30-45 min
Session 1 of 0
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Kinetic Cards

30-45 min


Ages 8+

What Will You Learn?

While every great book should have characters so vividly described that they jump off the page, it’s infinitely cooler to have people, creatures, and scenes that literally pop up with every page that’s turned. 

Pop-ups are not only exciting to read, they’re even more fun to make. Whether you plan to create a greeting card complete with a birthday cake and candles, or a mini mystery book featuring a killer carrot that hides out in the crisper, you need to know the pop-up engineering basics. Here’s how to get started.

Box Supports

One of the most basic kinds of pop-up is the box support, which holds the object in place when the card is open. In order for the pop-up to work, you’ll be making the box support on the fold of the card, so that when it opens at a 90° angle you can see the scene come to life.

Step 1

Fold a piece of construction paper in half either vertically or horizontally.

Step 2

Lightly draw a rectangle across the fold.

Step 3

Cut along the lines that cross the fold, but not the end lines of the rectangle. You don’t want to fully cut out the rectangle shape.

Step 4

Push the rectangle out so that it forms a 3D box, as shown here. Tape or glue to the box the image you want to pop up when the card opens. Add to the scene inside the card with fabric scraps, magazine letters, etc.

Step 5

Fold the card back up and make a harder crease along the fold. Glue another piece of construction paper to the front and back of the card to hide any hints of the paper engineering that’s happening inside. Decorate the outside of the card with magazine letter cutouts, drawings, or whatever you want.

Accordion Supports

Step 6

Fold a sturdy strip of construction paper, ideally the same color as the background of the card, back and forth like the pleats of an accordion. The shorter the strip, the better (usually). 

Step 7

Tape or glue one end of the accordion to the picture you want to support, and the other to the inside of the card.

Step 8

This support is great for smaller pop-up items, like individual letters, googly eyes, little bird cutouts for sky scenes, cotton ball clouds, tiny kites, etc.

What's Next?

Learn how to make all kinds of kinetic cards on the Extreme Cards and Papercrafting blog. They even have a step by step tutorial to making pop-up cards!



About the Magazine

Looking for some projects to fulfill your crafty needs? Look no further! Snag a copy of our sister publication, CRAFT, and delve into a world of DIY delight! From decorative issues, seasonal and event issues, with arts of all types, these mags will quench your crafty thirst! Find it in the Maker Shed.

Maker Camp June 18, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.