The kids were not the only ones who made paper Valentine cards this February.  Their paper-folding mom has been busy too, teaching other people how to make cards with a little something extra.  Paper Pop-ups have that kind of surprise impact, and my favorites are the single card style, in which the pop-up is part of the folded paper folio, rather than being attached as a separate piece of paper.

This style has 3 simple steps, starting at the fold: 

  • cut through the card (half of the image, like half a heart) leaving an attachment point
  • crease (at the attachment point, back and forth)
  • reverse fold (push the part that pops out from back to front)

This finished heart design was made that way, with decorative paper attached afterward to the back of the card:

It sounds easy, and it is easy once you get the hang of it, but it does take some practice.  I taught my son’s second grade class how to make this type of card during their Valentine’s Day party, and although some of them got it right away, others struggled with each step.  Many of these kids never have to chance to do anything artistic, let alone crafty, and their inexperience is part of the problem. Luckily, there were many adult helpers, and each child did complete a card to take home.

Here’s a decorated version of the same thing:

The next example adds a reverse pop-up inside the first, same technique, different direction:

hearts inside out

and another with plain red card stock:

shadow and holes

And last, for a flat card idea I cut increasingly smaller hearts out of a watery blue tempera painting to make nestling hearts.  The variations on this theme are endless, and these were some of the best of my bunch.

ripple effect

More to come on making pop-up art projects in the next few weeks!