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Make a ‘Christmas Star’ pop up card

December 7th, 2008 by ricko

Christmas star pop up card (printable instructions)

Happy Christmas everybody. Here’s a star raising pop up card for you, your friends, and family.

Being Christmas season, the pop-up celebrates the bright star that guided the three wise men to Bethlehem.

When you open the card the star rises above the mountain and arches across the sky. It’s based on a simple but very effective ‘moving arm’ pop up mechanism. It really IS easy to make (although your friends will probably be scratching their heads wondering how it’s done!). It’s also very robust and can be opened and closed countless times.

Go to this page for printable cut-outs and instructions

A Hint: You can print the card on dark paper if you wish, and then use gold paint to make the star really stand out.

Another Hint: Use crisp paper that is a bit tougher than photocopy paper. The moving arm mechanism will work flawlessly.

This card is just released . Be the first to leave a comment below and let me know how you go! Have a nice Christmas everybody.

Things to make for Halloween – a pop-up-card, origami bat, and spinning ghost

October 17th, 2008 by ricko

halloween frankenstein pop-up-card

Drawing by Robert Sabuda

Get ready for Halloween on 31 October. Today you can learn how to make a fantastic Frankenstein pop-up-card, a magical spinning ghost, or a slightly more complicated (but nice) origami bat.

Give these out to your door-knocking visitors as treats. Tell them it’s better than sugar, and more fun, and that they should be grateful that you’re not trying to give them half a pack of dried apricots like the woman two doors down the road! Hee hee

Design 1. Frankenstein pop-up-card by Robert Sabuda

Robert’s put a lot of care into this design (see picture above) and I recommend it. It’s a cute monster, and the finished card is lots of fun to open and close.

Here’s his pop-up design

Don’t be put off by the number of steps involved. Once you get the hang of it you’ll find Robert’s instructions pretty easy to follow. Always rewarding.

Design 2: The Amazing Halloween ‘Spinning Ghost’Paper ghost for halloween

Fans of may already have seen my spinning ghost. If you haven’t made one yet then you’ll have the best excuse ever on 31 October.

Just print the spinning ghost cut-outs (available here) and follow the instructions provided.

The spinning ghost takes only five minute to put together… but you’ll spend a lot more time playing with it and watching it twirl to the ground!

Tip: This is a cool upgrade to the traditional paper helicopter. It’s more fun than a paper helicopter and has a more aerodynamic design.

Make a spinning ghost for Halloween

Spinning Ghost by Ricko

Design 3. Origami bat

You don’t have to wait until Halloween to get your fill of creepy critters—fold a whole colony of bats and string them into a spooky mobile.

To make one, start with a single sheet of paper and see video below (by OrigamiUSA)

Guest vid – How To Make an Origami Bat – from OrigamiUSA

Tell us how you go with any of the designs discussed in this post, and leave a comment below.

An easy to make cobra snake pop up card

August 29th, 2008 by ricko

Make a cobra pop up card

I’ve always been fascinated by cobras. The way they rear their head back to strike, flattening their neck into a hood to look bigger. Some of them have weird markings that look like tribal paintings or strange faces.

I’ve tried to capture in this pop-up card the moment when the cobra rears upwards. It’s a very simple v-fold design and has only two printable pieces. The first piece is the card and the other piece is the cobra itself. Cut out the pieces, fold along the dotted lines, then glue. It’s soooo simple and will only take you a few minutes to assemble. Then you can give it to someone who likes snakes.

Here’s is the printable design to make your card.

Is the cobra the world’s deadliest snake?

It depends what you measure. Sadly, Cobras do kill many people each year. Some species of Cobra tend to live where human populations live. They’re comfortable crawling into houses, or looking for rodents where people are sleeping, and they sometimes hide under clothing and other things left on the ground.

But if you compare toxic venom then the answer is different. According to Will Chaffey in his adventure book Swimming with Crocodiles, eighteen of the world’s most poisonous snakes inhabit Australia. The ‘fierce snake’ or inland taipan of central Queensland tops the list – a single bite is 75 times more powerful than a rattlesnake.

A few simple tips for making pop up cards

July 11th, 2008 by ricko

I’ve updated the hints and tips page (about making pop-up-cards and other paper constructions). If you’re new to paper pop-ups then you’ll find some very simple answers to help to get you started. I’ve concentrated on some of the most common questions that people ask me. Including what kind of paper to use, how much glue to use, and tricks to getting the folds to work nicely.

A note about folding the paper. For most of the designs on this site you don’t need to ‘score’ the paper first. Scoring is when you crease the line by running along it with a blunt point. A simple way to get your card to fold well (without scoring) is to fold both ways. By that I mean folding along the dotted line, opening it again, then folding back the other way so it works like a well oiled hinge. This is one of the easiest tricks to making successful pop-up-cards. Follow the dotted line as closely as you can.

More questions…Do you need high quality paper scissors? and what kind of glue should you buy? You’ll find the answers on the hints and tips page. While on this topic, I’m currently on holidays with my family and we just bought a basic $2 pair of scissors that work as well as anything else. So, you don’t need anything expensive – just stick to the basics, take care, and have fun.

Can you write to me for help? Yes! Leave a comment on this post or contact me here.

Note: The hints and tips page doesn’t only apply to the ready-made designs and cut-outs on – They are just as useful for making other pop-ups that you find in books or that you design yourself.

Design 2: Make this helicopter with ONLY PAPER – no glue or clips or anything…

June 21st, 2008 by ricko

This is the cut-out for the light spinning paper helicopter designContinuing with my posts about paper spinners, here’s another aerodynamic gem.

Who knows who first came up with the idea of a paper helicopter. There are many variations, and the person in this video shows one great design that works beautifully. (His name is Raul Ordóñez a Spanish blogger and photographer and an all-round generous guy).

Step 1: First watch the 2 minute video below
Step 2: Click here to print your own ready made cut-outs…

By the way – I will get back to writing about pop-up-cards soon. In the meantime, if you want to make other things with paper then click here for a few ideas.


Guest video – Design 2 – How to build a helicopter from just paper


The great thing about the above video is how Raul manages to find a strong updraft outside his apartment window. The helicopter soars high in the air and is soon gone. Some people have said, ‘Oh it must be faked’. But there are no tricks involved. Your paper spinner can soar too – all you need is a pretty hot day or an upward breeze, or both. Just let it go!

P.S – remember – be careful with heights.

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