DIY: Surprise Friends with Polaroid Pop-Up Cards!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Remember the time your grandma gave you the most amazing–yet equally embarrassing–pop-up card that played your fave Miley Cyrus song?

Well here’s a pop-up card with all of the amazing and none of the embarrassing.

It’s a pop-up Polaroid card that actually delivers a tiny photo of you and your buddies!

Send them as hellos in the mail or use them as name cards for your next dinner party.

Our pals at Brit & Co gave us the step-by-step, so get ready to put your paper-craft chops to work. Soon enough, you’ll have delightfully poppy cards, sans the music.

Make a Polaroid Pop-Up

The Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of 7½” x 4½” card stock (any color)
  • 1-2 pieces of 8″ x 11½” card stock (neutral color)
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat or a surface to cut on
  • Glue
  • Printer
  • A photo to print

STEP 1: Print-a-Camera

beforeYou’ll need a tiny instant camera to star on the front of your card.

Instead of having to go hunt for one, Brit & Co were kind enough to make this instant camera template for your printing pleasure. (You’ll also find a typewriter and monitor in there as alternatives to the camera.)

Print the camera onto one of your 8″ x 11½” card stock pieces.

We recommend printing at full-size since it’s just the right size to fit your card stock.

STEP 2: Print a Mini Instant Photo

beforeNot only will your card pop-up, but it’ll pop-out, too.

Allow us to explain: you’ll print a tiny faux Polaroid print that will *actually* pop out of the camera, just like a real Polaroid photo would.

Pick a photo you want to use as your tiny print. We recommend a photo of the recipient and yourself — because how awesome would it be to open a card to find a tiny memory in photo-form inside?

Once you have a photo picked, add a Polaroid-like frame around it.

The Shake It Photo iPhone app lets you do this easily, but if you don’t have an iPhone or want a free alternative, try Poladroid. It’s a desktop app that lets you add a Polaroid frame to photos.

Once you’ve got your framed photo, just size it in any photo editor to be 2¾”x 2″ (or if you’re using a different camera or Polaroid format for your pop-up, simply size it to be the same width as the camera’s opening). Then, print it onto your leftover card stock.

STEP 3: Cut and Paste

beforeUse your Xacto or scissors to cut out your camera and your mini faux Polaroid print. (Tip: If you’re using the camera template from above, feel free to cut off the strap hanging to the side.)

Fold your first piece of 7½” x 4½” card stock in half. Open it up again so it’s flat.

Glue the camera onto the inside of the card. The bottom of the camera should be ½” below the folding crease of the card.

STEP 4: Make It Pop

beforeSo, how does it pop? You’ll need to cut around the camera for some three-dee action!

Here’s how — place your card with the camera pasted on it onto your cutting mat. Use the Xacto knife to cut along the left and right sides of the camera. Cut along the shape of the camera, and leave the bottom and top uncut.

To finish it off, extend the side cuts ½” above the camera.

STEP 5: And Fold

beforeFold the card at the middle crease.

Make two creases: 1) where the ½” cut above the camera meets the rest of the card, and 2) where the bottom of the ½”cut above the camera meets the top of the camera.

This way, your camera will fold flat when you fold the card in half. Check out the photo for what this should look like.

STEP 6: Put Your Mini Photo Inside

beforeUse the Xacto knife again to make a tiny sliver on the camera where the photo should pop out.

Slide your mini faux Polaroid print into the sliver, and your recipient will have an adorable mini photo token surprise them in the mail.

You can glue or tape it down on the back of the camera to make sure it doesn’t get lost.

STEP 7: Polish It

beforeHere’s where your second piece of 7½” x 4½” card stock comes in. Just glue it to the back of your card with the camera on it.

This’ll hide the open cut-out to give your card finished Hallmark status.

All you have to do is sign it, put it in an envelope, and send it off to your best buddy! They’ll love you for it.

Even More!

  • Make a pop-up photo display for your desk or bookshelf!
  • Use those X-acto skills to make a lenticular photo display (seen above) — view it from one angle to see one photo, and another angle to see a totally different photo!
  • Get fancy, and decorate the front with Instagram photos, more Polaroid cameras, or mini faux Polaroid prints.
  • Brit & Co’s PDF template includes a typewriter and a monitor. Make alternate versions to the camera card.

Started by Brittany Morin, Brit seeks to keep the digital generation up to speed with innovative technologies, consumer products and DIY ideas for creative living. Follow Brit on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest and watch more videos from Brit on YouTube.