Pop up cards are easier to make than you might think with these free printable pop-up card templates PDFs.
I love pop up cards but I don’t love how intricate some of them can get to assemble. Between all the cutting and sometimes asymmetric folding, my pop up card ends up looking like a total mess.
Fortunately, this spiral design allows you to turn any card into a popup one by just attaching its two ends to opposite sides of the card base. There are many themes you can do with the same base template.
Here, I’ve added two different themed cards to my free resources based on this base spiral design. The hot hair balloon one has a circular spiral design. After attaching the spiral to opposite sides of the card, I rearrange the clouds and hot air balloons to my liking on the spiral.
The midnight fairy-themed popup card works in a similar manner. However, I created a slightly different star-shaped spiral as the pop-up element. Here, it’s just a bunch of simple star cutouts but it ends up looking way more complicated with the spiral pop-up piece.
In any case, this base spiral designs makes things so much easier to assemble and you have the flexibility to rearrange all your cutouts as you like. It’s not a super fancy pop up card but it’s a great quick and easy way to turn any design into a popup design.
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Material for Pop up cards
Cardstock – I like at minimum medium weight cardstock for cardmaking. Here are some of my favorite brands:
- Recollection Assorted Starter Pack – Basic assorted colors, great starter pack, perfect weight for most papercraft projects
- Metallic Shimmer Assorted Set from Amazon – This set is a little lighter in weight but the colors are beautiful in 3D
- Cardstock Warehouse Brand on Amazon – I love the quality of all the matte colored cardstock with Cardstock Warehouse. It is my go-to brand for individual matte colors that I might need
- Stardream Metallics Line – For paper crafts, the Stardream line is the go to for a metallic shimmer finish. It is the perfect sheen to make any project pop. The core is also colored is which hard to find for metallic paper.
- Assorted Pink Set from Paper Paper – This is a must-have for paper flower makers. The variety is perfect to create a bouquet.
- Assorted Purple Set from Paper Paper – This is another must-have for paper flower makers. I love the variety of finishes in this pack.
- Metallic Variety Set from Paper Paper – I don’t know any avid paper crafter that doesn’t use Stardream metallics line of shimmer paper. It is the only metallic cardstock line that I know of that has such variety and has colored cores.
Glue – I like to you an assortment of different glues with my cards depending on what it is I am trying to glue. The key thing here is you don’t want a polymer based glue that warps the paper. Here are some of my favorite cardmaking glues:
Template – Both the starry night and hot air balloon pop up cards templates are free and available in PDF and SVG (for the Cricut and other cutting machines) in my resource library.
DIY pop up cards templates and tutorial
Step 1: Cut out the base and spiral using the printable popup card template or the SVG version for your cutting machine
If you are doing this by hand, I would print the template directly on the cardstock to eliminate an intermediate step of cutting out the template and then tracing it onto the actual cardstock.
While it is possible to cut this by hand, it’s a lot easier and faster with a cutting machine. I use my Cricut for all my card making projects.
For this particular card project, I like using a fresh light grip mat. I try to use light grip mats whenever possible because I find it much easier to clean up. The standard grip mat has become so sticky in recent months for some reason.
Step 2: Glue the spiral pop up card template to the card base
You will need to glue the center of the spiral to one side of the card and outer end to the opposite side. It’s much easier than it sounds.
The start by positioning the spiral on one side of the card. Glue the outer most edge down on that side and place a cutout piece on top to cover the end. Then add a dot of glue to the center most piece of the spiral cutout. Close the card and let the glue dry.
In this particular photo, I have a white glue dot in the center and I’ve glued down the outermost end with a gold star.
After you’ve applied the glue and closed the card, please something heavy on it while it’s drying so it dries flat. You can also sandwich it inside a book or magazine.
Step 3: Apply the additional decorative pieces
Now with a generic spiral base attached to the card, you can add your themed cutout on top as you please. I personally like to hold the card open like then and then position the pieces flush against the spiral while it is folded out so I can see how it looks when it’s glued. If you do this while the spiral is flat, it is hard to see how the final “popup” design will look with the different cutout pieces.
Also note, there are just as many cutout pieces not on the spiral as they are on the spiral. Not every piece needs to pop out for a pop up card to look good.
Be sure to add your own sentiment to the card when you’re done to make it extra special. The best part is this generic spiral template be customized for all occasions with a different sentiment.