Extreme Cards and Papercrafting

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How to Make Pop Up Cards

to review the basic techniques of pop up making.

File Formats

for tips on using my files with cutting machines.

Dec 10, 2009

Decorated Pop Up Gingerbread House

pop up card gingerbread house
Last year I published a template for a pop up gingerbread house (undecorated). This year you can download and print a fully decorated version designed by Norm of Victoria Norman.
The assembly directions are here.
Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

Dec 6, 2009

Origamic Architecture St. Basil's

I'm about halfway through cutting out the 700 cookie pieces I need for this year's Christmas card.

In the meantime, I bring you a pop up card design I cut from Willem's origamic architecture site, a highly recommended site.

Since I have a Craft Robo, I love that his templates open as vector files--cutting machine ready. Black lines for cutting, blue and red lines for scoring. (I suggest removing any of the extremely short score lines before sending it to the cutter.) A bit challenging to fold!

pop up card St. Basil's

Don't miss his Christmas and winter designs.

pop up card Christmas tree

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

Dec 2, 2009

Easy Christmas Tree Pop Up Card

Christmas cards are keeping me busy, so not much exciting new stuff coming from me for a couple weeks.

In the meantime, here's a quick and easy Christmas tree pop up card.



I made my own pattern. You can print one from Robert Sabuda's site to get the basic idea and make your own.

I used gold, red and yellow gel pens for the ornaments, star and trim.

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

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?




Nov 20, 2009

Sliceform Christmas Ornament



Second try! I changed some of the slot positions. It's a little more stable.

I have checked the templates about a zillion times. For some reason not all of the slots are saving between formats. I THINK they are all there now, but if something's missing it's not you! Let me know if something is amiss.

Download PDF

Download DXF page 1; DXF page 2





I added the candle details and the glitter before I assembled the ornament. I'm on the fence about whether it would have been less messy to glitter at the end. It's up to you.

Assemble from the middle out: largest two pieces slotted together at their centers, then add the medium size pieces, then the smallest.

The flat side of the "cut-off" pieces face the front.

You will see that the sides of the smallest pieces have to go in a closed slot. I fold up the two bottom tabs on each small piece, slide through and then unfold. (See the fish bowl sliceform for another picture of this.)


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