Start with the card designs on this site. I've graded them from easy to a bit more difficult. All of them work very well when you follow the instructions.
You can also learn to design and make your own pop-up-cards. There are some good books available (I've read some of them and I'll include a review on this site soon).
Good photocopy paper is fine. Alternatively, you may use thicker paper, like bond paper (135 to 180 gsm) or stiff specialty papers like ‘metallic papers’. These papers make durable and nice looking pop-up cards.
Anything thicker than a postcard can be difficult to work with. Try to avoid using really fibrous paper because it doesn’t bend cleanly.
No you don't need a colour printer. The designs on this site look great in colour, but they also work in black and white.
I have listed some books below that I know to be great for anyone who'd like to learn more about pop-up-cards and paper engineering.
Amazon sends me small commission when someone buys a book listed on this site. I don't go looking for commissions and will only recommend things that I think are very good, worth checking out, and genuinely valuable. I give 20% of any income I make to charity. The rest helps pay for web hosting and other costs. Just thought I'd let you know :)
More tips lower down the page...
The best way to fold your paper neatly is to fold it one way then open it and fold it the other way.
First fold it along the dotted lines and firmly run your finger-nail along the fold so that it is tight. Then open it and fold it back on itself. Do this a couple of times. The more thoroughly creased the better.
HINT: Always fold your 'card' piece before you stick the other pieces to it. Close and open the card piece a few times. Then make the rest of the pop-up. It's hard to fold the card later if you've already made your pop-up. So fold the card first - promise?
Scoring helps you bend the paper accurately. You don't usually need to do it for making simple cards, but it can sometimes help.
Here’s how it's done. Get a ball-point pen which has run out of ink, or any blunt pointed object. Run it along the fold line using a ruler. That’s it!
The aim is to lightly compress the fibres of the paper so that the paper folds and flexes easily. It's usually easier to score the paper before you cut out the pieces.
Just scissors. That’s all you need for cutting. Don't use a craft knife.
The best glues for making pop-ups are those that set quickly but not immediately. A good quality paper glue dries clear and is strong and permanent.
‘Gel’ types are great. They stick well, they are easy to control, and you don’t need very much. They also dry faster than water based PVA glues.
Not much. Only a thin smear!
If any glue leaks it can stick to other bits of paper when you close the card. If this happens just open the card very carefully and free up the parts that should be moving. Don't close your card when it's wet.
Each card on this site is ranked by how easy it is to make:
Easy: If you've never made a pop-up-card before then start with these cards. Just follow the instructions.
Medium: Slightly harder but you’ll have no problems if you carefully follow the instructions. Make sure you fold and glue the pieces accurately...
Master: These cards take a little while longer to make. But if you’ve made a few pop-ups before then NO PROBS! You'll be fine!
You bet. If you are having trouble making any card on PopThatCard.com, or you just want some advice, then I'm happy to help. Please write to me