Happy weekend everyone! (well… end of the weekend now, but I hope you had a good one!)

I was asked to make a birthday card/something for a friend of the family and decided to make her an exploding box with paper orchids (I had to work out how to construct them myself, so see my previous post for how I did that). Having had lots of notice of her birthday, but no inspiration until quite late I didn’t leave myself much time to make it, so even though this was the last week of my contract at work, my boyfriend and I split up and lots of other stuff going on in my life I had to really get going with this or it would be too late for her birthday party! I worked on this for a few evenings, but ended up working until midnight on Thursday to get this project done, so it was very last minute (not what I would reccomend) and I took the photos on the Friday morning, but I’ve only just had the chance to write this post now.

I wanted some really thick cardstock so I went to HobbyCraft and purchased some A1 300gsm cardstock from their art section in black and purple. I also went to the childrens section and purchased some wooden numbers.

I wanted the box to be fairly big so I cut a 12 x 12″ square for the base and 8 x 8″ square for the lid from the black cardstock. I scored the lid at 2″ from the edge so the central square was 4 x 4″, then I scored the rectangles in each corner into triangles and cut the triangles out so the lid sides had flaps to glue the lid together, I glued the lid into shape with double sided tape. Then I cut some of the purple card to fit the panels on the top and side of the lid and attached them with double sided tape. I used a die and my Big Shot to cut some flourishes from green card, I used scissors to cut the flourishes up and double sided tape to attach the flourishes to the purple sections.

Using Liquid Pearls (Ranger) in ‘Royal Blue’ I painted the 6 and the 0 from the childrens wooden numbers and left them to dry, then attached over the top of the flourishes on the lid of the box. Lid finished!!

The 12 x 12″ ‘exploding’ base I scored so the central square would be smaller than 4 x 4″ (it has to fit inside the lid, with panels attached to the outside) and removed the rectangles at each corner, then I used my bone folder to fold the scored lines over a few times. I cut more panels from the purple cardstock for the outer and the inner panels of the base. The outer panels were attached first, once they were on the weight really helped the sides to drop down when released from the lid. Before attaching the internal panels I cut some acetate strips and cut some slits in the panel for the bottom of the box for them to go in and attached the ends of the acetate strips on the underside of the panel with double sided tape. I attached the panels to the inside of the box and stuck two of the acetate strips to the panels of the inside of the box and cut the two loose strips short so they would not poke up above the sides when upright & closed inside the lid.

The box was really begining to look good! I stamped the inside purple panels with the flower flourish from the Kanban crafts clear stamp set in ‘Rainforest’ ink by VersaColour. I made some orchid leaves from some very dark green card, scored down the middle and used my Sculpy tools to go around the edge of the leaves to get them to shape a bit, then I cut slits in the leaves to put the base of the next leaf thorugh so they looked like orchid plants. When I had stuck these to the base of the box it was looking much better and I only had the orchids to do.

I punched out about 14 orchid punches so I would have enought petals (for 7 orchid flowers) and started to colour the petals in my promarkers: Plum Preserve, Aubergine and Lime Zest. Again I used my Sculpy tools to help me put the orchids together (it is very fiddly) and shape them. Using yet more double sided tape I attached the orchids at varying heights to the acetate strips & then I galloped up to bed to sleep!

I have been told that the recipient absolutely LOVED her box and put it all back together to show people how it opened, so I’m really glad that I put in the effort – it was worth it!

These are just some more pictures of the box from different angles and with some real orchids for comparison!