Spiral Pop Up Cards


Learn how to make these exciting, vibrant and easy to construct pop up mechanisms!!!

Pop Up Thank You Card

Thank You Card

Pop Up Birthday Card

Here is my Dad's Birthday Card

Pop Up Christmas Card

The same Spiral mechanism used in a Christmas Card

The Spiral Mechanism is really easy and fun to create.  In the example below, I used a 4.5″ by 5″ (when closed) white backing card as the base on which I attached the sprial mechanism.

1. Cut a circle out of colored cardstock.   The diameter of the circle should be less than the width of the backing card when closed.  I cut a 3″ diameter circle for my card.  There are a number of great tools that you can use to easily cut circles.  Shown below is the EK Success Circle Scissor Pro, which is a very handy tool.  You can buy  fixed diameter circle punches (also shown below) or simply draw a circle with a compass and cut it out by hand.

Circle Cutting Tool
Paper Craft Circle Punches

2.  Grab you scissors and cut a spiral from the circle.  Continue cutting around the circumference of the circle until you reach the center.
Cutting your Spiral
Cutting Your Spiral 3Cutting Your Spiral 2

3. Now take your backing card and open it up.  Decide which portion will be the front cover.  Take a 3/4″ to 1″ circle punch and line it up so that the hole that you create will be toward the top and center of the front face of the card.

Punch a hole in the center of the front face of the backing card

It helps to turn your paper punch upside down in order to accurately place your hole.

Backing Card with hole in front cover

Punch a hole in the top center portion of the backing card.



4.  Take the spiral that you created earlier and place the center of it in the center of the hole you created on your backing card.  Line it up so that when your card closes, the entire spiral mechanism is inside of the card.Put the Center of the spiral mechanism through the hole in the backing card.

5. Open and close your card a couple of times to make sure the spiral is hidden inside the card. When you are satisfied glue the underside of the center portion (the nose) to the front of the card, and glue the underside of the outer portion of the spiral (the tail) to the inside of the card.

6.  The spiral card is an incredibly fun and whimsical card and your lucky recipient will want to open it and close it repeatedly.  Its a good idea to create an anchor at both sides where you applied glue.  This will help reinforce the stress points on your paper mechanism. See the examples below and scroll to the top of the post to see the anchors (a Santa in one instance, and a sun in the other two examples) on the other cards that I created.

Apply and anchor to the cover of your card

Glue an anchor on the inside of the card to reinforce the mechanism

7.  Now create some fun and appropriate paper embellishments to decorate your spiral.Create Embellishments

Create a bunch of embellishments

(an aside…I just have to tell you the story of this cute little frog punch.  Several years ago, I was making a birthday card for my sisters wife.  I was just beginning to really develop my card making techniques and I wanted to make something really crisp and beautiful for her.  I went to every craft store around and was unable to find the frog punch, until I stumbled upon Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley CA.  I described the punch to the owner and she informed me that the punch had been discontinued.  But she was having a “used art supply” donation drive and was asking crafters to donate unwanted supplies school kids.  She remembered seeing the frog punch and went to the back and gave it to me for free.  She was really nice and she has a great shop!!!)

Frog Punch

Scrapbookers and Paper Crafters tend to be really nice people!!!

8.  Now glue your embellishments to your spiral.  I like to check before I glue each embellishment that the mechanism still works and that the embellishments don’t stick out when the card is closed.

Finished Spiral Card

Voila!! What a fun pop up greeting card!!!

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