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May 9, 2008

How to Make Pop Up Cards - The Box - Lesson 1

Tutorial Level of Difficulty: Easy

THE BOX (Also know as the Parallel Fold or the Step)

While simple to construct, the box is extremely versatile. It lends itself beautifully to cards with strong graphical elements. The pop up mechanism enhances the graphics without being distracting.

Today's Lesson: A Box symmetrically cut from the fold.

Fold your paper in half. I like to use a whole sheet of 8.5" x 11" when I'm learning a new technique.

On the outside of the folded card, draw one or more rectangles of any size, where one side of the rectangle is the fold. Here I have drawn three of various size.

simple box pop up card

Cut along the rectangle sides that are perpendicular to the fold. (Shown as solid lines on the sample.)

DO NOT CUT across the top.

Score across the top of the rectangle. (Shown as dotted line on the sample.) You now have a flap of paper with a fold across the bottom.

simple box pop up card

Set creases into the rectangle by folding the flap up, then unfolding.

Flip the card over and fold the flap up on the other side, then unfold.

Open the card. From the back, push the square to pop it forward. It should look like this.

simple box pop up card

Side View

simple box pop up card

Your graphics can be affixed to the front or top of the pop up steps.

Before gluing everything together be sure nothing will stick out from the edges of the card when it is folded.

You can create vastly different designs just by varying the size and placement of the pop up rectangles. Turning the card to open from the side instead of the front presents additional possibilities.

simple box pop up card

Let's look at some examples. Mayan Ruins

simple box pop up card

Here is an ultra simple way to add a person to a scenery shot, using one small box mechanism, from Digital Cameras in Education. Check out their site for detailed instructions on this particular project and other fun digital photo projects.

Flower Box
simple box pop up card

Robert Sabuda is one of the best known pop up designers out there. Here is a card from his site. The mechanism is a long, low rectangle.

Pop Up Photograph
simple box pop up card

Here the pop ups are two rectangles, one taller than the other. Illustrated instructions.
castle pop up card

Designed by Lee Kaster. From what I can see, I'm guessing the rectangle mechanism would look something like this.

castle pop up card

The front piece is supported on either side by the two longest rectangles, while leaving room in the center for the other layers. Such an effective use of this pop up mechanism!  

heart pop up card

You can download and print this design from ScrapbookScrapbook. Another simple box mechanism that's enhanced by the graphics.

snowman pop up card

Cute design, simple pop up mechanism! Another downloadable design, this one from The Learning Bug. The pdf download is here. 

Christmas Packages
boxes pop up card

Here's one turned sideways, by Roz Veevers.

And another one by Vajira.
simple box pop up card

Flowers and Butterflies

I love this card by Diane of 1CardCreator. It looks so much more complicated than it is. When I went to look at the tutorial I was amazed that it was just a simple box underneath!

simple box pop up card

Now it's your turn! Send me photos of your creations and I'll add them to this lesson. Happy crafting!

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Lisa said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for helping us "pop-upless" people! lol

Lisa (

mspiggy7 said...

Thanks for your great tutorial on pop-ups. Look forward to seeing others. I hope to try them soon.

Jessica F. said...

Great tutorial - can't wait to try it out!


Cynthia said...

Thank you so much. I've been wanting to try this and you've given me the nudge (and instructions) I needed.

Jessica F. said...

I made one, I made one, but I haven't posted it yet! But, i am following along! Thanks for the tutorials!

cpeep said...

AAAAANNDDD the prize goes to Jessica for ringing in first :)

Email me a picture or a link and I'll put it up.

Jessica F. said...

Carol - here is my link to my card! Thanks!

CaKatt said...

Found this site through, another great site. Designed thank you cards for a party using the excellent tutorials

Faye said...

This is wonderful Thanks you!

vajiraseow said...

Thank you for adding

Evan said...

your tutorials are SUCH a lifesaver. i've been looking for help for pop-up cards all over the net and none were helpful! thanks SO much!

Ratih Sumiratingratri said...

Gee, this is the site I've been looking for. I've always loved pop cards but never knew how to make them. Thanks for the clear and user-friendly instructions. Keep up the great work.

karinmc said...

Nifty blog. I'll be teaching a beginning pop-up card class soon. I have intended to put tutorials up on my site too. Of course the tutorial I just posted took me forever to put together. Maybe I'll just send people your way. Great job.

Anonymous said...

thanks, its a wonderful blog!

Riechan said...

thankyou for the tutorial!
I think I am starting a new obsession ...

The Sparkly Fairy said...

Thank you - this is just what I've been looking for!

Carlo M. said...

Free paper craft download of kirigami windchill

Carole Beath said...

Fantastic eye candy for all styles.

simplyclutteredkp said...

I love your blog! I'm trying to learn how to make pop up cards. I'm a little slow but the visuals help! :)

Cindy at Akitla said...

Great tutorial & so many original ideas. Thank you!

DolphinA said...

Thank you for sharing this tutorial!!! :)

maureen bright said...

Oh wonderous web soreress, I shall give full credit to you and Tina Kraus when I post my first pop-up work. I AM VERY EXCITED TO TRY THIS!

Cultivate Life in Joy said...

Thank you Carol for putting this and all your Pop up card together for us crafters. I have started one and will share on my Blog when I finish...being sure I send people to your Blog for the tickling fun of getting me to try one. I am also going to share your BLog on a Cuttlebug ing ;) Facebook page. BIg Texas Hugs, Antoinette

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