Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: Building a Better Pop Up Cake: Part 2

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Be sure to visit How to Make Pop Up Cards

to review the basic techniques of pop up making.

Aug 14, 2009

Building a Better Pop Up Cake: Part 2

Building a Better Center Post Cake

Start by reading Building a Better Pop Up Cake: Part 1.

cake pop up card

Stampin' Up has a very good video of the Pop Up Cake Die assembly. I suggest viewing it first to get an overview of the assembly process. Bear in mind that my instructions differ on several key points.

Download the template set (PDF, Silhouette Studio, DXF) and use "centerpost" files. (personal use only!). If you are printing from the PDF directly on your "good" paper, print on the wrong side of the paper.

Thanks to Pooja Gandhi for the SCUT file!

(Just in case you're wondering about copyright...I did not copy the pattern from the die. I did borrow the idea of the center post.)

Making the center post pop up cake design

--Assemble the center post--

Difference from the Sizzix design: the center post is double wide and then folded and glued together to make it more rigid.

Cut out the center post. Score the center crease and the bottom feet.

cake pop up card

Fold the center post in half. Spread out the feet. Glue the post halves together just above the feet.

cake pop up card

Cut the slits in the center post. Score fold lines.

cake pop up card

--Add the cake layers--

Score fold lines on the cake layers before cutting them out. Cut slots on each layer.

Cut out the cake layer circles with attached legs.

Difference from the Sizzix design: the pieces are aligned with the grain of the paper. You get a better crease if your pieces are not cut diagonally on the paper.

Fold the circles in half toward the front, then unfold. On the same crease fold toward the back, then unfold. Crushing the fibers in both directions helps the cake unfold when the card is opened.

cake pop up card cake pop up card

Crease the fold lines on the legs.

cake pop up card

Start stacking the layers on the center post.

Fold in the edges of the center post to allow the post to slip through the slits in the cake layers.

cake pop up card

Slide the largest layer onto the post. Unfold the side tabs to hold it in place.

cake pop up card

Repeat with the middle and top layers.

cake pop up card

cake pop up card

--Adjusting leg length--

Before gluing the cake layer legs in place, it's a good idea to check to make sure they aren't just a tiny bit too long.

Flip the top layer up, away from the base (feet) of the center post.

cake pop up card

Fold the leg of the top layer down toward the middle layer. See if the end of the leg overlaps the fold line.

cake pop up card

If it does, trim off the overlap.

cake pop up card

Flip the middle layer up and repeat: fold leg down, check for overlap, trim.

cake pop up card

Flip the bottom layer up. Check for overlap at the crease of the post feet, trim.

cake pop up card

--Slotting legs into place--

Difference from the Sizzix design: no matter how carefully you adhere the legs to the tops of the layers, there tends to be strain and separation at the join, causing the cake layers not to pull up completely. Slotting the legs through the cake tops gives better pull. See the cake here, for example. You can see the the separation where the middle tier meets the top of the bottom tier.

Slot legs of top tier through the middle tier by sliding each leg through a side slot.

cake pop up card

Pull the legs through until the end of the leg meets the center post. Adjust so the bend of each leg is right at the slot. (It's okay if the leg end is not all the way to the center post).

Spread glue on just the bottom bend of the leg, on the side facing the middle layer.

cake pop up card

Collapse the layers with the top and middle layer up. Push the glue covered leg down and adhere.

cake pop up card

Reinforce slot by taping the leg to the underside of the middle layer, right across the slot.

cake pop up card

Repeat for other leg.

Repeat to attach the middle tier legs to the bottom tier. Insert legs through slots in large layer, adjust length, glue, reinforce.

cake pop up card

cake pop up card

--Attach cake to card base--

Using the template, cut slots in your base card.

Slide the post feet through the middle slot (on the card fold).

cake pop up card

Flip the base card over.

Open out the feet a little and apply glue to the top of the feet--the part facing the base card. Glue the feet to the card, making sure the fold line is right at the slot.

cake pop up card

cake pop up card

Slide the legs of the bottom tier through the side slots of the card.

cake pop up card

Pull the legs through and adjust so the bend is right at the slot, as you did with the other layers.

cake pop up card

Apply glue to the leg on the side facing the card and attach to card. Tape across leg and slot to reinforce.

cake pop up card

Close card and allow to dry. I like to put a weight on it and leave it for an hour or so.

--Assemble cake sides--

Cut out side strips.

Difference from the Sizzix design: in the video the crafter just eyeballed where to place the cake sides. I prefer having guidelines to line up with the uprights.

Pop the cake completely open. Anchor the card base sides if necessary to keep the card in the fully open position.

cake pop up card

I strongly advise using double sided tape, not glue, to attach the cake sides.

Attach the cake sides starting with the top tier.

Apply double sided tape to the shaded area in the center of the strip. Affix the cake strip to one upright, aligning the upright with the shaded area (and the tape).

cake pop up card

Apply tape to the shaded area at one end of the strip. Wrap the taped end of the cake side around the cake layer. Match shaded area at the end of the strip to the upright and affix.

cake pop up card

Apply tape to the shaded area at the other end of the cake strip. Wrap this end of the cake strip around cake top, align shaded area with upright. Affix on top of the other end of the strip.

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Repeat for the middle tier.

The bottom tier is constructed in two parts. Apply tape to the shaded areas on each piece. Affix one to an upright, wrap and affix to the other upright. Repeat for the other half of the cake. You will have a seam on each upright.

And hey, just as an aside. You do know that all those beautifully round Sizzix cakes were photographed before they were folded, right? That in real life they don't look like that out of the envelope?

Compare this cake pop up card

...to this cake pop up card

Moving on....

Close card gently. This will create the folds in the cake sides.

cake pop up card

Decorate the outside of the card to cover the parts that are slotted through the base card.


Mima said...

Great tutorial! I am looking forward to making one of these cards for my granddaughter's birthday. I know that this will be a big surprise for her. You have an amazing blog and I always look forward to visiting. I love 3 D cards and am trying to get the hang of it. So, these tutorials and web links you display are a great help. Thank you for being so generous and caring, of those who depend on the knowledge that you share and provide.
TFS, Mima

Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you...I am so excited about this!!!

Whimcees said...

You are wonderful! :<} You came through as promised with a tutorial! Thank you, thank you - you are the best! I am printing now as I write. :<)

Wishing you a great day!

Barbara Diane

Marg said...

This is wonderful! What a great deal of work you did on this tutorial. the photos are excellent. Thank you!

snarflemarfle said...

Wowza! You put quite a lot of work into this tutorial (and the PDF which I have saved!). I think I'll try making one of these for my sister! Thanks so much.

Helen said...

Thank you so much for the template. I made my own 3 tiers template after SU came out, but didn't come out nice. I appreciate you sharing the template. Love you blog, I am always looking forward to your next post and especially the 3 D one. Thanks!

yomisugi said...

Wow, excellent post! I came across your blog, searching about pop up cards, hoping to make one for an upcoming birthday. Thank you so much for posting your template and sharing this tutorial post with us! I'm planning to use this and make the perfect card!

Latenightstamper said...

Very fun, thank you for the inspiration! Sherrill Graff http://latenightstamper1.blogspot.com/

Crayola58 said...

Excellent post.... Beautiful stuff...

evon said...

Perfect! thanks for teaching this!

Merlyn said...

Hi..Thanks a lot for sharing the tutorial:) I tried a three tier pop cake card and presented to my friend. He liked it soooooooooo much. Please do visit my blog and check the pop up card and so leave your valuable comments :) Thanks:)


Max Tran said...

I love your blog so much!

It gives me so many great ideas for cards and activities!

ralph julian rodriguez said...

i love this blog!!!

Reusing with Quilling said...

I loved your 3d pop-up cake ,I made one following your tutorial.You could have a looks here:
I have linked your tutorial in post too ! Thanks a lot for sharing !

sarah-lee noue said...

Hi thanks heaps. you've been a great help. Ive looked through so many website and also you-tube. No luck in finding templates until i came across this site. So awesome. I am trying to make and invitation card for my daughter 5th birthday next year and this is wonderful. Ive printed out the template and have put it together and it was just as you show very happy with this pop up cake tutorial card. this is so exciting. thanks!!!!!