Introduction: Pop-Up Pyramid

Picture of Pop-Up Pyramid

How to make a pyramid pop out of a plain piece of paper.

Step 1: Draw a Square With a Couple of Gaps

Picture of Draw a Square With a Couple of Gaps

Step 2: Draw a Couple of Lines Next to the Square

Picture of Draw a Couple of Lines Next to the Square

Step 3: Repeat the Square and Line

Picture of Repeat the Square and Line

Rectangles are OK, too.

Step 4: And Again

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A couple more times should do it.

Step 5: Cut!

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Bust out the razor and cut along the lines. Goes much faster if you do all the verticals first, and then do the horizontals.

Step 6: Pull!

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Grab the center square and pull it out. Your plain piece of paper is now a funky bit of pop-up pyramidness.

Step 7: Get More Elaborate

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If you have a serious case of OCD or a laser cutter you can take a simple idea to some ridiculous extremes.

Step 8: Change Direction

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Instead of drawing squares and then lines, try drawing just squares with a 1/4 rotation in each successive square.

In other words, leave a gap on the right and left for the first, the top and bottom for the next, and back and forth and so on.

Step 9: Change Shapes

Picture of Change Shapes

Here's an example of a circle design with a slight twist to it. It's too subtle to really see here, unfortunately.


Chisom Obiukwu (author)2015-04-16


Chisom Obiukwu (author)2015-04-16


nikkim (author)2014-11-30

would it turn out okay if you use a rectangle instead or would it turn out differently?

malialtin (author)2011-03-23

These are a few of my trials... If you choose irregular gap widths and lengths between lines you will have a 3 dimensionaly self bending form while it is hung from apex.

fungus amungus (author)malialtin2012-10-05

Whoa, these look great.

Sorry about the late late comment. Haven't looked at this page in a while.

playful-geometer (author)2011-10-27

This looks really fun, I think it could make some fun deco attaching them to ceilings. If I do end up giving it a try with my CraftRobo Pro, I'll post my cutlines...

foks (author)2011-01-12

thinking about projection from the top on this. im making pyramid to test

Michaelgoode (author)2010-10-24


Meganoki (author)2010-05-17

really cool!!! i did it ont he first try!!

SevereFlame (author)2007-08-18

Are you using cheese!?!?! LOL

aqwiz (author)SevereFlame2010-04-19

 Nope, .. .  'E's usin' COCONUTS!!!

babymama11 (author)SevereFlame2009-02-06

they aint using cheese! duh

KnexFreek (author)2010-01-29

 cool :)

=SMART= (author)2008-06-29

Here are my attempts :P mine seemed to just get wider as i drew the boxes lol

Kryptonite (author)=SMART=2009-10-31

Wow nice, looks great if you ask me.

uzerzero (author)2007-01-30

I'm loving the fountain pen :) I like doing little tedious things like this to pass time in class, or at work, but unfortunately X-Acto blades are frowned upon at school. If there was a method to do this that didn't involve an x-acto blade, this would be really incredible :)

SmurfJ (author)uzerzero2007-05-30

Well a teacher seeing you in class cutting paper with scissors OR an exacto would be a little worried. What i do is run a regular ball point pen along hte lines over and over again with lots of pressure untill it 'cuts' the paper it doesnt look as clean, but it works!

Trebawa (author)SmurfJ2007-09-08

When i'm bored in class I do this and it works. When using relatively thin lined filler paper, you only need to push down hard enough the first time and the paper will neatly split.

Clayton H. (author)Trebawa2009-02-28

Newspaper is easier. *wink*

Jesus Christ (author)Clayton H.2009-03-21

or bring a little razor blade to school and keep your jacket sleeve over your hand? or just use a pocket knife and tell your teacher its for self protection...

self protection... that wont get you suspended at all......

Clayton H. (author)Jesus Christ2009-03-21

a guy inventeda marker with a little tiny razor blade in it. could use that.

imthatguy1125 (author)uzerzero2009-02-28

use just 1 blade of sciorrs to cut and it works like a blade

fancypenguin845 (author)uzerzero2008-03-13

a metal compass' pointy end works well... just score over the lines and separate.

data23 (author)fancypenguin8452008-05-27

How long has that been your profile picture? I THINK U COPIER AUGHGGHGHGHAUFHGHGG (my war cry)

You can take apart a cheap plastic pencil sharpener for the blade. Then pop it back in when the teacher comes to look at your work.

gadgeteer (author)uzerzero2007-02-04

If you fold your sheet of paper down the middle then you can use scissors instead of a craft knife. Fold, make a cut in each end of your foldd sheet, starting at the fold and ending before you reach the oppoite side (because you'll end up with two pieces of paper if you cut any further). Unfold and fold in half 'the other way' and make another two cuts. Repeat from the top with more cuts going towards the center of the paper.

fungus amungus (author)uzerzero2007-01-30

If you can use scissors, go for those. Open the scissors up all the way and use them like an x-acto to start all the cuts and then fold them back up to cut like normal for the rest of it.

queen roo (author)2009-04-15

wow! and you did that with paper?? i never knew....

Xenel (author)2009-03-18

can you post the circle variation and maybe some other shapes?

babymama11 (author)2009-02-11

this was so much fun i cant believe it. but my cuz showed me a hardr way: get a square peice of paper then cut verticle lines 'bout 1 cm. apart next make horizantal lines then add a little line going down the horizantal lines its juct like yours fungus but its more complicated **how do u make the circle pyramid?**

aufachse5 (author)2009-02-06

very niec great job

babymama11 (author)2009-02-06

this was so awesome to make! out of paper

Bassystacey (author)2008-12-02

Cool! It worked!

Metaferia (author)2008-08-17

did someone done this in paint or word? it will be much easier and will look nicer. thanks

=SMART= (author)2008-06-29

Very nice, i like the circle variation too, ill try this now and post pics later :D

Braeburn (author)2008-06-17

laser cutter + sheet metal and hooks...

jonathansmith (author)2008-04-16

cool..would really look good on thin metal sheets...hmm..ill try it out and post some pics!

majjck (author)2008-04-02

wow, i always wanted to know how they made these. nice job!

noahh (author)2006-10-01


tigerboy (author)noahh2008-04-02

right on

Uru Wolf (author)2008-02-11

I might have to get some sheets of a3 or bigger and try this. I think my OCD is calling, lol.

corradini (author)2007-12-24

DUDE, You may be HIGHLY bummed by this comment -- but here goes: I used to make these things when I was, like, 7 years old. And there is a MUCH simpler way: 1. Get a square piece of paper. 2. Fold it along the diagonal (bring one corner over to the opposite corner and crease - you get a triangle.) 3) Fold it again - this time "left-to-right". You have another, smaller, triangle. 4) Now, using scissors, just cut almost all the way through, starting at the top of the triangle, and alternating from left to right with right to left. 5) Unfold the thing and lay it flat. Find the center. Lift. Done.

fungus amungus (author)corradini2008-01-07

Nope. that's a good trick for this. I like having the cleaner feel of no folds, but it's a matter of preference.

jamnoopers (author)2008-01-06


GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-09

this is amazing! (favorited)

master mainder (author)2007-12-03

WoW thats good for chumps

Juoubo (author)2007-04-20

its great n it doesnt take much time!!! i recomend it to everyone!!

Pat L. (author)Juoubo2007-05-21
These are lots of fun. We used to cut them out of thick leather, punch a hole in each corner, string four lenghts of leather shoe laces through them, hang them upside down, put a flower and pot in it, and hang it up for all to see. Lovely.{
112251919112 (author)Pat L.2007-11-29

if u put a stick in the middle, it can stand up. and hold down the corners.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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