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Falling Leaves Spiral Card

I like the idea of spiral pop up cards, but sometimes the design gets a bit awkward looking as the loops get bigger.  My spiral pop up greeting card features both an "invisible" acetate spiral, and a spiral that doubles back on itself to make it a bit more compact. 

(Wow, shiny paper is hard to photograph, isn't it?)

During the summer I made a butterfly spiral card like this which I gave away without blogging it, or even photographing it. WHAT was I thinking?

I finally got around to making an autumn design using the same spiral.  

How to make a falling leaves spiral card

card stock for leaf skeletons
double sided paper for leaf inserts 
heavy weight acetate for spiral
11" x 5" card stock for base card, and decorative elements as desired
low tack tape ("painter's tape")

Download cutting file: PDF, SVG (how to use my designs in Cricut Design Studio), Silhouette Studio, DXF.

Files download for free; pay what you wish for the tutorial and to support this site. Suggested contribution for this project is $1.99.


Cut spiral from heavy acetate.  I used a piece salvaged from an old spiral bound report.  Overhead transparency is probably not thick enough.  You want the kind that you would make clear cards from ("clear cardstock").

Cut leaf skeletons and inserts. Remember to cut 2 skeletons for each leaf (front and back).  I used regular cardstock for the skeletons and Shimmer Sheetz for the inserts.

(Side question: does anyone have advice on a good adhesive for adhering the tiny cardstock frames to the Shimmer Sheetz?  I used Elmer's Glue Pen and it oozed all over the place.)

Glue skeletons and inserts together into sandwiches.  Let dry.

Cut base card.  Mine is 11" x 5".  Decorate the inside of your card base as desired.

Now for the fiddly part!

Using low tack tape, adhere one end of the spiral to the inside of the card.  Apply tape to the other end, closing the card to adhere.  Now open the card.  Check the placement and adjust until you're satisfied.  This took me a long, long time! 

Once you have the spiral in place, temporarily tape the leaves onto the spiral until you like what you see.  I like to start by settling in the end pieces, and covering the center where the spiral doubles back.  Then fill in.  (Be sure everything is hidden when you close the card, and the leaves float freely when the card is open.)

Using permanent adhesive, adhere one end of the spiral.  I like glue dots (cut down to fit the spiral) for this, but beware, they're once and done. 

Detach the tape from the other end of the spiral, allowing the spiral to flatten.  Place a glue dot on this end of the spiral.  Close the card to adhere.  (This is called allowing the pop up to "find its own place".  It ensures that the pop up will close!)

In the next photo you can see the two ends of the spiral adhered to the card.  One full glue dot is under the circle of acetate on the right-hand end.  A strip cut from a glue dot adheres the left-hand end.

Open the card.  Untape the leaves, one at a time, and adhere permanently.  I used 1/2 of a glue dot on each, trying to place them in inconspicuous spots.  You can barely see the adhesive on the oak leaf in the photo below.

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.