How to Make Pop Up Cards, Tutorial Level of Difficulty: Advanced
In Lessons 11-13 we covered the symmetrical slotted X pop up card, construction and attachment. In this lesson we will explore non-symmetrical slotted X forms.
Cut and slot two non-identical, non-symmetrical shapes. The slot lengths will be dictated by your design. Slide shapes together.
Flatten the X and lay it on your work surface with the slot vertical. Examine the shapes to determine where the widest part of each "half" falls.
Imagine a line drawn between these points. Sometimes the widest points, or at least substantial parts of the widest points, will align horizontally across the X. This is the easiest X to attach. Other times the widest points do not align at all. These require a shaped strap, or tabs and tape (and some ingenuity) for attachment.
In the top example you can see that the widest points of the shapes do not line up horizontally while the bottom shapes do. (Not perfectly, but very close.)
Attaching Aligned Shapes
Let's start with the easier one: shapes where the widest parts align across the X.
--Making the strap.
Flatten the X and flip it face down. Place a strip of paper under the slotted X and at right angles to the slot line of the X.
In the picture you can see that the widest point of the red piece and the widest point of the orange piece both fall onto the paper strip.
On paper strip mark center line and widest part of each side, as shown. Fold at each of these marks.
Cut off excess paper at ends, leaving a gluing tab.
Glue strap to slotted X, matching lines with slot and edges.
--Glue strap to card
Mark glue points on base card. Important! Mark glue points with the X in the face down position! (With the symmetrical X it didn't matter, because the tabs were the same distance from the center. Here, you need to create a short and long side on the card to balance the short and long sides on the X.)
Line up slot line on X with center line on base card. Flip tabs toward center line and trace ends and sides.
Flip X face up. If you're feeling lucky, apply glue to both tabs with card in open position, and glue X in place.
I never seem to hit it just right so I prefer to glue just one tab to its glue point, at first. Then apply glue to other tab and close the card, aiming the tab to meet its corresponding glue point. This ensures that the card will close properly.
Bottom view showing tabs.
Attaching Un-Aligned Shapes
How about those pesky shapes where the widest points don't line up horizontally?
One solution is a shaped strap. In the picture you can see the regular strap on the bottom and a shaped strap on the top.
--Making the strap
For a shaped strap, make a strap tall enough to hit both of the widest points when laid horizontally across the X.
Mark the slot line and edge lines.
Cut away the parts of the strap that would show from the right side. Dotted lines show parts that have been cut away.
Glue strap to back of X, lining up slot and edges with marked lines.
--Marking the glue points.
With X face down, align slot line with center of base card. Trace tabs onto base card. Imagine the tab ends of your X are in two corners of a rectangle. You are going to draw the other two corners.
Measure the distance from the center of the card to the widest point one side.
Draw a vertical line at that point. Do the same for the other side.
Measure the distance from the bottom of the card to the bottom of the lower tab end. Draw a horizontal line at that point.
Measure from the top of the card to the top of the upper tab and draw a horizontal line there.
The corners of the rectangle you have drawn are your glue points.
Tabs. Another option is to create tabs from a strap. They can be short or long.
Tape across both pieces at slot to reinforce.
On back of X draw a horizontal line from the widest point of each piece to the slot, perpendicular to the slot. Align tab side with line and glue. This will ensure that your tab fold line is parallel to the slot line.
Use the rectangle method to draw your glue points as described above.