Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: Rubber Band Pop Up Cube

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Nov 28, 2009

Rubber Band Pop Up Cube

rubber band pop up cube

Over the years I have gotten many emails inquiring about rubber band pop ups. The best book I know on the subject, Up Pops by Mark Hiner, is out of print.

Here is a template, closely modeled on Hiner's design, for the rubber band powered pop up cube.

Download cutting file: PDF, SVG, Silhouette Studio

Print PDF on sturdy card stock and hand cut, or machine cut.

The printed lines on my sample are on the wrong side of the piece, but since we need to see them as we work, I will refer to the printed side as the "front" and the plain side (the right side) the "back." Just to keep you on your toes! Also, notice some numbers are "b" and some are "f". That means the glue goes on the back or the front of that flap.

If you are hand cutting, cut on black lines EXCEPT around the rubber band loops.

rubber band pop up cube

Score on green lines.

If hand cutting, fold the re-inforcing squares to the back side and glue. If machine cut, fold the second set of hooks to the back and glue to matching front hook.  Let dry completely.

rubber band pop up cube

Once the glue is dry, if hand cutting, cut out around the hooks. It is crucial that these little hooks be strong. If they seem at all wiggly-woggly, add another square of reinforcement to them, let dry, cut out. Seriously, don't cut them until the glue is dry or the paper will be permanently weakened.

rubber band pop up cube

Glue the backs of the #2 flaps together, folding on the diagonal green line to make them meet. (Remember, that would be right sides together.)

rubber band pop up cube

rubber band pop up cube

Do the same for the #3 flaps.

rubber band pop up cube

Attach a rubber band or loop of elastic thread to one hook. For this template the elastic band need to be 3" in diameter. I have found the 1mm elastic thread by Darice works well. At my store it was with jewelry supplies.

rubber band pop up cube

Glue the back of flap 4b to the front of 4f. Repeat for 5b and 5f.

rubber band pop up cube

Glue the back of 6b to the front of 6f. It's easiest to do this if you flatten the piece completely with the #6 flaps in the center.

rubber band pop up cube

Now comes the fun part. With the cube almost completely closed, work the other end of the elastic onto the other cardboard hook. Try using long tweezers or needle-nosed pliers.

rubber band pop up cube

Video directions by Norm. He recommends attaching the rubber band before gluing the last side. Why didn't I think of that?


Anonymous said...

I love this up pops book!
It took me about seven months to get my hands on a copy! BTW, I LOVE your extreme cards site. Everything you do is great. keep on papercrefting!

Helen said...

Ok, ignore previous request - I've found it now, thank you! Looks hard but I'm going to try it... can always buy the blanks if it goes horribly wrong!

yup said...

this got me started and found a free template for a Collapsible Calendar Pattern that I'm going to try to make a pop up cup cake from on this site


If I can do it I'll send a picture when I'm done.

Stopping by from /po/ said...

Have you guys tried searching more spesifically lately?

Googling the following gave me a page within the five first results with the three links below.

Up Pops + Mark Hiner + (pdf OR rar OR zip)



cpeep said...

Thanks, Po. These (the first and third ones) are for Hiner's OTHER book, Paper Engineering for Pop Up Books and Cards. I was able to download the first one, no problem, if anyone is looking for this book. It's in RAR format--I use a free program to unpack the files (WinRAR).

The second link was no good.


Anonymous said...

I love it!!

But, I have 2 questions.
1) Is it possible to print your own pictures on the cube?

2) Is it possible to make a bigger cube by just enlarging your plan?


Carol said...

Yes, you can enlarge it, although you may want to adjust the hook size if you make the cube VERY large.

Sure, you can easily drop your own pictures on. Either use the .jpg as your starting point in a photo editing program, or use Norm's .pdf in a vector program. Here's the link to Norm's: http://www.victorianorman.com/uploads/dice2.pdf

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!!

dfhfghrtdht said...


Is it possible to make a pop up like this, only in the shape of a cake box, where the top and bottom surface is larger than the four sides?


Carol said...

dfhfghrtdht, I think what you're asking for is a rectangular box.

Can you email me? I'll send you a picture of how to make it.

Carol said...

Janelle, your email is bouncing back to me.

Fabi Carvalhos said...

Carol, I live in Brazil and I follow your blog for a while. I love pop up, and related papercraft and you are to me a reference to these. I'm involved with preparations for the party of four years of my daughter and I would make the invitation following this model but in a rectangular shape. I saw that offered to send a template to another admirer of your work, you could send me too? fabiicarvalhos@gmail.com Thank you so much. Fabiana

Tim Hoerner said...

The woman in the YouTube video - her name is Victoria, not Norm.

Carol P said...

Nope, he's definitely a guy. We've emailed privately and he signs his emails Norm.

Jorge Carvajal said...

the template is missing File not found (404 error):(

Carol P said...

It works for me! The link is
http://manaelf.com/projects/pop up box.pdf