Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tek Tuesday - Photo / Inspiration Explosion Box!!

Hello Everyone!!

Welcome to another Tek Tuesday at TCC!!

I've ALWAYS wanted to make one of these Photo / Inspiration Boxes but was always too chicken to try it!! Or maybe too lazy to figure it out? Maybe a combo of both? =) In any case I have overcome my fear and have done one to show you!!!

There are quite a bit of steps but it is SO SUPER easy!! And it would make an AMAZINGLY meaningful gift to someone.

Ok here we go!!!

Materials Needed:
  • 4 sheets of solid 12"x12" cardstock (one for the lid and 3 for the box which encompasses all panels)
  • as many coordinating designer papers that you'd like to use
  • coordinating embellishments and ribbon and/or photos
  • bone folder
  • paper trimmer
  • adhesive
  • trimmer with scoring blade or a scoring matte
Box and Interior of Photo / Inspiration Explosion Box

Cardstock Sheet 1 (L1)- 12"x12" - this will be the outside of your box as well as your first layer - score 4" on each side and trim out the 4 corner panelsCardstock Sheet 2 (L2) - Trim your cardstock down to 11 1/2" x 11 1/2". This will be your second layer in the box - score 4" on each side and trim out the 4 corner panels.
Cardstock Sheet 3 (L3) - Trim your cardstock down to 11"x11". This will be your third and final layer in the box - score 4" on each side and trim out the 4 corner panels.
Fold and score on each scored line.
At this point you will have 3 decorating panels. L3 will fit inside L2. L2 will fit inside L1 which is your final layer the outside of which is the outside of your box.

I chose to decorate my panels first before adhering them together in the center. I think that each can be decorated as it's own separate entity or all tying in together but either way you want to work with one layer at a time.
I also chose to decorate both sides of each panel. That way you have twice the surface area to play with and have fun!!
The panels measure as follows:

L1 - Panels all measure at 4". Depending on how you want to decorate the interior, you could start by going down incrementally by 1/4 " or more depending on the look you want. The same goes for all layers.

- Panels all measure at 3 1/2" x 4".

L3 - Panels all measure at 3" x 4".

Once all panels have been decorated you will now start with L3. Put a strong adhesive on the bottom of the center panel, I used "red liner" tape and press it firmly into the center of L2. Repeat this process when putting L2 and L1 together.
If you pick the box up now you will be able to fold all 4 sides upwards and your box will be formed!! Now all we need is a lid!!

Top of Photo Inspiration / Explosion Box

You should have one last piece of solid 12x12 cardstock left.

  • Trim this down to 6 1/8" x 6 1/8"
  • Score 1" on each side
  • Trim off triangle on corners where score lines meet
  • Fold lid on score lines
  • "Pinch" the corners inward
  • Using adhesive adhere the corners together. Hold overnight with binder or bulldog clips.
  • Decorate top and sides of lid
You can also decorate the outside of the box as well. If you were to do that I'd do it when the layers were separated on the opposite side of L1.

I've chosen to "alter" an elastic headband (I buy them in packages of 6 at CVS) and wear them when I run) to use as a mechanism to secure the box a little more when people pick it up to look at it. This isn't at all necessary because the top holds it all together nicely but the band gives it a bit more sturdiness if you think it's going to be handled a lot.

I took the band and slipped it around the exterior of the box. I pinched the extra fabric in my fingers not that it was so tight that it now bent the paper but just snug enough to hold it. I put a stick pin into the fabric and slid it off the box. I ran the section that I had pinned through my sewing machine and then snipped off the excess. Where the seam showed I added this cutie little button detail with my hot glue gun.

I chose to use CUTIE PATOOTIE Blossom to decorate the lid!! I fell in love with her the minute I laid eyes on her!!! I colored her with a combination of my Copics and colored pencil. I added a cute rhinestone detail to her adorable dress and totally glittered up her hair!! I'd totally wear my hair that way AND that color!! So stinkin' cute!!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!! If you have ANY questions don't hesitate to leave them in the comment section and I'll check back to answer them!!


**I had to research how to do this before writing/photographing this tutorial. I found my information HERE. I used this tutorial to come up with my own interpretation and explaination but I used her measurements. I just wanted to give credit where credit was due! =)

P.S. Don't forget to play along with our Feature Friday Challenge #3, you only have until Thursday night at 10pm EST to get in on the action!!! This week is a colour challenge... maybe you could use the tut to make the box and incorporate the colours and voila!!! Anyone who does will receive a free image of their choice just because :) Happy crafting! Kendra


  1. This is very cool! Maybe when I get a chance to breathe I can try one!

  2. Absolutely fabulous Meredith!!

  3. Wow Meredith! Your project turned out great :) I've been wanting to do up one of these beauties for the grandparents too, but I think I suffer from the same excuses as you... only now I may just go for it for christmas gifts... yes, personal and cheap (well, depending on the embellishments I guess!!! LOL) I'm feeling a bit crafty now!!!

  4. Holy Cow is this great! I love it! Meredith it just turned out wonderful! Thanks for your hard work!

  5. incredible Meredith!!! i love your creations :)


  6. Wow!! Meredith, amazing tutorial, again I have never heard of these either.(Still such a newbie) I love the blue hair on Blossom.