The Great Switcheroo: How to Make Pop-Up Cards with Kids

My cousin Jelly is the mastermind behind the amazing “I’ll Sleep When They’re Grown” Blog upon which I have a weekly guest blog called Confessions from my Cousin (today I wrote about my grump-ass neighbor). Jells shares tons of delicious info on stuff you’ve just got to know about being a mom, and heartwarming/hilarious stuff on learning to be exactly who you are, and all the little life things in-between!! Because of her maximum awesomeness, she’s agreed to guest blog on mine too, which I am fully stoked about because she is positively one of the funniest and most creative people I know. So get yourself all psyched up for our weekly switcheroo you guys!! It’s going to be bundles of fabulousness!!

This week I taught first through forth grade art classes with my mom at her school.  This is her last year before she retires.  She’s worked there for 27 years and even taught me when I went there.  She is given a yearly visiting artist fund and ever since I’ve been a professional-type person, she uses the fund on hiring me.  And my Hubs has even come and we’ve taught classes together.  We went to school for landscape architecture and architecture, respectively, and there’s a lot of graphic design you learn from getting those fancy-framed degrees.  So being a professional-type person who makes/draws things for a living qualifies me to make pop-up cards with elementary school kids and I just nod and say yes.

This was actually quite an easy project that was completed in a one-hour class period.  And that’s including the time going around the class making sure everyone is caught up to the same point or correcting errors.  So if you’re doing this with your own kiddo, it could go faster, depending on how long you want to spend letting them decorate the card afterwards.  It could take up a whole afternoon, which could be great for keeping them busy and away from the TV.  Or you guys could make all of your cards for presents together.  Fam time = happiness.

What you need to make the pop-up card:

  • 4 different colored pieces of construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • ruler
  • markers
  • pencil
  • glitter or glitter glue, if you want to open this can of worms

My mom was in charge of the glitter station.

How to make the card:

  1. Get one sheet of paper that will be your cover.  Fold in half hamburger style (fat-ways, not narrow-ways.  I picked up this term from my mom.  Brills.)
  2. Get another sheet of paper and do the same thing – fold it hamburger style.  This will be the inside cover.
  3. Once folded, turn the sheet so that the crease is facing you.  Get your ruler and line it up with the crease, and trace the width of the ruler.  Line up the ruler with this line and trace the width again.  You should have two lines parallel with the crease in the paper, about 2 inches up.  This is a guide for the depth of your pop-up.
  4. Turn your ruler so that it’s perpendicular to the two lines and trace both sides of the ruler.  For first and second graders, we just traced the ruler once, in the middle of the page, for one pop-up.  For third and forth graders, we spaced the ruler equidistant from the sides to trace it twice for two pop-ups.
  5. Cut  just these new guide lines to the second horizontal line.  Push the box through to the other side.  (Sorry I don’t have pics for this part, but really it’s only necessary if you are teaching a class.  You can help your student/kid cut the lines pretty easily on your own without the guidelines.)
  6. Glue the cover on the outside of your pop-out insert.  Be sure and put the glue just on the cut-out page.  You don’t want to glue the cover to itself through the hole made by the pop-out.
  7. Cut out some shape you want to glue to the pop out with the remaining colored sheets of construction paper.  We did fireworks to make a generic card for school.
  8. Decorate the outside and inside of the cards.  We did glitter as the last step because it needs to dry.  Only do it on one side (inside or outside) so that it can be allowed to dry.

Here are some examples from my classes.  It was pretty fun!  We pre-cut the pop-outs for the first and second graders so they would have enough time to cut out the fireworks and decorate the card.  If you’re doing it at home with one child, you can help the younger ones with these steps just fine.

Let me know how this turns out if you help a little one make a card!  And what did you make for the pop-out?  You can make flowers, christmas trees, presents, hearts…anything you can draw, you can cut out.  Or you can find something in a magazine or coloring book and glue it on the pop-out.

Have fun!

jell jell

I cannot wait to try this!! I am always looking for reasons to include more construction paper in my life, and I’ve been in a severe deficit since I quit teaching pre-schoolers. Huzzah!! I AM STOKED!!

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3 Responses to The Great Switcheroo: How to Make Pop-Up Cards with Kids

  1. Pingback: Confessions from my Cousin: How the Grinch Stole My Christmas Hat Happiness. « I'll Sleep When They're Grown

  2. Somehow the photos are fixed now! Good job.

  3. Pingback: Absenteeism Due to Awesome Birthday Weekend « I Thought This Would Be Easier

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