Front of my Mickey Mouse Pop-up Birthday CardIn a previous post, I shared a pop-up design I created using a cylinder technique to create a patriotic hat.  I had a request to share my templates and instructions, and since I have wanted to post a pop-up card tutorial for some time, this seemed like a great opportunity to try my hand at one.  As this is my first attempt, you'll have to be patient with me as a lot of the steps are very difficult to photograph.  I'd love to hear any feedback about this tutorial!

Inside of my pop-up birthday Mickey cardAlthough the request was for instructions to construct Uncle Sam's Hat, I needed to make a birthday card  and decided to kill two birds with one stone.  I used the exact same template and technique to create my Birthday Candle, and I will include a few notes along the way of how you can modify it to make the patriotic hat.  

Continue Reading "How to Make a Pop-up Candle for a Birthday Surprise!" »

Uncle Sam’s Hat

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
Front of Card - God Bless America!In honor of our countries birth, I designed a new Fourth of July card - Uncle Sam's Hat.

This was my first time using the cylinder technique.  While it was easy to assemble, it took me a while to develop a template with the right proportions. Uncle Sam's Hat - First VersionAs you can see, in my first attempt, the top of the hat didn't quite pop up all the way.  

Later, I tried adding a support brace inside the card to push the top of the hat up - and met with success!

Uncle Sam's Hat  - Second Version With Support BraceThe hardest part about creating a pop-up card is visualizing - not what it will look like when it is open - but how it will fold.  It's hard to tell in the picture but the hat is perfectly round when the card is laid flat, however, it needed to lay flat when I folded it. How Uncle Sam's Hat Folds I thought I'd post a picture of the hat as I folded it to show how the hat flattens itself.  The top of the cylinder folds inside the hat, the support pushes down, and the base of the hat lays flat.

I'm excited to have learned this new technique and have already come up with several ideas to incorporate it into new designs.  Perhaps a candle on a birthday cake?  Or maybe a Fourth of July Firecracker?  If I can figure out how to put a cone on top I might even be able to make a spaceship or rocket!  I'll keep you posted on my designs!

A Pop-up World...

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
Lady Bug Card front coverA few years ago I was talking to my mom about opportunities for learning engineering techniques and she suggested that I learn how to make pop-up cards.  Her reasoning was that pop-ups are very complex how they fold and that the practical application of the geometry I was learning would reinforce it in my mind.  At the time, I was thinking only about robotics and didn't really consider what she was suggesting.  Lady bug card full inside viewHowever, the thought stayed in the back of my mind.

A year later it was Emily's birthday, and as our whole family has a tradition that we give hand-made cards, I had to come up with an idea.  For some reason, all I could remember was that conversation and decided Close up of the ladybugto search the web for instructions on making pop-up cards.  I discovered Robert Sabuda's site  and made the birthday cake pop-up card.  I was instantly hooked!

I went to the library and checked out two books:  Paul Jackson's The Pop-Up Book, and The Elements of Pop-Up by David Carter and James Diaz.  These two books have become an essential part of my pop-up kit.

Continue Reading "A Pop-up World..." »

Popping out of Easter Eggs

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
For Easter, I decided to design a new pop-up card.  I have really enjoyed making animals and creatures, and especially enjoyed designing my Ladybug Card.  I wondered if I could use the same techniques that I used for that card to create another animal.  

Front of Easter Egg Pop-up CardMy mother bought some glitter foam Easter Eggs, and I used some special grass paper to create the effect of an Easter egg lying in the grass.  I decided to cut the egg so that it looked like it was cracking open to make it appear that a baby chick was just waiting to "pop" out.

The inside of the card proved to be a lot more difficult  to create.  I used the same body that I used for the ladybug for the body of the chick, but I needed to create a larger head.  I also needed to discover a way to make it appear as though the head of the chick was connected to the body.  The inside of my Pop-up Easter Chick CardAfter much experimentation, I achieved this by not gluing one side of the head so that it did not fully pop up and tucking the unglued side under the body of the chick.  This meant that the head had to be glued on before the body of the chick.  I created several different prototypes, and experimented with having the feet and wings pop out as well, but decided that I liked the simpler version of having the feet and wings glued flat to the background with the head, arm, and beak sticking out.  Finally, I got the beak to pop out by using a simple pop-up tent technique and by attaching it to the head. Some stick-on wiggle eyes completed the effect, and I was quite pleased with how the card turned out. I hope that it will bring a lot of joy to people as they open my card.