pop-up birds

There seem to be a lot of paper craft enthusiasts out there, so I thought I'd start the week with a tutorial showing you how to make a very simple pop-up card. The key with paper engineering  is that even the simplest pop-up technique is still effective because, let's face it, everybody enjoys something springing out at them from a seemingly flat surface.

Frankie Magazine (yet again) supplied me with the raw material for a set of cards - this time, a group of pretty birds on perches to cut out and use as ready made pop-ups.

To make the card, take an A4 piece of  lightweight card and fold in half lengthways. This will give you a card with a width of 10.5cm. Your pop-up element cannot measure more than half the width, otherwise it will extend beyond the edge of the card, ruining the pop-up surprise.

Cut two even lines on the folded edge of the card about 1 cm apart and up to 5cm in length. This will be the support hinge for your pop-up element, so work out where you want to place it on the card. The perches for the birds measure 3cm, so I placed my hinge 3cm from the bottom of the card.

Fold the tab back to form the score line and then press it back down, open the card, gently poke the tab through and close the card, pressing down on it. When you reopen the card you will see that you have your pop-up hinge.

Open the card out, fold the top half of the A4 card backwards to conceal the pop up element. This will make the card appear as if it is a regular two-dimensional card from the outside.

Working with the card opened out flat, position your image along the hinge and place a narrow piece of double-sided tape on the left hand side of the hinge, taking care not to tape past the fold. Stick the image down and gently pull the tab forward and close the card.

And there you have your pop-up bird, standing proudly off the page.
Use your own creative flair to decorate the front of the card.

I made silhouettes of the cut-out birds and traced around them in coloured pencil on watercolour paper to make a set of envelopes to go with the cards.

I hope you enjoy your first foray into the world of paper engineering.
It's very addictive, I can tell you!


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