[Tutorial + Template] XL Explosion Box & Lid 5x5x5" – Paper Chaser TO

[Tutorial + Template] XL Explosion Box & Lid 5x5x5"


This is a written tutorial for an XL Explosion Box which differs from my other tutorials because it includes structural support. I consider any box larger than 4" as XL, why? Because the panels become too big and flimsy to stand on it's own. Furthermore, with anything larger than a 4" box, you cannot cut it from a 12x12" sheet of cardstock. I also like using this as the base layer of my boxes because of how sturdy the panels and even the base is. For support I use illustration board, this is a thick board similar to chipboard, I use a lot of it for school so I often use scraps and offcuts for my explosion boxes. If you can't get your hands on any, totally cool, an alternative is to use any old cereal or treat boxes. Just as long as you have a thicker material than the cardstock alone, but I would refrain from using cardboard since it's too thick.

I am using a 5x5" box here for this tutorial, but you can alter it to fit whatever size you are intending on making. All you need to do for the panels is to add 1/2" to each side. The lid you will add 1/4" to the top and you might want to consider adding more of a lip for the sides of the lid. As always, if you need any assistance while making your box, feel free to message me (preferably through Facebook).

Let's get started


  • Ruler
  • X-acto
  • knife
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Bone Folder
  • Cardstock
  • Illustration Board or Cereal Boxes
  • Pencil
  • Washi Tape

What You Need to Cut

Cut 4 pieces of cardstock and score along 0.5" border

Cut 5 support pieces from illustration board or cereal box and 5 inlay pieces from cardstock

Cut 4 support pieces from illustration board or cereal box

Cut 1 base piece from cardstock

Cut 1 lid support piece from illustration board or cereal box

Cut and score 1 lid piece of cardstock.


With your 5 support pieces (4.875x4.875") use washi tape or any decorative paper and line the edges (this is optional if you don't mind the look of the illustration board or the cereal box peeking through). Set 1 piece aside for the base and with the other 4, glue each into the centre of the panel pieces. Add glue to 3/4 tabs and fold over, use your bone folder or a brayer to flatten it out. Now, taking 4/5 of your inlays, glue them to the panels covering the illustration board underneath. I used a bookbinding DIY I made a while ago to help me keep the panels flat while they dried, you can also use a stack of textbooks to flatten your panels.


Once the 4 pieces are dried, take your base piece and glue the panels to the base piece using the remaining tab. Make sure the panels are squared and lined up. I like to check the reverse side to see if the glue as adhered the panels to the base, I like using my bone folder for this. Repeat this to every panel along the edges of the base piece. Once complete, taking the remaining 4.875x4.875" support piece, glue it to the base. Then take your final inlay piece and glue that on top of the support. Test your box out by raising the panels, everything should come up easily and there should not be any resistance at the seam. If you do find your panels to be a bit tight, it is because you have glued it too close to the base.


After creasing your template, take the lid support and 2 of the lid side supports and glue it to the template. The lid support is placed in the middle centre. The 2 lid side supports are going on the sides with the tabs. Place glue on the adjacent portion of the lid template to glue the tabs into place. To help keep everything in place, I use paperclips to clamp it down. Once that is dry, glue on the last 2 supports. Fold the remaining sections of the lid template into the lid and add an inlay measuring 5.125x5.125".

Happy Crafting