April Fool’s Jack in the Box DIY

March 13, 2012

Gotta say, we get excited about April Fool’s day over here.  Last year Ryan and I attempted plastic-wrapping the doorway hoping to watch the kids get tangled up (and laugh at their misfortune), but that plan went bust and the boys just feebly swatted the plastic away. Gluing down pennies on our patio was more successful.

I got Ryan good one year by stuffing a raisin into the toothpaste tube. It was pretty satisfying hearing “Ughhh, sick…what is this?” and seeing him analyze the raisin with tweezers. I followed that one up with tearing (loudly) a piece of cloth in my hands as he bent over. Of course, he knew he didn’t rip his pants but was perplexed by the random ripping sound coming from clear across the other side of the room. I thought it was a nice try though.

So in celebration of fooling our loved ones, I’m happy to share this jack-in-the-box craft with you and Bloesem Kids. Under the guise of a gift, a simple spring pops out confetti onto the unsuspecting. The kids and I worked together on this little prank for dad.

You will need:
Small box with lid
Colorful paper
Colorful tissue paper
Clear tape
Washi tape
Hole punch
Picture of your child (his or her face should be about 1″)
Craft knife

Step 1: Choose two colors to use for the paper spring. Cut two strips from each color paper (lengthwise) so you have four strips total. I chose blue and yellow, so I had two blue and two yellow strips. Make sure strips are at least 1/4 inch narrower than the inside of the box — you want to make sure the spring will freely pop out of the box. Tape together the ends of two strips of the same color paper so you end up with two long strips (one long yellow and one long blue in my case).

Step 2: Lay the two strips perpendicular to each other forming a large L and tape the edges together. Starting with the strip on the bottom (blue in my example), fold it up and over the top strip at a nice right angle. The fold needs to be flush against the top (yellow) strip. Then fold the yellow strip (now on the bottom) up and over the blue strip. Repeat the folds over the entire length of the strip forming an accordion. At the end, tape together the loose edges so the spring will not unravel.

Step 3: From colored and tissue paper, use the hole puncher to create confetti. I used a 1″ diameter hole punch because larger confetti means an easier cleanup!

Step 4: (Optional)
With a craft knife, cut out three of the four sides of the box lid. This isn’t necessary, but I thought a clamshell-type lid helped the spring pop out of the box more nicely. Secure the lid back onto the box. I used a piece of washi tape on the lid edge to gussy it up a bit.

Step 5: Stretch out spring a bit by gently pulling the ends in opposite directions. Then, compress into box and close lid. Test the spring to make sure it clears the box. When I did a test, there was some remnant paper around the lid I had to cut away. I also noticed the spring popped out differently depending on its orientation. When you’re happy with the configuration, tape a picture of your child’s face to the top of the spring.

Step 6: To set up the box to give, compress the spring back into the box, place confetti on the very top, then close the lid and secure with washi tape. A friendly, harmless, happy April Fool’s surprise for some lucky person!


  1. Comment by Miranda on March 13, 2012 2:51 pm

    This is the coolest thing ever! We’re not great at AF day.

    But Dave’s cousin once posted a free week at her parent’s condo in Newport on Craigslist and left her father’s cell as the contact. He was so confused why people called him all day asking to stay in his beach house…for free!

    I think Milo will LOVE making one of these for his dad. Great DIY lady!

  2. Comment by Allison Waken on March 13, 2012 2:56 pm

    This is AMAZING!

  3. Comment by kristine on March 13, 2012 5:29 pm

    hilarious. i love it!

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  6. Comment by Miss Sabine on March 14, 2012 4:15 am

    Wow, what a fun idea. this will be a wonderful gift even for grownups :)

  7. Comment by Nicky on March 14, 2012 4:57 am

    Another fun trick that you might like to try is to put confetti inside a closed umbrella! He, he! x

  8. Comment by Becky on March 14, 2012 11:58 am

    love it — loving this “holiday” — gotta get moving on my planning…

  9. Comment by Kiwi on March 14, 2012 3:19 pm

    Such a great idea! I love your creativity.

  10. Pingback by Crafty Tuesday: An April Fool’s Day Craft for Kids | April Fools Day on March 27, 2012 9:29 pm

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  11. Comment by Jaclyn on March 28, 2012 6:23 pm

    That is so cute. I love the little animation at the end.

    Stay in the Lines

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