Baking · Card making

Exploding Toolbox Birthday Card (and a Cheats Birthday Cake!)

Yesterday was Dave’s birthday, so more cardmaking (and baking) was in order. I’d just received my copy of Papercraft Inspirations and was searching (and desperately hoping for) inspiration when I saw that there was a tutorial for an exploding box card on their YouTube channel. I had a quick watch of the video, but didn’t print off the template as our printer takes ages. Another video by Docrafts, however, had the measurements as part of it so I used that on.  (The Papercraft Inspirations one was also fab and taught me a lot about constructing the card, I just couldn’t use it because of the template.)

I had the idea of using my Mister Mr stamps and paper set to make an exploding toolbox, so I chose the stamps and printed them on to plain card. I coloured them by hand using Papermania markers and metallic pens. I left cutting them out until the last minute as it was 99.9% certain I’d lose one of the small cut outs on the table whilst cutting the paper panels. I chose tool themed papers and a brown card for the base. Following the tutorial I cut, scored and prepared the base, using a glue roller to speed things up. I used a ‘Happy Birthday’ stamp on the larger front panel so there was a sentiment as soon as he opened the envelope.

I then cut out the stamped tools and cut some acetate into 1cm strips. The glue roller came in handy again for quickly attaching the tools to the strips and arranging them along the bars inside the box. I also used a die cut sentiment from the Mister Mr range as a centrepiece.


 Cutting out the stamped images was a tad problematic as parts like the drill bit were very thin. (There is a die set to go with the stamps but I don’t think I’d use them enough to warrant adding them to my collection.) Dave was impressed with it and was intrigued by the construction. Now that I know how these cards are put together I feel like I could have a go at more intricate designs. This one had no embellishments whatsoever; perhaps I could have added some buttons or some twine but I thought it was best not to mess with it since I was fairly happy.

One tip I picked up whilst cutting the paper panels was how tricky it can be to cut them exactly the same size. There weren’t any lines on the trimmer for the size I needed so I used a strip of washi tape from the 5cm line on one edge to the 5cm line on the other. I then had a very small ridge to butt my paper up to and was able to make all of the pieces the correct size. The washi tape came off the metal base without leaving any sticky residue either. I’m definitely going to to that again in future when I want lots of pieces the same.

Washi tape on the trimmer for exact measuring of smaller pieces of card

I also had to make a birthday cake. Because of time (or lack of) I cheated in a really big way. I bought madeira loaf cakes, cut off the curved tops, sliced them in half and added jam and buttercream and arranged them on a board. I then used a tub of frosting to cover the cake, and added strawberry laces to portion it up before adding all sorts of lovely sweets to it. It was the perfect cake for Dave’s sweet tooth and a very good cheat. I forgot to take a photo before cutting so here it is after we’d distributed some to relatives!

(Yes, it is on a chopping board, I threw out the silver cake board as it was looking tatty and forgot to buy a new one!)

I hope everyone else is having a lovely crafty week, I’ve got a couple of wedding cards to make plus more birthday cards and I *may* have started another crochet project too! What crafty stuff are you up to?

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13 thoughts on “Exploding Toolbox Birthday Card (and a Cheats Birthday Cake!)

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