This greeting card tutorial features a pop-up greeting card for a variety of occasions. See how easy it is to make a step pop-up mechanism, also sometimes called a platform or double-slit pop-up. Once you learn this technique it's a simple matter to create pop-up cards of your own design. See some ideas for pop-up cards in More Step Pop-Up Cards.
This greeting card tutorial builds on the previous tutorials in the Greeting Card Class and the Greeting Card Class 2, especially the V-Fold Pop-Up Birthday Cards tutorial. If you are new to card making, review these tutorials for ideas and basic techniques.
Related craft: For pop-up card making fun, see the Valentine's Day Pop-Up Card, Birthday and Party Pop-Up Cards, Valentine Heart Chain Pop-Up Card, Halloween Pop-Up Cards and Mother's Day Pop-Up Card craft projects.
You'll need two card blanks of the same size for the card face and the pop-up mechanism. The pop-up 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.
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—see the Serendipity Square Cards tutorial.
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.
Tip: Use felt-tip markers to color the stamped image and tiny rubber stamps to decorate the message card.
Project extras: As an alternative to rubber stamps, use the birthday pop-up elements printable to make pop-up elements for birthday cards. Choose from colored and black and white printables that you print and cut to create the elements for your pop-up card.
Mother's Day: Make a pop-up card for Mother's Day using these printable messages and banners. Choose from colored and black and white patterns that you print and cut to glue to the platforms in your Mother's Day pop-up card. Checkout a Father's Day pop-up card with step pop-ups in More Step Pop-Up Cards.
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.
Tip: 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.
Tip: Skip the measuring by using templates. See the templates tip 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.
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.
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.
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!