricut Access for this, but I think it’s worth it, even though I really only use it for writing fonts, the mystery boxes, and the 10% off everything.)
The white squares can be used for photos or decorative scrapbook paper on the inside of the boxes.
I print out photos on my Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wide Format Printer on glossy photo paper. (I highly recommend this printer! It prints large images, up to A3 or 11 x17 inches in size.)
You can also have photos printed online and mailed to you.
I especially like Social Print Studio, because your photos can be printed in small sizes in a variety of different formats.
Step #4: Score and glue the base pieces, sides, and lids
Crease on the score lines with a bone folder, along the sides and tabs of the center box.
Glue the tabs to the wall of the next side.
I’m not patient enough to hold each side and wait for the glue to dry, so I stick a clothespin on each corner and start working on the next piece.
This is the box lid. Use a bone folder to crease the score lines.
Put a dab of glue on each of the tabs.
Then, align the edges of the tab and lid, and hold it in place with a clothespin.
Repeat this process for all three of the lids.
On the two base pieces: Use a bone folder to score the lines. Fold them one way, press, then fold the opposite way and press again.
Repeat this several times on each fold. The paper should be getting weaker on the fold lines. This will help the box to fall open nicely.
Fold and score the corners several times too.
Step 5: Assemble the outsides and insides
Glue the decorative outside squares on the two base pieces.
Next, we’ll work on the inside of the explosion box.
Glue the frames on the circles for the corners of the main base piece.
Then glue the circle accents in the corners.
The centers of the hearts fit into the corner, if you want to add a few more details to the Gal-entines Explosion Box.
I used washi tape to hold my photos in the explosion box. You could also cut a slightly larger square to glue under each photo so it would have a border around it.
This is the main heart explosion box, folded up with the lid on.
Then I taped the photos on the middle layer.
I considered adding the locations and dates to each photo, but decided it wasn’t important. We both know where these memories took place (mostly in Shanghai, if you’re curious.)
We’re almost done!
Glue the middle layer to the bottom base. Line it up so that it’s right in the center.
Next, glue the gift box into the center.
I used washi tape to attach the message to the lid, and really like the way that looks.
I hope that you enjoyed learning how to make your own simple explosion box for your girlfriend or boyfriend for Valentine’s Day in this step-by-step tutorial!
You can see the version I made for my husband last year here. (I apologize in advance, the directions aren’t nearly as clear as they are here. I’ve learned a lot in a year!)
Not ready to make it quite yet?
Save it for later by pinning on Pinterest!