Make a Pop-Up Cube for an April Fool’s Day Surprise


We’re a prank-loving family, and I love to play little jokes on my husband and kids on April Fools’ Day.

However, I have a few self-imposed rules on what I will or won’t do:

  • Don’t mess with people’s food.
  • Little silly jump scares are fine, nothing horrifying… or mean-spirited.
  • No massive messes (learned this one the hard way).
  • Nothing too elaborate or expensive.

This year, I found something fun, inexpensive, and easy-to-make. It is also something we can use again: Pop up Cubes!

These are a current Instagram and social media trend, with people designing elaborate surprises for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions. I have seen the called “Boomf Boxes (or Bombs)” Pop-Up Cubes, Jumping Cubes, and many other variations.

The goal and result are always the same: a paper cube that is easy to hide and stack that pops up the second whatever weight holding it down is lifted.

box makings
The only things you need for a fun little pop-up surprise. Images: Lisa Tate

You can find several videos and tutorials on how to make these, and cardstock paper, glue, and rubber bands are always the main materials. I liked this one from Joy of Crafting, primarily because it comes with a link to an easy printable template:

Make sure to watch the entire video before trying this. Even then, your first attempt might not be perfect. It took me a couple of tries to get it right, but when I figured it out I could crank these out fairly quickly. Even the ones that don’t look perfect will bounce well if you follow the instructions.

This is one of these pranks a parent can play on a kid or teen, or a kid can make themselves, and isn’t gross, scary, or messy. I’ve seen people paste photos on them, write messages, place them in a box with confetti, and other variations, but just a bunch box bouncing up out of nowhere is funny enough.

For April Fools’ purposes, sliding these under laptop computers or backpacks is an easy place, as well as in a bathroom drawer or between the pages of a book. Even one could be a fun gag, but make about ten or so for a big surprise.

pop boxes motion
Hide these under a book, backpack, or in a “gift box” for a popping surprise.

One of the most valuable assets we have as humans is the ability to laugh and share joy. April Fools’ Day can be a way to do that if we do it properly and safely.

Why not give it a try with a little “pop”?

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekMom and GeekDad on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!