Today is my Godmother’s 70th Birthday. I made her an exploding box as a special birthday card and gave it to her a few days ago, so I’ll share it with you now.

I started with a 297mm x 297mm piece of 300gsm purple card and used my Crafter’s Companion Ultimate Pro to score the card, then I cut out the squares in the corners to get the basic base.

Then I cut some more of the purple card to 17.7cm x 17.7 cm for the lid and again used the Ultimate to score around the edges so the sides of the lid would be roughly 1.5 inches deep. I die cut the Tonic ‘Jasmine Sunset‘ dies from some teal card (it was the PERFECT size to go on the lid). I also die cut the 70 and name using my Crafter’s Companion ‘Contempory Alphabet‘ dies from black card and ‘Platinum’ Centura Pearl.

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For the sides of the box base I cut some squares of the same teal card that the Jasmine Sunset was cut from and adhered them to the outsides of the box base with roll-on glue. I wanted the box to have butterflies exploding out of it when it opened, so I thought I would add some butterflies to the outside too. I used my butterfly punches (one is a Martha Stewart ‘Monarch’ punch, but the other one is just a random one) to punch out butterflies from black and ‘Platinum’ card. I attached the little butterflies to the lid, but the larger ones I layered to create a shadow and attached them to the outer panels of the box base.

I cut a square of white card that would fit inside the lid and stamped the ‘Happy Birthday’ sentiment from the Waltzingmouse ‘say it with style’ clear stamp set in Memento Tuxedo Black ink and wrote on it before attaching it inside the lid. I assembled the lid using Hi-Tack glue, and now the lid was ready, I needed to start on the base!

Next I stamped the butterflies from the Kaisercraft ‘Tigerlilly‘ clear stamp set in VersaMark ink onto the same teal card I’d used for the panels on the outside of the box, then added Black embossing powder and heat set it. I decided I didn’t have enough butterflies, so I used the butterfly stamp from the IndigoBlu ‘Wild Meadow‘ rubber stamp set too. When I was sure the card and embossing powder had cooled I fussy cut all the butterflies out and shaped them. I also die cut one of the Crafter’s Companion Sara Signature Collection ‘Butterfly dance‘ from teal and another from black card.

I cut several 1cm thick strips of acetate from a 12×12 inch sheet, then used Hi-Tack glue to attach the butterflies to the strips and left them to dry. For the ‘Butterfly Dance’ die cuts I adhered the teal one to the acetate first, then the black one on the other side so the acetate strip was sandwiched between the die cuts.

I wanted to keep the colour palete rather limited, so to keep the colours from the outside of the box running through the project I cut five squares of ‘Platinum’ Centura Pearl (one for each of the flaps and one for the centre). I stuck the squares for the sides of the box down with roll-on glue, but didn’t attach the centre panel.

The next bit was very fiddly. I cut into the platinum card section that was going to be on the base of the box using a craft knife to create the slots that I could put the acetate strips into. I swapped the butterflies around until I was happy, then decided on lengths and bent the acetate strips at the point they went through the slots and cut off the excess at the bottom of the card, leaving a little tab to attach the acetate in place with Hi-Tack glue.

As per usual, I looked at the ‘finished project’ the night before I was going to give it to the recipient and thought ‘nope, still needs something’. I was loath to add more colours to the project because I didn’t want it to become too busy. As I was mulling it over I decided the best thing would be to add flowers, possibly in Centura Pearl so it would tie in with the Platinum card. I found my pastels pack of Centura Pearl and as I flicked through I saw the purple and thought it would work, so I die cut lots of Creative Expressions ‘finishing touches – Camellia – complete petals‘ and used the leaves from the same set to cut some green card I had in my stash. I attached the flowers and leaves at random with Hi-Tack glue, and it made a real difference.

I hope you like this project and it inspires you to create something similar! Enjoy your weekend, and if you are in the UK, enjoy Mothering Sunday.

Sophia Hodgson Signature Tree

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