How to make a Pop Up Card General Instructions
Giving a handmade pop up card to someone special is a great way to show that you care.
In general, to make a pop up card, follow these basic steps:
- Find a card design you like or want to make. You can find a template for any occasion here: Pop Up Card Templates.
- Choose the card stock you would like to make the popup card with. Most cards have an inside card and an outside card backing. 65lb card stock works best.
- Print out the template or templates for the pop-up card.
- Using the template, cut the pattern out of of the card stock. There are several ways to do this. Please read my post on using templates to cut out your card.
- Score the lines that will be folded. Scoring makes it easier to fold the card.
- Assemble the inside card, which consists of folding or gluing the card.
- Attach the inside card to the outside card backing by gluing, assembling with slots, or sewing.
- Decorate and add words.
To find detailed instructions and tutorials for how to make pop up cards for a specific occasion, please visit my tutorials and templates page.
Pop Up Card Tools
I'm often asked what tools are used for making pop up cards. Some pop up cards can be made with only a pair of scissors. Many years ago, I started making pop up cards with an X-acto knife, while using vinyl records as a cutting board. Mentioning that I grew up with records probably gives you an idea of how old I am. Luckily 8-tracks don't make good cutting boards. Today, plotter cutters (or cutting machines) have made making pop up cards much easier. Here are a list of common tools, devices or instruments used for making pop up cards:
- X-acto knife: Use name brand good quality blades. Cheap blades dull quickly or bend. Good quality blades will be made of a harder material, which tends to be more brittle. Therefore, the tip breaks easily . A cheap blade will have a lower yield strength, so the tip will tend to bend or curve when you apply pressure. So, use an X-acto brand blade. To prevent your good quality blade from breaking, you need to cut on a soft surface, which brings me to the next important item.
- Self healing cutting board: These are mats with soft cutting surfaces which “heal” when you cut into them. This is important because normal cutting boards will accumulate many cuts or tracks as you use them. Sometimes, your blade will follow a track instead of the intended direction. By the way, I broke blade tips constantly when I used the records as cutting mats.
- Tweezers: Tweezers are used for intricate assemblies. It also helps gluing small parts.
- Metal Ruler: A metal ruler is a must have to cut straight lines. It's much easier to cut a straight line with a ruler and an X-acto knife than a pair of scissors. A ruler is also useful for measuring things.
- Scissors: Scissors are useful to cut out pieces that will later be assembled into a card. I actually don't use scissors that often. My weapon of choice is still an X-acto knife.
- Glue: There are many kinds of glues to use. I predominantly use Elmer's glue and glue sticks. Elmer's No Wrinkle glue pens work well for preventing the paper from wrinkling. Sometimes I use spray adhesive and YES! paste. I'll elaborate on glues in the future.
- Cutting Machines: These machines have made making pop up cards much easier. There are several machine available: Klic-N-Kut (which is what I have), Craft Robo, Cricut, and a few others. Again, I'll have to elaborate on these machines in the future. These machines can cost anywhere from $100 to $500+. I ended up buying a Silhouette Cameo. You can buy a Silhouette Cameo from Scrapbook.com if you want to get additional scrapbooking supplies. Or buy your Silhouette Cameo from Amazon and get other items as well. In order to cut svg files, I also bought Sure Cuts A Lot, and Make the Cut, which are software packages that helps you cut using your cutting machine.
Please visit my Tools and Supplies page to find out more details on these products.
Pop Up Card Materials
There are a wide variety of materials used for making pop up cards. I usually use card stock that is at least 65lbs. If you want the card to be more rigid, you can use 100lbs card stock. Obviously, the thicker the card stock, the harder to cut. If you go to an art store, you can use Bristol or Watercolor paper. Watercolor paper will give your card some nice texture. You can also get some cheap card stock at office supply stores like Staples. After making a pop up card, you can use scrapbooking ideas to decorate the card to customize it. You can use many specialty papers to cover the outside of the card.
The best place to start making pop up cards is to visit my Template Store. There are free templates you can use to start making pop up cards. There are many other designs you can make to impress all your family and friends.