Introduction: Fold a Kitchen Into Your Pocket

About: I am a paper engineer, writer, maker and chemist wannabe. In addition to pop-up cards I design and build furniture, lights, costumes or whatever I happen to need at the time. Lipstick, a mixing studio, all-pur…

With just two sheets of paper, a color printer, a cutting board, an exacto knife, a ruler, a scoring tool, glue and 30 minutes of your time you will be able create a kitchen which can provide hours of cheap and portable entertainment for your kids.

This project came about when I was playing with my son and some colored paper... he asked me to make a house, and I was only too eager to comply (one the reasons I'd wanted kids was to have an excuse for building a doll house...). But since I live in an apartment with limited space and I'm allergic to dust, I wanted a house I could fold up and put away. You can read the back story of the house creation here, or you can skip ahead and make your own kitchen by following the steps in this instructable.

For those who prefer video tutorials to step by step instructions, just click play. The music is by John M. Davis, and was originally composed for an HBO documentary "A Matter of Taste"

Step 1: The Templates

This pop-up is one room in an 8 room, 2 story house I designed and sell on my website (either as a kit or as a download). Individual rooms are also for sale (for $2), but since Instructables is a sharing community I set up a special $2 coupon just for you. This coupon will expire after 500 downloads.

To get the template click here, add it to your cart and when you check out use the coupon code


This will give you a $2 discount -- in other words it will be free, and you won't need to enter any financial information to get it. You can use this coupon on any of my designs, not just the kitchen, but you'll only be able to use it once.

Step 2: Equipment

You will need:

  1. My design template (see step 2)
  2. A color printer
  3. Two sheets of light card stock.
  4. A scalpel knife, often called by the brand name Xacto knife.
  5. A self healing cutting mat is recommended, but you can also protect your table with a piece of cardboard.
  6. A scoring tool. You can buy a tool like this one, or use a knitting needle, a stylus, a ball point pen which no longer works (but be SURE there's no ink left) a piece of bone or seashell or any other sharp but not too sharp instrument which can crush your paper without piercing it.
  7. A ruler. You don't need to measure anything, but you do need to make straight score lines. I like using a metal one, in case I want to use it for cutting as well as scoring (the knife will cut a plastic ruler and ruin it)
  8. Glue. I like white glue best (this Neutral pH Adhesive, because I hate Elmer's tip which always gets clogged) but you need to have a light touch if you want to avoid making the card bumpy. Rubber cement is another option.

(Full disclosure: if you buy any of the items I linked to here, Amazon will reward me with a few pennies -- however these are all tools I use and would recommend even without the nickel)

Step 3: Cut

Start with the support because it's much easier and almost invisible. The template comes with a cut and fold guide, so just follow the printed instructions.

Step 4: Score

Using a ruler, score the kitchen support card by following the dotted lines on the cut and fold guide.

Step 5: Fold

Holding the picture facing you, poke your fingers through the counter top shape as you close the card with your other hand (since I was taking the picture, I couldn't really show both hands at work). It's very easy so long as you've scored it properly.

Step 6: Repeat

Cut the kitchen sheet along the red lines of your reference picture (follow the details in the picture not the rough lines -- cut around the coffee pot, and leave the handles on the pot!).

Score the card using your scoring tool and a ruler (no rounded shapes on the score line, even if some details in the picture might be curved).

Fold first the sink counter top, then the fridge, then the stove counter, and finally the floor beneath the refrigerator before folding the whole card in half and smoothing down the creases.

Step 7: Glue

Take the kitchen card and put a small quantity of white glue on the back side of the floor. Make sure you only put glue on the floor surface, not in any of the popups.

Carefully align the kitchen card on top of the support so that the middle crease line comes right up against the middle crease line of the support. Press it down flat to glue the sheets together.

Separate the kitchen wall from the support wall and put a small amount of glue behind the kitchen wall. Press if down flat on the support wall, then open and close your card to make sure the kitchen and support are aligned and glued properly (if not, quickly pull them apart before the glue dries and try again).

Step 8: Play

It's time to roast up some wild boar!

Pocket-Sized Contest

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Pocket-Sized Contest