Monday, February 27, 2006

Paper Pop-Ups!

By Christina VanGinkel

Making your own pop-ups is about as much fun as one can create with nothing more than cardstock, scissors, and glue. By adding just a few more paper crafting supplies to the mix, you can end up with some outrageously fun designs to give or to keep, and taking into consideration that it is actually a form of paper engineering, it is one hobby that can be both fun and productive.

I have known what a pop-up is since I was little, yet I never gave much thought to making my own, until very recently. A friend stopped by to share a cup of tea, some good conversation, and to check out any new supplies that I might have acquired in my scrapping room since her last visit. Upon seeing my cutter, a Wishblade, which I have owned for about the last five months, she asked if I had made any pop-ups yet. When I replied with nothing more than a blank look, she went on to give me a quick once over of what a pop-up was. I cut her off midway through her description, telling her I knew what a pop-up was, but that I was not understanding what she was referring to,

She went on to explain that some time ago, she had come across a website by the author of some fantastic pop-up books, by the name of Robert Sabuda, and while she had considered making a couple of them, she had only managed to make one. All of the detailed cutting and scoring in his designs had left her wishing for a simpler way to create the pieces needed to make the pop-ups he had so kindly posted on his site. What she was missing is that half the fun of handcrafting something such as a pop-up card is making it totally by hand (no machines allowed).

I decided to check out his site, as if I really needed any more hobbies, but as it was paper related, I figured that, it could not hurt for me to just take a peek. Well, I was in love the first time I saw his designs. A fan already of his books, this should not have been a surprise. What was a surprise, was that even though I made several of the pop-up cards he shares on his site, I never cut a single one with my machine, instead cutting them all by hand with nothing more complicated that a pair of scissors and an old awl I use when punching leather. After printing the designs out on my laser printer, I carefully cut them out, and followed the instructions for scoring the lines that needed scoring. I then went ahead and glued those pieces that needed gluing, and was thrilled with what fun designs I ended up creating with nothing more than a few basic paper crafting tools and supplies.

Once each one was together, I went ahead and decorated them with everything from glitter to watercolor pencils. Then I then went in search of even more pop-ups. As with many hobbies that are fun to do and that allow you to end up with something for your efforts, once you finish one project, you want to create another. In addition, what some other projects did I discover! The Usborne Book of Pop-Ups is a book about making them; it is not a book of them. If I had thought, the pop-ups on the Robert Sabuda site were cool, this book was sure to leave me wondering only why I had never made these before. The book is chock full of clear and concise instructions to have you feeling like a pro in no time. The cover of the book shows a jack-in-the-box type menagerie of designs, sure to please even the most discriminating pop-up creator around.

If that book does not provide you with enough information and ideas, be sure to check out 'How to Make Super Pop-Ups', by Joan Irvine, or The Pop-Up Book : Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Over 100 Original Paper Projects, by Paul Jackson, or even one of the many other books on the subject.

Making Pop-Ups is a fun hobby for both the old and young alike. If you enjoy creating with paper, be sure to check out the world of pop-ups today!

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