Pop Up Card Tutorial: Make Your Own Card in 30 Minutes

After receiving a couple requests, I have  finally gotten around to creating my first tutorial. Now, please bear with me. It’s my first one and I hope that I can make them better over time. I was promising tutorials for some Christmas cards, but I always forget to photograph mid-card and end up snapping photos at the end to show the finished product.

A lot of the cards in previous posts definitely took a substantial amount of time. Maybe 2-3 hours? The Twas the Night Before Christmas pop-up book took about a week.

Well how about some instructions for how you can make a pop-up card in 30 minutes? Ok so maybe my title is a little misleading, because this one took me about 41 minutes, but still…it’s under an hour! Plus, I had to pause and take photos in the middle of it. I deliberately set a timer so I could figure out just how long it would take. Once you get the hang of making one, you develop a knack for it and can crank them out pretty quickly and efficiently (assuming you have all the right tools!).

Here is what you will need:

1. 12″ x 12″ card stock (3-4 different sheets) – it’s good to choose complementing colors and have a mix of solids and patterns. Try some of the card stock that I purchased below (on sale at JoAnn for $9.99 per pack of 48 sheets!)

Citrus Cardstock

citrus cardstock

2. You will need some paper punchers (Corner Punch and Desired Shapes) – I couldn’t find my corner punch so I rounded some corners by hand and eyeing it, but the corner punch is quick, easy, and precise. I also chose to use the star paper punch for some decor on the card.

Paper Punch

3. Scrapbook Glue or Double Sided Tape

4. Trimmer / Scoreboard

5. Paper Scissors

6. 12″ x 12″ poster board (optional) – I love using this stuff because it makes the cards hardcover and a little more polished looking.

How to Do It:

1. Cut the paper for the outside cover into 6 x 12″ and then in half so you have two 6″ x 6″ squares. (If you are using the 12″ x 12″ poster board, glue each separate 6″x6″ squares onto a separate piece of 6″ x 6″ poster board)

Trimmer Pop Up Card

2. For the front cover, select another piece of card stock paper and cut into 6″ x 6″ squares. Cut one of the squares into 5.25″ x 5.25″ and then corner punch.

3. You can add another strip of paper however you want for an accent. Simply cut it using your trimmer. In this case, I used a blue stripe 2″ x 6″.

4. Punch out your stars using your paper punch for however many you want and simply glue all the pieces onto the front as desired.

5. Use a fine tip sharpie to write the message that you want on the front.

Thank you pop up card

6. For the inside, use another piece of card stock and cut into 6″ x 12″ but DO NOT cut into 6″ x 6″

7. Score in the middle at the 6″ mark and fold

8. Glue the spread to the inside of the cover.

9. Select another color card stock for the inside. This will be the base of the pop up and you will use it for the pop up mechanism.

10. Fold the card stock in half, and cut into 6″ x 12″ then cut again so it is 5″ x 8″. Honestly, I usually just eye it, especially if I’m going quick, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can use your trimmer to measure and cut accordingly.

Pop Up Card How To

11. Now for the pop up. Draw the outline of your pop up boxes. This will create the same type of pop up that I used in the Christmas Pop Up Card showing the illusion of a pile of presents.

Pop Up Card Tutorial

12. Fold the 5″ x 8″ paper in half and use pencil to sketch the lines above, leaving about 1/2 cm in between each box and 1/4 cm from the edges.

13. Cut along the horizontal lines as shown above, being sure NOT to cut the vertical lines.

14. Fold your boxes in so that they are bent along the vertical lines and it looks like the image below.

Pop Up Card Tutorial

15. Open your pop-up and see the boxes / steps that are now created. You can now adhere this piece of paper to the card by using glue or tape.

How to Make a Pop Up Card

16. Next, cut out (or use a paper punch to cut out), your desired inside shapes. I folded paper in half and cut out hearts, but a paper punch is even quicker and more precise.

Pop Up Card

17. Adhere the shapes to your boxes wherever you want them.  I chose to cut out strips of paper to cover the front sides of my boxes (below).

Pop Up Card

I chose to cut slits in the front wall of my center box so I could insert and extra scrap piece of paper to make another image popping out further.

Pop Up Card

Pop Up Card How To

18. I then cut out a cloud / bubble shape and used it for a pop up “Thank you!” by folding it in half, handwriting the words on the front with sharpie and gluing it to the scrap piece of paper I had inserted as a support beam on the front center box.

Pop Up Card

19. I added a few extra hearts and some paper punched stars for a little extra something, and…voila! That was it.

Card Making

Pop Up Thank You Card

Pop Up Card

This might sound like a lot when you read all of this at first, but once you practice your first one, you’ll be able to crank out the same one over and over again pretty quickly. The hardest part for me when creating a new card is figuring out the design. What colors? How is it going to look? What is going to pop up? HOW is it going to pop up?

Sometimes it requires more than one instance of trial and error using practice models of computer paper. But once the design is mastered, you have your template to work off of and can re-use the same template for any other types of cards in the future. It makes card making a lot easier once you already have a basic recipe under your belt. You can use this same pop-up box mechanism for just about anything – a thank you note, a pile of Christmas presents, or maybe even a city skyline for a wedding invitation? 🙂 haha yes, I’m hinting at my own wedding that is now in the works. You might be seeing a pop up wedding invitation from me soon!! (Once we secure a date of course!)

Good luck scrappers!! Have a Happy New Year!!!

One thought on “Pop Up Card Tutorial: Make Your Own Card in 30 Minutes

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday Waterfall Card « Emily Things

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