Step 1: Supplies and Prep
You’ll need two card blanks of the same size for the card face and the pop up card mechanism. The pop up card mechanism is made separately and is glued inside the card face. It’s best to use card blanks of the same color to camouflage the pop up mechanism somewhat.
To make stamped pop up elements you will need white cardstock and colored cardstock for mats.
Gather a variety of paper and cardstock that coordinate with the colors used in your card.
Step 2: Make Card Face
Use one of the card blanks to make the card face. The card face can be made using any technique you like; however, it is important that the card have a horizontal aspect to make the most effective use of the step pop up. Set aside the completed card face while you make the pop up.
The sample birthday card features serendipity squares that make good use of your paper scraps.
Step 3: Make pop up Elements
pop up elements are glued to the pop up steps/platforms. Anything that is flat and will fit inside the folded card can be used. For the sample card, a stamped, matted message card and a stamped cutout are used. Your matted message card should be about 1¼” to 1½” by 3¼” to 3½”. The cutout can be up to about 2″ square.
- Use felt-tip markers to color the stamped image and tiny rubber stamps to decorate the message card.
Step 4: Make Step pop up Card
Use the second folded card blank to make the pop up mechanism. To form the pop up steps/platforms, you will cut parallel slits from the folded edge of the card blank.
First, use the pencil and ruler to draw a line 1½” from the folded edge and parallel to it. Next, draw two vertical lines from the first line to the folded edge—they should be about 2½” apart and parallel to each other. The left line should be about ¾” from the left edge of the card blank.
About ¾” to the right of the first step, draw a second step. Draw a line 1¼” from the fold with vertical parallel lines that are ¾” apart.
- For a simpler pop up, only make the first step. It can be drawn anywhere along the fold, but no closer than ¾” from either side.
- Skip the measuring by using templates. See the side bar to the right for details.
Cut on the vertical lines from the folded edge to the drawn horizontal line.
Fold the cut steps on the horizontal line between the cut lines. Unfold.
Open the card blank and push the steps through to the other side. With the pencil lines on the outside, fold the card blank at a 90° angle. You will be gluing the pop up elements to these steps/platforms.
Step 5: Test pop up Card
Test your pop up mechanism by making sure it folds flat. Also, use repositionable tape or glue to attach the pop up elements to the pop up steps. Fold the pop up flat and make sure the pop up elements do not extend beyond the edges of the folded card.
Make any adjustments needed before proceeding.
Step 6: Glue Together
Glue the pop up mechanism inside the card face, being sure to align the edges. Apply glue to one side of the pop up, avoiding the step, and slip it inside the card face. Apply glue to the other side and fold the card face over onto it.
Open the card and allow the glue to dry.
Step 7: Glue pop up Elements and Finish Card
Glue the pop up elements to the steps. Decorate the card behind and around the pop up steps. You might stamp more images of the cutout, add a greeting or write a message. Use your imagination!
That’s it! Your pop up card is done!