Boom! Woah! Exploding Box Photo Album

Some explosions are loud and pretty. Like fireworks.

Other explosions are quiet and pretty. Like this amazing photo album that we’re gonna teach you to make.

That’s right! We’re gonna lead you step by step through the surprisingly simple process of making an Exploding Box Photo Album!

(Don’t worry, it doesn’t really explode. No safety goggles needed.)


Why It’s Cool

beforeYour photos deserve to be seen. And what’s more eye catching than a photo album that opens up like a booming firework?

The Exploding Box album looks beautifully intricate but it’s actually easy to make. It’s the best of both worlds, and your photos will love their new home.



  • 4 Pieces of 12″ x 12″ thick paper or cardstock
  • A bunch of your fave prints
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Making Your Outer Layer

beforeThe outer layer of your box is what you’re gonna see when your box is closed. So make sure to use a patterned paper you really love!

beforeStep 1: Mark Your Paper
With your ruler, measure and mark your paper every 4″ along the border. Connect the marks that are parallel to each other with straight lines.

When you’re done it will look like a tic-tac-toe board!

Step 2: Make Your Wallsbefore
Cut off the four corners so that you’re left with a plus-sign shape.

Fold your paper along the lines to create four walls. If your patterned paper is single-sided, make sure the design is on the outside.

Can you see your box already beginning to take shape?

Finding Your Inner Pieces

beforeThe steps to making your middle and inner layers are identical to the steps above. The measurements are just gonna get smaller each time!

Step 1: Middle Layer
First trim your paper to 10 ½” x 10 ½”.

Next, mark your paper at every 3 ½” all around the border and create your tic-tac-toe board.

Cut out the corners and fold in your walls!

Step 2: Inner Layer
Trim your paper to 9″ x 9″. Create a tic-tac-toe board with 3″ marks.

Cut out your corners and fold your walls inward. Now all three of your layers are done! Time to move on to…

Making Your Lid


Step 1: Create a Border
Trim your paper just a little over 6″ x 6″ (to ensure it’s big enough to fit over your box).

Next, create a 1 inch border around all four sides of your paper.

Step 2: Cut and Glue 
beforeStarting at the lower right corner of your paper, cut the vertical line up to the horizontal line so that you have a little flap. Turn your paper 90 degrees and do this to every corner until you have four flaps.

Fold your paper along the inner border to create the sides of your lid. Glue your flaps to the sides and voila, you have a box lid!

Add Prints and Embellishments


Hey, guess what! The hard part is over and now the fun can begin. Cut up your prints and begin gluing ’em on the layers of your box.

Add stickers, ribbon, or anything else you’d like in order to make your box extra unique–just like you!

Now go and show off the most explosively awesome photo album ever.

Taking it Further


  • Want even more photo albums where the pics jump right out at you? The Flip Flap album is gonna be right up your alley, then.
  • Or keep it mellow and convert your favorite old books into photo albums.
  • Not enough printed photos in your life to fill an exploding box? Sounds like you’re going to want to know all about our secret project at Parabo.Press the moment it launches. Sign up for the Parabo email list!