Regular readers and fans of Three Bears Prints will know that as well as printmaking, I LOVE designing pop up cards (and often combine the two). Today, I wanted to share the very simple mechanism behind this 3D mermaid card. If you like it, you can download your own one to make here.
This 3D card incorporates 3 different aspects. The two side flaps means the card can stand up. Through some clever cutting and scoring, the card has a shaped outline, with rocks which jut out at the sides. And essential to any pop up or mechanical card, there is a surprise element - in this case, the two flaps hide the fact that it is a mermaid behind the rocks.
Firstly, you can create the side flaps by scoring the card vertically - see the green scorelines above. For my mermaid card, the flaps are fairly even in width - but you can experiment with creating different widths. The shaped outline is marked in red, and again, this could designed to suit your subject. Finally, in order to make the rocks just out, you can cut the inner edges up to the score line - just make sure you do not score the rock areas themselves.
The mermaid card was designed for my daughter's 4th birthday - and she was in fact the model for the card! If you would like to have a go of creating similar card which you can colour in yourself, download one for free here. This is a design which can easily be adapted to other ideas - for example, the central part could be an egg, with lots of fluffy chicks on the flaps; there could be a dinosaur rampaging in the middle, with prey fleeing on the flaps; or it could even be a simple house shape, with the flaps opening to reveal what is taking place behind the walls. It's great fun experimenting!