I have been wanting to try an explosion box for a long time. With fall sneaking up on us so fast, I got to thinking that a haunted house for Halloween would be perfect for my first one! These amazing boxes look like a regular present until you lift off the lid and all the sides fall down to reveal a little 3D scene hiding inside. They may take a while to construct but I can’t tell you when I have had this much fun paper crafting! It was so therapeutic designing it, cutting all the little pieces and trying to come up with creative ways to make all the parts. Such a great time, even my husband got in on the fun helping me come up with a fun way to make the little fence! Since this is a complex project I did write a pretty long post but please take the time to read it all. There are a lot of fun tips hopefully you will be inspired to make your own explosion box!
The first step is to assemble the box bottom. It is a piece of 12″ x 12″ Whisper White cardstock, scored at 4″ and 8″ on all four sides. Download the template and box assembly tutorial here.
Next I added the squares of Basic Black to the outside of the box and the Happy Halloween Designer Series Paper (“DSP”). I wanted the back panel to stand up so the moon and tree would show up behind the house. Before I adhered this panel to the box, I attached the tree and moon DSP to the Pumpkin Pie square. Then I drew extensions of the branches using a Basic Black Stampin’ Write marker and two little bats were cut from Basic Black and adhered to the moon. This was set aside. To make the panel stand up I cut three small trips of scrap cardstock 1″ x 4″ and bent them into an “L” shape. They were adhered to the back panel and base allowing it to stay upright. Then I attached the moon panel on top to cover the strips. Next the squares of polka dot DSP were added to the remaining three panels.
I used a piece of Soft Suede cardstock in the center. Since I wanted it to look like a patch of dead grass and dirt Soft Suede ink was sponged randomly on this piece to give it a little “texture”. The letters B-O-O were cut from Pumpkin Pie cardstock and a little clear Wink of Stella was added to give them a little sparkle. They were added to the center of the bottom three panels with dimensionals.
I stamped five ghosts on Whisper White with Memento Black ink and cut out using the ghost die. Three were attached to the letters and I set the other two aside to use later.
Now it’s time to start the house. I have loved these cute little houses since they were introduced last year. First I cut two of the houses using Basic Gray cardstock. Before assembling I used the embossing paste and brick decorative masks to make the bricks. Since I wanted a slight gray tint, I added a few drops of Smokey Slate into the paste and mixed it all up. After the bricks were dry I assembled the house using Multipurpose Liquid Glue (“MLG”). The shingles were cut from Basic Black and attached to the roof. Don’t throw away the scraps from cutting the shingles, we will use these later on!
Learn how to mix Embossing Paste here
I cut the window frames from Basic Black. They were glued to scraps of So Saffron then cut them out. The door is Smoky Slate stamped with the Hardwood background stamp and cut out. The door frame is Basic Black and the door knob is a little pearl. One of the ghosts was attached to the house and a few bats were attached in the windows. When fully assembled the house was then glued to the bottom of the box using MLG. Set aside to dry.
On to the cemetery. Now this is where I had to really think outside the box. What was I going to use for the tombstones??? I started flipping through my framelits and looked at the popsicle from Frozen Treats, yup that’s it! I cut two from Smoky Slate and one from Basic Gray, sponged with Basic Gray ink to give the appearance of stone. They were bent and the trimmed. The last ghost was attached to the center tombstone so he is peeking out.
The little fence proved to be quite the challenge. My husband came to my stamp room to see how I was doing. I was playing with different things but I was stuck on what to use to make the little fence. He happened to be sitting across from me and was playing with the scraps from the cut shingles He grabbed my snips, cut a little and voila a little fence! LOVE that man! Not only has he always supported me in my stamping business but he always willing to help me when I get stampers block.
Me & my husband Brian
The path was torn pieces of Basic Gray then sponged with some Soft Suede to age them.
The final step is the box top. Cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock 8 1/4″ x 8 1/4″. Score at 1″ and 2″ on all four sides. Download the template and box lid tutorial here. Assemble the box lid according to the tutorial. I based this part of the template on the banker’s boxes I use at work for storage.
Attach a Pumpkin Pie square with polka dot DSP panel on top. Stamp the cat image From Spooky Cat using Pumpkin Pie ink on Whisper White, cut out with the cat punch. Two ovals were cut from Basic Black and Pumpkin Pie to layer together. “Trick or Treat” was stamped using a Basic Black Stampin Write marker so I could ink each word separately. After assembling the oval the cat was adhered using a dimensional. To add a little extra something, two bats were added and a black rhinestone dots the “i”. The completed oval was attached to the lid using dimensionals. To finish it off a strip of 7/8″ striped ribbon was attached to the edge of the lid.
And the final project!
I knew this little haunted house was going to be a lot of fun to make! Of course after I was done with this project my head was swimming with all kinds of ideas. I can’t wait to try my next one!