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Pop-Up Book Ideas

Updated July 20, 2017

A pop-up book is a hands-on way for children and adults to interact with a story. The authors of pop-up books use cleverly designed paper engineering to make certain portions of the page move toward the reader when opened. Make your own simple pop-up book with a few pieces of card stock and a pair of scissors.

Getting Started

Beginners may want to start their pop-up books with simple centrefold cutouts. The basic idea behind centrefold pop-up technique is that the pop-up object is folded the opposite way of the centre fold. In a pop-up holiday tree, for example, the middle of the tree points out toward the reader, while the centre fold of the page points inward away from the reader. Four simple cuts make this possible.

Nature Pop-Ups

Using the centrefold technique, you can create simple pop-up flowers, trees, people, pieces of fruit or whatever you like. One great way to start using pop-ups is to create a spring book. Make pop-ups resembling your favourite garden flowers, one on each page. Paint your flowers with bright colours to highlight the three dimensions. This can be done simply with acrylic paints and a small paint brush, or even with a good set of markers. To make the shape especially stand out, paint the flower and the background page in complementary colours---e.g., paint the pop-up flower red and the background green.

Family History Pop-Ups

For a completely different spin, create a family history that highlights the different houses your family has inhabited. Create pop-up houses with doors and chimneys. Cut slits for the road in front of the house so that it can also pop up. Write captions including the dates you lived in each house, some fun memories from each place, and major events that occurred during your residence. If you lived in a city, consider doing a pop-up cutout of the city skyline. This makes an excellent pop-up, especially when painted black with dots of yellow for the city lights.

Vacation-Memory Pop-Ups

Vacation pop-up books are coffee-table material. Create pop-ups of favourite landmarks, mascots of the sports teams you cheered on, or wildlife you observed. Display vacation pictures on miscellaneous geometric pop-up shapes such as triangles and diamonds. The extra pizazz added by a few pop-ups will make your vacation album a talking point for years to come.

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About the Author

Ginna Baker freelances from her home in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her articles have appeared in numerous websites and publications, including Relevant Magazine Online, Bloom Magazine, and the Daily News-Record. In her spare time, she pursues her interests in folk music and children's literature.