Creativity can aid gift giving: 3 easy pop-up card designs

May 12, 2022 — by Anamika Anand
Photo by Anamika Anand
some example pictures of the designs below
 Pop-up cards are a simple and creative handmade gift you can make when you are broke. 

When I was 9, I developed a slight obsession with making pop-up cards. It’s fascinating how a few simple snips can result in a heart or a cake popping out of the page when you open a piece of folded paper. 

If you’re like me and don’t have a job or your own Amazon account, learning the simple art of pop-up cards is the ideal option for creating gifts for someone’s birthday or anniversary, whether it’s your parents, grandparents or a friend. 

YouTube is filled with basic pop-up card tutorials that I used to learn a few designs. After learning these simple techniques, I am now able to use my creativity to customize every design for whoever I’m giving a card to. Here are three of my favorite designs that you can easily make your own. 


The Double Strip (Picture 1)

This is an extremely simple pop-up technique that can be used for any occasion. For this example, we’ll make a pop-up for someone’s 50th birthday. 

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half, hamburger style, so that it opens vertically. 
  2. Draw four straight lines perpendicular to the fold. It should look like two pairs of one-inch lines about an inch apart. 
  3. Snip smoothly along the lines. 
  4. Unfold the paper and pop out the two thin strips you have created. 
  5. With another paper, cut out the shapes of “5” and “0” and stick them on each strip. 
  6. The “50” is just an example. You can stick anything on any number of strips, depending on the occasion. 


The Triple Snip (picture 2)

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half, hamburger style, so that it opens horizontally. 
  2. Draw three lines perpendicular to the fold. The top one should be the shortest and the bottom should be the longest. On a regular sized sheet of paper, half an inch, one inch and one and a half inches respectively is a good option.
  3. Cut along the lines  — just three short snips.
  4. Unfold the paper and pop out the two bands of paper you have created.
  5. Decorate the pop-up to look like a cake for a birthday card, or a stack of presents for Christmas! 


The Explosion Box (picture 3) (!!)

This is a super easy design that incorporates the above techniques to make a creative gift. The Explosion Box is simple enough to make, but it looks really complicated and is sure to impress whoever it’s for! 

  1. Take a square piece of cardstock paper, ideally at least 9 by-9-inches. 
  2. Divide it into nine equal square boxes. Cut out the corner boxes or cut them into a heart shape. This piece of paper is the base of your box. 
  3. The next step is to decorate! You can use colorful paper and do literally anything. Each square can be something different, like a note, a photo or a pop-up. 
  4. Make a lid using the same technique as in Step 2. Take a four-by-four inch piece of cardstock, cut out a small square from each corner, fold and glue the paper together to make a shallow square lid, then decorate! 
  5. You can fold up the base piece of paper that you customized into a box shape, and then just pop the lid on! When you take off the lid, the box should explode open, displaying the popups or messages that you customized on the inside. 


There you have it — three easy ways to add a pop (pun intended) of excitement to your standard birthday card, easily customized for your recipient.

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