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