How to Make a Pop-Up Card in Three Easy Steps
Want your family’s holiday greeting or birthday card to stand out among the rest?
Make an impact on someone’s celebration with a 3-D card your kids can make themselves.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make a pop-up greeting card with your kids in 3 easy steps.
Why Create a Pop-Up Card?
How many times have you said something like this?
“Go make Grandma and Grandpa a special Christmas card, just from you.”
“Be sure to write a thank-you note to your aunt for the…”
“I forgot to buy a birthday card. Can you make one for your friend’s party, please?”
Kids and cards go hand-in-hand.
We’ve all received handmade cards from children. We appreciate the effort they put into them, no matter how indecipherable the drawing on the front may be.
Wouldn’t it be great to help your children shock their grandparents with a card that truly surprises them? Thank their aunts, uncles or family friends with a thank-you that’s as thoughtful as the gift? Blow their friends away with the coolest birthday card ever?
Then let’s get popping with a pop-up card!
Pop-up cards add a little something extra to your standard greeting that will make the recipient stand up and take notice. They’re different, they’re cool and they’re oh-so-impressive.
What a great way to showcase your kids’ drawings and show someone special that you’re thinking of them.
Making a pop-up card is a fun way to spend some time together, too.
In this article, we’ll make a winter-themed Christmas card using the PDF you can print above.
Feel free to use your child’s original artwork instead to make a card for any occasion. Just have the kids draw something for the background and something else that will “pop” in the foreground.
Gather the materials needed to make a pop-up card and get started.
A greeting card is nothing without a little color. Let your little ones color the snowy background and the reindeer/snowman foreground to their hearts’ content.
Have them write a Christmas greeting between the two holiday mascots. You can help if they’re not able to write yet.
We had a little help from Fluffy the bearded dragon. (Remember Fluffy from the How to Make a Comic article?)
Fold one piece of construction paper in half to make a card.
Draw two 1.5″ (4 cm) lines perpendicular to the crease. Draw the lines in the middle of the folded side, 1″ (2.5 cm) apart.
Now cut along those two lines but don’t cut across the center. You’ll need that tab to create the pop-up.
Open the card and carefully bend the tab toward the inside so it makes a box.
Congratulations, you just created a pop-up card mechanism!
If necessary, trim the drawings so they’ll be smaller than the construction paper when the card is closed. You won’t want them to poke out from the finished card.
Have your child spread glue across the back of the background art and stick it above the box tab you’ve created.
It will make a nice backdrop to the pop-up image you’re about to make.
Next put some glue on the bottom (front) half of the tab. DO NOT glue the top half of the tab or the foreground artwork itself. If you do, the card will stick together when it’s closed.
Now press the snowman and reindeer to the tab. Make sure the bottom of the artwork is even with the bottom of the tab so it will stand up straight when the card is open 90 degrees.
Voilà—You’ve got a pop-up card!
This type of pop-up card has one slight problem: the outside of the card has a hole in it where the tab was turned toward the inside.
Cover the hole with a second piece of colored construction paper. Cut it slightly smaller than the first. Fold it in half and slip it over the outside of the card, covering the hole.
Glue the smaller piece to the larger piece—front and back—and no one will see the pop-up mechanism. It’ll be a great surprise when they open your card.
Complete your card by adding a greeting to the front and your masterpiece will be ready to make someone smile.
Grandma or another lucky recipient of your handmade pop-up card will be thrilled and impressed by the artwork, as well as the engineering that was put into making it.
You and your kids will feel a sense of accomplishment for making something so cool.
Some Final Thoughts…
Don’t stop after just one card. Experiment with different foregrounds and backgrounds (try using photos), cards for different occasions and different-sized (or even multiple) pop-up tabs. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
What do you think? For whom would your kids like to make an extra-special card? What holidays can you help celebrate in an out-STAND-ing way with a pop-up card? If you make a card of your own, please share a picture with us below. We’d love to see it and hear about your card-making experience in the comments.