How to Make a Multilayered Pop-Up Christmas Card - dummies

How to Make a Multilayered Pop-Up Christmas Card

By Rob Ives

Homemade pop-up Christmas cards don’t have to look like amateur work. You can create a beautiful, multilayered pop-up Christmas card by using magazine photos, your own photos, or old cut up Christmas cards. The pop-up card in this how-to has three layers (four, if you count the greeting card itself). As the card opens, it reveals the hills, a house, and a bear to complete the scene.

Of course, you don’t have to use photographs from magazines for this kind of project; you can use your own photos. Pop-up cards with your own photographs can be great fun. In these days of digital photography and high-quality home printers, you can easily create a pop-up with your friends and family.

For this project, you need

  • 3 or 4 sheets of thin white card

  • Magazines for photographs, your own photos, or old Christmas cards

  • Scissors

  • White school glue and glue spreader

  • Glue stick

  • Ruler

  • Pencil and eraser

  • Sharp craft knife

  • Cutting mat

  1. Fold a full sheet of card in half to make the main part of your greeting card.

  2. Look through magazines to find photos that can make a background for the greeting card, as well as the layers that pop up from it.

    Find a hill that’s as wide as the greeting card (approximately 8-1/2”) and about half as high. Find a building that’s taller but not as wide as the hill. Find a person measuring between 4-3/4” and 5-7/8” tall.

    Make the parts at the front shorter and/or narrower than those at the back so they don’t block the view.

  3. Add a 1/4″-wide picture tab to the bottom of the hill, building, and person; carefully cut out the shapes.

    For complicated shapes, first cut close to the line you’re aiming at — perhaps 3/8” away from it; then cut carefully on the correct line. Cutting out the picture is much easier if you’re cutting near the edge.

    If your pictures are a little flimsy, try gluing them to a sheet of card with a glue stick before cutting them out along their edges.

  4. On a piece of card, draw four 4”-long parallel lines 1/4” apart.

    This will form your tabs.

  5. Score the middle two and cut the outer two lines.

    The tabs are what hold everything in your pop-up card together. Don’t make the tabs too long. 3/4” should be fine. If they’re too long, the parts of the pop-up will spill out of the closed greeting card.

  6. Cut pieces from this card to make your top tabs. You need three or four of them for this project.


  7. Place your hill, building, and person where you want them to be in the final project.

  8. Using white school glue, glue down the picture tabs.

    Line up each picture tab with the crease of the greeting card or with the layer before it. Be sure to space the magazine photos 1/4” apart to match with the 1/4” tabs. Glue the hill to the greeting card, then glue the building into place on the card, and lastly glue the person into place on the card.

  9. Glue in the top tabs and let your pop-up card dry.


    Glue a tab behind each picture, connecting it to the layer behind it. Open and close the pop-up card to make sure it works. Keep your greeting card open when the glue is drying.

Now you’re well equipped to do some experimenting on your own. You can have all sorts of fun with multilayered pop-up cards. Don’t forget that you’re not limited to one item per layer.