Introduction: Teacher's Popup Christmas Card With Money 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…

This is Christmas variation of one of my easy pop-up cards. Since I was making this card for my son's teacher I gave it a standardized test theme, and included in the back a pocket for cash.

It is very easy to make with an exacto knife. The cuts should be simple enough to attempt with scissors, but I've never tried it so I can't guarantee the results.

The templates you will find here are formatted for 8.5" x 11" (letter size), but this should work just as well on A4 paper.

If you like video instructions, the stork tutorial will be helpful: the pop-up is practically the same as this dove, only the cut lines are different. You can get the stork template here.

Step 1: What You Will Need

One sheet of white 8.5" x 11" light cardboard stock (construction paper is OK, but regular printer paper won't look as good)

One sheet of red 8.5" x 11" light cardboard stock (construction paper would work)

One sheet of green 8.5" x 11" light cardboard stock (you could try construction paper, but it might be a little too flimsy for this color -- the pocket might rip too easily)

One sheet regular white paper for the money pocket

A scalpel knife, often called by the brand name Xacto knife.

I recommend a self healing cutting mat, but you can also protect your table with a piece of cardboard.

A ball point pen for scoring your fold lines.

Regular old white glue. I like this this Neutral pH Adhesive, because I hate Elmer's tip which always gets clogged. You need to have a light touch though if you want to avoid making the card bumpy.

Step 2: Print the Templates

This is pretty self evident:


"White.pdf" onto white cardstock
"Green.pdf" onto green cardstock
"Red.pdf" onto red cardstock
"Pocket.pdf" onto regular white printer paper

Step 3: Cut

Cut all the templates along the solid lines.

Step 4: Score

Using the ballpoint pen and the ruler, press firmly as you draw along all the dotted lines (both dashes and dots). Don't overdo it because you don't want holes in your paper! You do want to see the lines you've traced when you turn the page over.

Step 5: Fold

Turn the white card so you don't see the printed lines and slip your right hand behind the dove. Your left hand will be in front with your fingers on the background next to where the tail meets the card's central crease (I was taking the picture with my left hand...). Poke the tail out with your right index finger. Once the tail is roughed out, the rest is easy. Gently pop out the wings, turn the card over and squeeze the tail, and then you can fold the dove completely flat.
Fold the red and green cards in half.

Step 6: Glue

Use glue sparingly or the card might get bumpy.

Line the white card up to the red along the middle fold and apply tiny squiggles to one half of the white card (avoiding the dove's body). Make sure the text is the right side up before pressing the sheets together! Repeat for the other side.

Line the green card up to the red but this time apply a small amount of glue to the green card. Don't go all the way to the edge because a green margin will show when you open the card. On the back of the card make sure you only apply glue around the edge to create your money pocket.

Press down by folding the card shut on a flat surface.

Step 7: Money Card

The white slip pulls the money out of the card, but it is also designed to be used for signatures and personal notes to the teacher (it's kind of hard to write on a popup card once it's been folded).

Fold the slip in two, and push it through the slot on the back of the card. Fold the front flap down to prevent it from going all the way in, and to make it easier to pull the money in and out.

Step 8: Final Touch: the Olive Branch

I did not make a template for this, because I find it easier to cut small things like this in freehand rather than to a pattern.

Use a scrap of green paper and cut out a little branch with leaves. Using a tiny dot of glue attach it to the beak, but make sure it doesn't stick out too far in front of the dove or else the olive branch will be exposed when you shut the card.

Homemade Holidays: Holiday Card Contest

Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Card Contest