An Exploding Gift Box: The Ultimate Mother’s Day Craft Idea


Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Mother’s Day is just around the corner…and so begins the search for a unique Mother’s Day craft activity that your students can create for their mums or someone who is special to them. It’s always difficult to find a Mother’s Day craft idea that is different and allows your students to add their own touches. Until now…

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Introducing the Mother’s Day Exploding Gift Box!

Don’t be scared, I have a simple plan for how you can easily do this in your classroom with students of most ages!

How to Make a Mother’s Day Exploding Gift Box

Firstly, you’ll need to download and print out our Mother’s Day Decorative Square Templates.

This printable template includes a variety of plain frames and sentence starters. Students can pick and choose which they want, depending on if they are giving this to their mum or another special person in their lives.

Mother's Day Decorative Square Templates for Craft

How Long Does it Take?

To build up this surprise box there are three different levels.

You can get your students to measure, cut and decorate one layer a day. That way it doesn’t end up taking too long to create the box from scratch!

STEP 1: The First Layer

To create the first layer:

  • cut out a square that measures 30cm x 30cm
  • using a ruler, divide the larger square to create a grid with smaller squares measuring 10cm x 10cm.
  • cut out each corner square to create a plus sign (like the image below)
  • decorate each of the squares excluding the middle square.

We used a book of scrapbooking paper for the first layer, you could also get your students to use stickers to add some extra detail to this first layer.

STEP 2: The Second Layer

For the second layer, we have added a bit more detail.

Measurements for the second layer are:

  • 27cm x 27cm for the large square
  • 9cm x 9cm for the smaller squares.

We have also created a mini Mother’s Day coupon book that could be added to this layer in a little mini envelope!

Download our printable Mother’s Day coupon book on coloured paper or have your students colour in the pattern.

We glued scrapbooking paper on each square first and then our Mother’s Day Decorative Square Templates. This creates a really fun, decorative effect!

Mother's Day Coupon Book

STEP 3: The Third Layer

For the third layer, we used two strips of paper rather than a square piece of paper. (This is also an alternative to using large square pieces of card for each layer!)

To create the third layer,

  • cut two strips of paper measuring 8cm x 24cm
  • use a ruler to divide each strip into three 8cm x 8cm squares
  • glue together the middle square of each strip.

This creates the smallest plus sign for the final layer of this fun project.

As this is the top layer you will need something in the middle square – you can even add some height to this one as it will be the middle of the box!

STEP 4: Constructing the Box

Now that you have three completed plus sign shaped layers, it’s time to stick them all together! Make sure the decorative side is facing up. You may like to check out the video below for extra support in explaing this step.

  1. Place the first (largest) layer face up on the table and fold up the outside squares.
  2. Stick strips of double-sided tape around the edges of the centre square.
  3. Place the centre square of the second (middle) layer on top of the double-sided tape, ensuring the strips line up (so it still resembles a plus sign).
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for the next layer until the box has been built!

STEP 5: The Exploding Gift Box Lid

To ensure that the all mums or special people get a lovely surprise upon opening this surprise gift. A lid needs to be made. We’re almost there…

  • Cut a square piece of paper that is 20.5cm x 20.5cm.
  • Using a ruler, divide the square into a grid with the middle square measuring 10.25cm x 10.25cm.
  • Cut along the ruled lines, from the edges of the paper to the corners of the middle square. You only need to cut one line for each corner. Use the video above as a reference for which lines to cut.
  • Fold all of the ruled lines.
  • Put glue on the smaller square ‘tabs’ created by the cuts and folds.
  • Tuck the tabs into the long, rectangle sides of the lid.
  • Decorate!

Tips for Younger Students

For younger grades, you may like to have each layer already measured and cut, so all they have to do is decorate how they want.

Older students could absolutely follow the steps for each layer and do the whole craft activity.

For more awesome Mother’s Day craft ideas check out our Mother’s Day Teaching Resource collection.

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Comments & feedback

  • Jasmine Longford

    Awesome – can’t wait to do this with my big kids. Thank you!

    Comment by Jasmine Longford on April 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      You’re most welcome Jasmine! We’d love to see a photo of this resource when it’s finished.

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on May 1, 2018 at 9:45 am

  • Louise Leyden

    We are making these and I love it! Such a simple but cool pressie. The kids are excited. Thanks TS.

    Comment by Louise Leyden on May 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      You’re most welcome Louise! We’d love to see the finished products. Send us your photos to [email protected]

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on May 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

  • Zuriette Du Plessis

    So gorgeous – I will be able to use it with all my children – fast workers en slow workers. Fasties will have more in their presentation but all will look great. Thank you for the black and white option as well. That way I can use colours paper or it can be a more individualised/personalised gift.

    Comment by Zuriette Du Plessis on May 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      You’re most welcome Zuriette! So glad that you like this idea.

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on May 3, 2018 at 7:31 am

  • Amelia Zarka

    Do you have the video of making this? The same one that was posted on facebook so that I can show my kids? I can’t access Facebook on my school server.

    Comment by Amelia Zarka on May 4, 2018 at 8:30 am

    • Cassie (Teach Starter)

      The video is in the blog post – towards the bottom, between Steps 4 and 5. Let us know if you have any issues playing it!

      Comment by Cassie (Teach Starter) on May 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

  • Amy Agnew

    My class made these boxes this week.
    The finished product looks absolutely amazing and the kids are so proud of their present for mum.

    Comment by Amy Agnew on May 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Thanks so much for your comment, Amy. I’m so glad that your students enjoyed making these fun presents for their mums! I’m sure there will be some very happy faces on Mother’s Day because of your efforts!

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on May 11, 2018 at 1:29 pm

  • Brennan Huff

    Step 5 isn’t overly clear like the previous steps. Could this perhaps be a little more explicit?

    Comment by Brennan Huff on August 29, 2018 at 8:42 am

    • Holly (Teach Starter) Holly (Teach Starter)

      Hy Brennan, thanks for your comment. We were hoping that the video along with the text explained this step. Let me have a look and try and make it more explicit for you. Thanks!

      Official comment by Holly (Teach Starter) on August 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm

  • Louise Drummond

    Love this! Any chance we could get a christmas version of this?

    Comment by Louise Drummond on November 1, 2018 at 9:04 am

    • Kristian Kristian

      Hi Louise,
      This is a great idea! I will run it by our resource creators and see what they can come up with. Thanks so much for your suggestion and comment.

      Official comment by Kristian on November 1, 2018 at 9:14 am

    • Kristian Kristian

      Hi Louse,
      Great news, we have created a Christmas version of this resource. Check out the link below:

      Christmas Decorative Square Templates

      Official comment by Kristian on November 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm

  • Michaela Thompson

    This looks great!
    I can’t get the template to download however. I get redirected to a resource for anti-bullying.
    Any suggestions?

    Comment by Michaela Thompson on March 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    • Kristian Kristian

      Hi Michaela,
      It seems the link had broken when we updated the site.
      Thanks so much for noticing this error on one of our resources.
      I have fixed the error and it is now ready for you to download again here:
      If there is anything else I can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Official comment by Kristian on March 25, 2019 at 8:38 am

  • Armance Plenter

    Thanks for the Mothersday idea. I’ll translate the words to the Dutch language.

    Comment by Armance Plenter on April 30, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    • Kristian Kristian

      Hi Armance,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I am so glad you are enjoying our resources.

      Official comment by Kristian on May 1, 2019 at 8:28 am

  • Galina Overell

    Any chance you could you make a birthday template too? Love this idea, thanks!

    Comment by Galina Overell on May 6, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    • Royce (Teach Starter) Royce (Teach Starter)

      Hi Galina, thanks for your suggestion. Please feel free to request a resource here:

      Request a teaching resource

      Requests are voted on by the Teach Starter community. We create the top request each week. Please let me know if you have any further questions, I’m more than happy to help.

      Official comment by Royce (Teach Starter) on May 9, 2019 at 8:32 am

  • Neve Pateras

    it is beautiful and it turned out great

    Comment by Neve Pateras on May 8, 2019 at 9:45 am

    • Royce (Teach Starter) Royce (Teach Starter)

      Hey Neve, thank you for your lovely feedback. It is great to hear this resource worked out well for your class.

      Official comment by Royce (Teach Starter) on May 9, 2019 at 7:40 am

  • Jan

    What an amazing resource! The video breaks the task down well and the instructions are user friendly for children to follow.

    Comment by Jan on May 9, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    • Royce (Teach Starter) Royce (Teach Starter)

      Hey Jan, thank you for your lovely feedback. I hope your students enjoy doing this.

      Official comment by Royce (Teach Starter) on May 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm

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