DIY Project Idea: How To Make a Pop-Up Valentine

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

Wood you be my punny Valentine?
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For me and my valentine, Valentine's Day is all about the puns. We're both plant nerds, and one of us is a teacher, so I chose the ultimate cheesy tree pun to put on none other than the classic pop-up card.

What You Need

Materials

  • Cardstock or other thick paper
  • White glue or rubber cement
  • Optional: paint and brushes, glitter, stickers, markers, lace, doilies, etc.

Tools

  • Scissors or X-acto knife

Instructions

I used the brown paper for the base of my card, the white watercolor paper for the tree, and the grey paper for the background. I originally thought I would add clouds to the background but ultimately decided not to.
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1. Gather your materials.

Here's my paper, ready to be folded hamburger style.
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Folded! Note the fold is on the left side of the image.
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2. Decide which paper you want to be your main card and cut it to a nice rectangle, about twice as long as your ultimate card size. Fold it in half —hamburger style — to get a card. *Note: the card ultimately opens up/down, not left/right, so plan accordingly.

Cut the two black lines to make parallel slits on the folded edge of the card.
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3. To make the pop-up notch: turn the fold of the card toward you. Find the center of the folded edge and cut two parallel lines into the card, 1/2" to 1" long, about 1/2" apart. This is all you need to make a pop-up.

When you push the notched piece the opposite way the rest of the card folds, it looks like this. The little piece in the middle is sticking up at a right angle toward you while the rest of the card folds on a right angle away from you.
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4. Open your card flat. There should be two parallel slits in the center of the card, perpendicular to and centered on the fold. Push this piece up so it folds the opposite way the rest of the card does.

I used paint and an X-acto knife to make the tree for my pun.
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Then I used a bobby pin to hold the tree on the card while the glue dried. I also added a piece of paper to the background for a subtle color change.
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5. Attach whatever you want to be the centerpiece of your card to one side of the part sticking out when you open the card. I used a tree as my pop-up centerpiece to illustrate "Wood You Be Mine?" To make it, I painted a simple tree using watercolors and cut it out with a knife.

Decorate the background (I added a different color paper and a heart), write a note, and leave it for your cutie to find.

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(Image credits: Emil Evans)

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