Third Birthday: The World’s Best Make-it-Yourself Birthday Card

Photo of a pop-up birthday card with the inscription Happy Third Birthday, with lots of hugs and kisses, Jen.

Our Aunt Jen sent Little Miss the coolest little pop-up birthday card last week. It folds open to display a birthday cake with four candles that spring outward.

Aunt Jen is pretty handy when it comes to origami, so we initially assumed it was her original creation. And it was, but I noticed sneaky dotted lines on the inside of the folds. She informed me she used step-by-step instructions by pop-up guru Robert Sabuda.

His web site includes simple pop-up cards featuring hearts, flowers, animals, fantasy figures and simple shapes. You print a design on heavy paper or card stock, cut it out, color it, then fold and glue it.

Although the step-by-step instructions are photographed, they can be slightly confusing because you are holding cut and colored pieces in your hands while the photographed pieces are white on both sides. I also saw one set of instructions that skipped a step. So, I suggest a dry run: scribble on one side of your printed sheet and assemble it to understand the mechanics, before coloring your real card in earnest.

Sabuda is a children’s book illustrator who also designs a ton of pop-up books. You may have, as I have, recently seen his pop-up work in Encyclopedia Prehistorica books sold at Costco and elsewhere.

I trust my 3-year-old will destroy a pop-up book, but Sabuda’s make-it-yourself cards are a low investment bit of fun.

Check out his mouth pop-up design, then see how kids have decorated the mouth. You could make an animal mouth card for your toddler, right?


5 Responses to “Third Birthday: The World’s Best Make-it-Yourself Birthday Card”

  1. bismah says:

    it was great

    January 4th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

  2. AJ says:

    I’m not sure why I have a steady stream of people visiting this page asking for the instructions. (No, I’m not letting such comments get posted here.)

    Click the link labeled “step-by-step instructions.” If you’re still confused, look for a workshop in your community that will teach you how to use the web.

    June 26th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

  3. Shamindi says:

    I love this card! oh I like it.

    October 17th, 2010 at 6:18 am

  4. Shamindi says:

    Now I’m try to make this card. good luck for you!

    October 17th, 2010 at 6:21 am

  5. Vandana says:

    omg i love this card! I made it for my mom for her birthday and she really liked it :)

    March 12th, 2011 at 6:41 pm