Create a pop-up card with this simple, step-by-step technique. The pop-up image can be a stamped image or a sticker. Make cards dimensional with this fun pop-up card tutorial. This project is an excerpt from C&T Publishing Pop-Up Paper Structures by Heidi Pridemore which includes 12 pop-up techniques and 7 complete projects perfect for novices.
- Craft Knife
- Rubber stamp or sticker that measures about 3˝ square
- 4˝ × 9˝ piece of pop-up paper (for this example)
- 4˝ × 9˝ piece of backer card (for this example)
Backer Card Size
To determine the size of the backer card:
- Measure the rubber stamp or sticker to be used for the pop-up artwork; then decide how far out the pop-up will extend from the background. Add these measurements together to determine how far up the pop-up will go when the card is closed. For the stamp I chose, the backer card needs to be at least 8˝ long, so when it is folded in half it will cover the pop-up.
tip- If the rubber stamp or sticker is 3˝ square and is set 1˝ away from the background, the pop-up will stick up 4˝ when the card is closed, so each half of the backer card needs to be at least 4˝ square to completely cover the pop-up.
- To calculate the width of the backer card, add at least 1⁄2˝ to the width of the image. (That is, add at least 1⁄4˝ to each side of the image; if the image is 3˝ wide, the width of the backer card should be at least 31⁄2˝.) For this example, we added a bit to each of the measurements, so we are using a 4˝ × 9˝ backer card.
- Now that we’ve determined the backer card size, measure halfway up from the short bottom edge and pencil a dot on each long edge. Lightly pencil a line from dot to dot across the width of the backer card to create the centerline.
- On the back of the 4˝ × 9˝ pop-up paper, measure halfway up from the short bottom edge and pencil a dot on each long edge. Lightly pencil a line from dot to dot across the width of the paper to create the centerline.
How to Place the Image
Decide whether you want the artwork image centered on the card or off center. I leave at least 1⁄4˝ of space between the edge of the backer card and the pop-up or between 2 pop-ups on the same card.
For this example, the image is centered on the backer card 5⁄8˝ from each edge.
- Measure 5⁄8˝ in from each long edge on the drawn centerline and
pencil a dot.
Decide where you want the artwork image placed on the centerline and mark the width of the image with 2 dots. Measure down from each dot the distance you decided on for the distance between the pop-up and the background and pencil another dot. In this example, the distance is 1˝.
- Measure 1˝ down from the left centerline dot and pencil another dot. Repeat with the right centerline dot. Lightly pencil a line between the dots to create the pop-up’s bottom line.
- Draw a light line from the bottom line to the dots on the centerline.
The bottom horizontal line is the bottom lines for the artwork image, and the 2 vertical lines become the sidelines for the image. The image will be placed in this box.
- Align the bottom edge of the rubber stamp or sticker on the bottom drawn line and align the sides of the stamp or sticker with the drawn sidelines. Stamp the image and color as desired, or apply the sticker.
If the image you are working with does not have a straight line at the top, lightly pencil a line at least 1⁄4˝ wide. This line becomes a fold line for the pop-up. Measure up from this line the same distance that you measured down from the centerline for the pop-up’s bottom line and pencil a dot on each side. In this example, the distance is 1˝. Draw another horizontal line to connect these dots to create the top line of the pop-up.
- Draw a straight line across the top of the stamped image or the sticker for the pop-up fold line.
- Measure 1˝ up from each end of the drawn line and pencil a dot. Draw another line to connect the dots to create the pop-up’s top line.
For the pop-up sidelines, connect the top line of the pop-up with the bottom line of the pop-up. This line does not have to be straight and can follow the contour of the stamp or sticker.
- Draw vertical lines between the pop-up top lines and bottom lines. With a craft knife, cut on the drawn pop-up sidelines to make the pop-up side slits.
Now that you’ve drafted the pop-up card, simply follow the rest of the steps to finish the example. You can put as many pop-ups on the same card as the backer card width will allow!
- Draw the backer card centerline to meet up to the pop-up sidelines. Score the drawn horizontal lines with a creasing tool. Erase all the pencil lines.
- Gently pull the center cut area toward you. Crease a mountain fold on the pop-up centerline and valley folds on the background centerline and the top and bottom horizontal pop-up lines.
- Fold the pop-up completely closed and press it down on a flat surface to ensure straight and tight folds. Reopen the pop-up to see the finished card.