How to Make a Holiday Pop-Up Card

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

Hey there friends! Tomorrow there’s a brand new release coming to the Ellen Hutson shop, and it’s full of the perfect stamps and dies for your holiday card making. Myself and the rest of the Ellen Hutson Design Ambassador team have been sharing sneak peeks all week, and today I wanted to give you a look at the cute sentiment stamp set that’ll be available as a free gift with purchase while supplies last.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

Until this project, I’d never tried to make a pop-up card before, nor do I have any specialty dies to do so. However, I recently watched a video by the mega-talented queen of cards herself, Jennifer McGuire, and it inspired me to give it a try using some basics – a score board, my paper trimmer, a pencil and ruler.

I began with a piece of white 110lb cardstock, and trimmed it down to measure 5″ wide x 11″ tall. This measurement allows the card, when flattened, to fit in a regular A2 envelope sized for a 4.25 x 5.5″ card.

From here I made 3 score lines – one widthwise at 5.5″ (the half way mark), and the other two length-wise, 3/4″ from each end. I folded the card in half along the widthwise score line as you can see in the photo below. Basically at this point, it was a top-folding card with outer score lines running from top to bottom at the edges.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

Next, I labeled one side ‘FRONT’ and the other side ‘BACK’ with a pencil so that I wouldn’t get confused in the remaining steps. (I had a few prototypes prior to the final card you see here, and simply taking a second to label greatly reduces the chances of “oops” moments!) For the rest of the instructions, I’ll separate them in to the FRONT and BACK sides.

On the side labeled FRONT:

I made small pencil marks 3″ and 2.5″ from the bottom of the rectangle on the left and right, right next to those score lines. These marks indicated where the maximum and minimum height of the walls/side flaps would be, and how far down my arched die cut needed extend down from the top.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

For creating the arched top, I used one of the Essentials by Ellen Essential Arches dies to do some partial die cutting. This was simple – I just left the top arched part of the die slightly hanging off the top-folded hinge so that the piece labeled BACK wouldn’t get cut off. The arch die measured exactly 3.5″ from left to right, which meant that when I ran it through my die cutting machine, the cuts lined up exactly with my vertical score lines. Just before doing the die cutting, I positioned my machine’s plates in an offset way so that I wouldn’t cut any lower than that 3″ mark – I didn’t want the bottom part of the arch to actually cut, otherwise I’d lose the outer parts needed to create the 3D walls. With my partially die cut arch complete, I used scissors to make 2 simple diagonal cuts from the pencil marks I made at 3″ from the bottom, outwards to the 2.5″ marks. This gave me the shape you see below on the right:

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

To make the tiers of snow , I cut rectangles with the following dimensions:

  • 4″ wide x 1″ tall
  • 4″ wide x 1.75″ tall
  • 4″ wide x 2.5″ tall

… then scored each one at 1/4″ from each side. Using a pair of scissors, I free-hand cut some snowy slopes, then folded along the score lines.  Once these were complete, I had all of the pieces you see in the photo above.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

Before moving into assembling the card, I added some color with an ink blended background. I masked off the top folding line of the front panel and applied Catherine Pooler ink in Juniper Mist all over the front piece – flaps included. You could do anything you want here, including foiling or stamping – both of which I did in an earlier version. Since the ‘oh what fun’ sentiment is quite large, I heat embossed it in white to contrast against the blue background.  (Another iteration also included embossing the sentiment on acetate, which I adhered to the 1st tier from the back. However,  no matter how hard I tried, there was always excess white powder on the acetate and it was very obvious against the dark blue.)

On the side labeled BACK:

At this point there wasn’t much to see here – the panel was completely white. I wanted to create a space to write a message, ideally under a flap. To do this, I scored it at 3″ from the bottom as shown in the photo below.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

I cut off the side flaps (again, this is for the BACK panel only – leave the ones on the front that have the ink blending on them.) Above that score line, I simply applied taperunner to stick it to the FRONT panel (adding a bit of sturdiness), then folded along the line to create the flap. Once assembled, the card stands straight up on it sown, but if you wanted to tilt it back a bit, it could also rest on that flap. That’s all I did on the back panel – over to the front!

On the side labeled FRONT:

Finally it was time to start making my scene, but I needed some scenery to put amongst the snowdrifts. I chose a palette of inks (Pucker Up, Aquatini and In the Park from Catherine Pooler, and Ballet Slipper and Aqua Sky from Concord and 9th) then stamped multiple trees from the new Holly Jolly Christmas stamp set. Once cut out with the coordinating die, I blinged them out with some sparkling clear sequins and began adhering them to my snowdrift layers.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

To assemble the card, I folded the snowdrift pieces along the 1/4″ score lines on each edge, then applied some double sided adhesive. With the 3/4″ walls on the FRONT panel folded inwards, the snowdrifts insert perfectly, one in front of the other.

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

Ta-da!

And there you have it, the complete pop-up card! Of course, this needs to go into an envelope, and it does this easily – simply collapse it over to the right or left side to flatten before sliding it inside. Don’t forget to write your message inside that back flap before you do!

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP

As I said, the Oh What Fun stamp set will be available tomorrow, October 16th as a free gift with purchase while supplies last at ellehutson.com. The new Essentials by Ellen holiday release goes live at 9am PT, so mark your calendars, and happy shopping!

Oh What Fun Pop-Up Card - Essentials by Ellen Holiday Release GWP


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and by purchasing products through these links, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting the incredible companies I’ve partnered with.

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