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Leprechaun Pop Up House Tutorial

The house pop up folds down the center.
The door swings open as the card closes.
The leprechaun is attached to the front of the house with a simple box. He folds to the side when the card closes.
The rainbow is attached through the center of the roof with an unbent paper clip. It swings back and forth when the card is open.

How to make a leprechaun pop up house

This St. Patrick's day pop up card is labor intensive, but so worth it in the end.

In a tutorial this long the chance of error is very great. Please email me if something is missing, wrong, or just seems wrong and I'll do my best to fix it!

Cut the pieces
Download file set:  PDF, SVG,  Silhouette Studio
(NEW improved SVG set!)

How to use my files in Cricut Design Space

Files download for free; pay what you wish for the tutorial and to support this site. Suggested contribution for this project is $2.99.

Download leprechaun file from scrapbooks etc. Copy this link (clicking it doesn't work): Leprechaun Paper-Piecing Pattern by Vicki Boutin and paste it into your browser to download the file.  Resize to 38%. You will not need the legs from this file. (You will use different legs, included in my file set.) I simplified (welded)the green hat pieces and the face pieces before cutting, but it's not necessary to do that.

Collect your papers! Open my PDF file and look at the paper piecing pictures, which are grouped by color. I have not included pictures of the pieces from scrapbooks, etc. due to copyright. I used red brown, roof brown, house brown, flesh, 2 greens for the leprechaun, 3 greens for the shrubs, yellow green for the windows, black and gold. For the rainbow you will need red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet--or you can print 2 copies of the rainbow included in the PDF.

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Size pages as follows: House width is 11". Paper piecing file has an 8.5" x 11" sizing rectangle around the pieces. (Delete before cutting.) The rainbow file includes a 1" sizing square.

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Cut out house piece. Score and crease along red lines. Cut along right side of door.
(If you're using Cricut Design Space, after you set your cut and score lines, select all objects and attach, then send to cut.)

Cut a roof piece, 3.5" x 5". I used decorative scissors to cut the jagged edge on my roof.

Cut out paper piecing parts. If you're pressed for time, print a clipart leprechaun (not provided) and the rainbow file (PDF) rather than paper piecing them. The leprechaun should be printed about 2" tall.

To cut each rainbow piece, separate out the strip you need from the cut file. Duplicate it and mirror it. Nest the two "C" shaped pieces, rotating them to fit on the paper. Do this for each color.

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Assemble decorative elements

Referring to picture, assemble leprechaun. Draw his eyes and eyebrows.

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Glue shrubs together. Glue black door frame to back of door. Glue triangle windows and doorknob onto door. (This picture is missing the doorknob, which should be on the right hand side of the door.) Glue shamrock windows to black frames. Glue gold into pot. Draw coin details with gold gel pen if you like. (Not shown). Do not assemble rainbow yet.

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Attaching decorative elements to house

Glue door to house front, matching door edges to the cut-out on the house. Optional: cut a second door shape and glue it to the inside of the door cut-out. I did this because the inside of my house was so blindingly white!

Glue a shrub on either side of door. The shrubs are a little bigger than the front of the house. Be careful not to glue them to the house sides, just to the front.

Glue shamrock windows above shrubs.

Make leprechaun pop up box

Cut a strip of card stock: 3/8" tall and about 3" long. From one end measure and mark off five increments along the strip. Make the first one 3/8" long, the second one 3/4" long, the third one 3/8" long, the fourth one 3/4" long and the last one 3/8" long. Cut off the excess. Score and crease at the marks.

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Overlap the ends of the strip, forming an open rectangle. Glue together the overlap.

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Glue the flat part of one of the longer sides of the rectangular pop up to the back of the leprechaun. I positioned him so it looked like he was sitting on the top of a step.

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Glue the back of the rectangular pop up to the left side of the door/house, making sure the leprechaun's feet are higher than the bottom of the house. (Otherwise his feet will smash into the base card when the house is upright.)

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This picture shows the pop up without the leprechaun.

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Let everything dry.

Fold house in half as shown. Glue house side and back together with tab.

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Assemble roof and rainbow

Unbend a small paperclip and re bend into an L shape. Cut each leg to 1" long. I used jewelry pliers to get a sharper bend than I could make with my fingers.

Fold the roof piece in half the shorter way. Find the midpoint of the roof fold and poke a small hole through it.

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Push the paperclip through the hole and arrange it so the bend is right at the hole and one leg is in the fold of the roof. Tape the paper clip leg into the fold of the roof, on the inside (wrong side) of the roof.

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VERY lightly crease the violet rainbow base in half to find the center top. Mark it with a pencil. (Yes, I know this looks orange. Use your imagination.) If you are using a printed rainbow, mark the wrong side of one rainbow.

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(Skip this step if you are using printed rainbows.) On the unmarked side, assemble one side of the rainbow starting with red. Carefully line up the red strip with the top edge of the base piece and glue. Add each color, pushing the strips firmly against the color above so the base is completely covered by the strips. When you finish there will be a strip of violet showing at the bottom of the rainbow.

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Flip the rainbow to the marked side. Lay the roof below the rainbow with the paper clip (the part sticking out of the roof) aligned with the center mark of the rainbow. Tape.

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Cut a small strip of violet paper (white is fine for printed rainbows) and glue it over the tape and paper clip. I added some tape to the edges, too. (This strip helps keep the paper clip from tearing out and covers the paper clip where it crosses the violet part of the rainbow.)

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Glue the colored strips to this side of the rainbow as you did before. For printed rainbows, just glue the rainbows back-to-back.

Attach roof to house

Open roof. With house collapsed, slide top tabs into roof, all the way into the roof crease. Slide the house back and forth until it looks centered in the roof. You can just eyeball this.

Spread glue on the roof tab.

(On your card the rainbow would be finished on this side, but this is just scrap paper.)

Close roof.

Flip house over, open roof, glue the other tab, close roof.

Let house dry.

It should look something like this.

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Glue house to base card

Construct a 9" x 14" base card. I added border strips to make my base big enough. If I made this again I would probably just hinge two pieces of card stock together at the center fold.

With house collapsed, slide the bottom tabs into the fold of the base card. Slide the tabs back and forth along the card crease until neither leg of the rainbow is extending beyond the base card. Glue the tabs as you did the roof tabs--one side, then the other.

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Let dry completely.

Open the card and twitch the rainbow around the roof until it's oriented diagonally from bottom left to upper right when the card is open.

Glue the pot of gold to the upper right hand end of the rainbow. Make sure the pot feet do not extend below the bottom of the rainbow or the rainbow will not swing freely when you are closing the card.

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Finish the front of the card. This shamrock shape is in the PDF.

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Pat yourself on the back; you did it!