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How to make a Pop Up Card Tutorial

Below is our how to make a pop up card tutorial for one of our earlier designs, our wonderful Christmas Present Pop Up Card.  It was one of the very first designs we mastered, many years ago! Now you can also come into our world and have a go at creating this pop up card yourself.  Follow our step-by-step tutorial and gift your family and friends this amazing piece of handmade work that will amaze them! This is a great activity to do with the kids, or even if you are interested in learning how to make pop up cards yourself.

Before you get started, here is some background into the pop up card design process.  Here at Cardology HQ we focus on creating pop up cards using some amazing but somewhat complicated paper-engineering techniques.  One is Kirigami and the other is Sliceform. 

Sliceform is essentially creating 3D models by interlocking pieces of card together.  When designing our cards we have to position where the individual pieces will intersect, slowly building up the 3D model.

From our designs, we create a sheet with all individual pieces or ‘slices’ that will make up the card.  These pieces are then laser cut, before each card is assembled by hand.

 

How To Make a Pop Up Card Tutorial

DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM For upper primary level and above (with adult help and supervision) to Adult crafters.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Cutting Matt
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • PVC Glue (Tacky Glue)
  • Pencil
  • Metal Ruler
  • Craft Knife
  • Cardmakers’ Bone Folder – ideal for creating a sharp fold/crease. Available from most craft shops or online.
  • 2 x Black Buttons
  • Cardstock
    • 2 x White Cardstock
    • 2 x Black Cardstock
    • 2 x Red Cardstock
    • 1 x Green Cardstock
    • 1 X Gold Cardstock

Note: We have used 160 gsm cardstock

Equipment required to make your Christmas Pop Up Card
Equipment required to make your Christmas Pop Up Card

Cardstock Required
160gsm card stock is required in these colours – or you can substitute as preferred

Step 1: Supplies and Prep

You will be making the pop up present separately and then will glue it inside the card face.  In the tutorial, the pop up present will be made up of 3 different colours of cardstock, however you can adapt this and choose whatever colours you wish.   We will be using Red, Green and White cardstock in this example.

You will need to print 3 copies of the template on 1 page of Red, Green and White A4 cardstock.

 

DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE HERE:

PDF Version: Pop Up Card Template

MS Word Version: Pop Up Card Template

 

Print the template on your chosen cardstock
Print the template on your chosen cardstock

 

 

Step 2: Cutting the pieces for the pop up present

Each template will consist of the 6 pieces required to create a pop up present.  As we want the pop up present to be three different colours, we will use selected pieces from each coloured template. 

In my example, I used the green cardstock for the 2 x Squares with bows, red cardstock for the squares and white cardstock for the squares with tabs.

 (With the rest of the remaining pieces, instead of discarding them, keep them so you can make a further 2 more cards)

Cut out the outlines of the slices using scissors
1. Cut out the outlines of the slices using scissors 

 

Cut out the inside of the bows using a craft knife
2. Cut out the inside of the bows using a craft knife

 

You should end up with 6 pieces in total, using the different coloured cardstock
3. You should end up with 6 pieces in total, using the different coloured cardstock

 

Please note: For children using this tutorial, adult supervision maybe required for this part, if using a craft knife

 

Step 3: Cutting the Slots

On each piece, you will notice there are 3 lines (or slot joints) which also need to be cut out.  The slots are cut so the pieces (or ‘slices’) can weave together. This stops the pop up from falling apart when you have assembled all the slices.

It’s important that you cut ‘slots’ and not just a single slit. You must cut just enough for the slices to slot together easily, but if the slot is too wide, the model is likely to fall apart easily, especially in the early stages of assembly.

Cardology Pop Up Card Slot Joints Example

Cut the slot with scissors, making a pair of cuts directly on each side of the thick line.  This will give a sliver of card which will often curl up like a hair. For the neatest finish use a craft knife to cut it off, otherwise you can also pinch it off at the end of the slot by grasping it with your fingernails.

It’s important that you cut ‘slots’ and not just a single slit.
It’s important that you cut ‘slots’ and not just a single slit.

 

Step 4: Assembling the Pop Up Present

1:  Take the slices with tabs (both tabs should be to the left of the main square.  Fold the tab along the vertical dashed line.  The tab should fold anti-clockwise, basically folding in front of the main square part.
 2: The small square tab should also be folded along the horizontal dashed line, upwards.

Fold the tabs along the vertical and horizontal dashed lines

3: Take the red and white slices and slot them together consecutively to make a box.  Start by taking one of the tabbed slices which you have just folded (tab still on the left side).  You will see two slot joints on the bottom, one on each side.
Slot the red and white slices together consecutively to make a box
Slot the red and white slices together consecutively to make a box

 

4: Taking the Red square slices, you will see 3 slots (two on either end and one in the middle.)  Slot the white and the red piece together using the slots on the far ends of the slices (not the middle slots.)
Slot the slices together to make a box
Slot the slices together to make a box
5: Take the second white slice with a tab and slot that in to the end slots on the Red Slices, to finish the box. Ensure that the tabs are directly opposite each other.
6: Next, take the Green slice which has 2 slots on the bottom and one on top.  Slot this into the 2 middle slots of the White slices.
Slot the green slice into the middle of the box
Slot the green slice into the middle of the box
7: Finally slot the last green slice into the remaining slot joints in the box.
Slot the last green slice into the middle of the box
Slot the last green slice into the middle of the box Slot the last green slice into the middle of the box 

Congratulations! You have created the main pop up element of the card.  Put this aside while we create the card face!

Step 5: Making the Card Face

Now that you have created the pop up present structure, the next step is for us to create the card face.

1: Fold the A4 Red cardstock in half, so that the card is A5.
Fold Red A4 in half
Fold Red A4 in half

 

2: Take 1 sheet of Black Cardstock and cut out 2 rectangles, using scissors (or a craft knife):
  • 14.7cm (w) x 5cm (h)
Note: This is the width of the A5 card
  • 4cm (w) x 5cm (h)
Cut 2 rectangles with the specified dimensions
Cut 2 rectangles using the black cardstock, with the specified dimensions
3: Cut out a rectangle with the dimensions 6cm (w) x 7cm (h) from the Gold cardstock
Use the Gold cardstock to cut a rectangle, with the specified dimensions
Use the Gold cardstock to cut a rectangle, with the specified dimensions
4: Glue the larger black rectangle onto the card face, around 2 or 3cm from the bottom:
Glue black strip onto card face
Glue black strip onto card face
5: Glue the small back rectangle in the middle of the Gold Cardstock. 
Glue black rectangle in the middle of the Gold rectangle
Glue black rectangle in the middle of the Gold rectangle
6: Glue the back of the Gold Cardstock and stick onto the large black strip, centrally, so that it looks like a belt.
Position buckle centrally onto the belt
Position buckle centrally onto the belt
7: Next, measure the height from the top of the Gold ‘buckle’ to the top of the Red A5 card.  Cut out a rectangle 3cm (w) by the height you have just measured, using the White Cardstock.
Cut a rectangle using White cardstock, with the specified dimensions.
Cut a rectangle using White cardstock, with the specified dimensions.
8: Glue this in the middle of the card, as shown below
Glue white strip in the middle of the card
Glue white strip in the middle of the card
9: Lastly, glue 2 buttons using PVC or tacky glue onto the white strip of cardstock, so it looks like santa’s suit!
Glue buttons onto the card face
Glue buttons onto the card face

 

 

Step 6: Putting it all together

Now that you have made the card face and the pop up present, all you have to do is put it all together to make your Christmas Pop Up Card!

1: We need to create the lining of the pop up card.  Using the A4 black cardstock you have remaining, measure out 2 large rectangles of the dimensions:
  • 14cm (w) x 20cm (h)
Measure and cut out 2 large black rectangles, with the dimensions specified
Measure and cut out 2 large black rectangles, with the dimensions specified
2: Cut a slit 3cm from the edge, centrally.  The line should be approx. 1.5 cm in length
Cut a slit approximately 1.5cm in length, 3cm from the edge
Cut a slit approximately 1.5cm in length, 3cm from the edge
3: Remember those tabs on the pop up present? Slot the tabs through the each of the slits you have just cut.
Slot the tabs on the pop up present through the slits in the black lining
Slot the tabs on the pop up present through the slits in the black lining
4: Glue the tabs to the black cardstock, to hold the present structure in place.
Glue tabs to the black lining
Glue tabs to the black lining
5: Glue both sides of the black cardstock, using a glue stick.
Glue the black lining into the Red A5 card
Glue the black lining into the Red A5 card
6: Stick the black cardstock inside the A5 Red Card, ensuring there is a small red border all around the black ‘lining.’  The black card should not be glued along the fold of the Red card also, therefore, make sure there is a small gap along the fold too.
Avoid gluing the black lining over the fold of the A5 Red card
Avoid gluing the black lining over the fold of the A5 Red card

Et Voila!

Congratulations! You have made our Christmas Pop Up Card.  As you can see there are many steps involved in creating even the simplest looking cards. Well done for getting creative with Cardology!

 

Finished Cardology Pop Up Card for Christmas
Finished Cardology Pop Up Card for Christmas

 


 

If you were impressed with the above, then take a look at some of our other intricate Christmas pop up cards which we’ve created!

 

The Nutcracker Pop Up Card
The Nutcracker Pop Up Card by Cardology

 

The Nutcracker Pop Up Card by Cardology

Inspired by our love of ballet especially during the Christmas season, our “Nutcracker” pop up card brings goosebumps to anyone who is familiar with this famous production.

The sugar plum fairy and cavalier are etched on a green and gold cover. When opened, up pops a theatre scene complete with orchestra. But the magic doesn’t end there…look closer on stage, and you see Clara and the Nutcracker, the mouse king, sugar plum fairy and cavalier acting out their parts from one of the most famous productions during the festive period.

 

Partridge in a Pear Tree Pop Up Card
Partridge in a Pear Tree Pop Up Card by Cardology

Partridge in a Pear Tree Pop Up Card by Cardology

On the First Day of Christmas… …here’s a great way to score brownie points with your own true love. We’ve pimped one of our ever-popular botanical cards and given it the festive treatment, meaning you can give a partridge, genuine golden pears, and even a tree – what’s not to love.

 

Disclaimer:

All parts of this tutorial, including the templates, card design, finished card and the images used are the property of Cardology Ltd®

This tutorial can be used for personal cardmaking purposes or for teaching materials.  This tutorial can not be used for commercial purposes, without written permission from Cardology.  Please contact us for more information including rates.

 

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