Portal 2 GLaDOS' Surprise Pop-Up Card




Nothing in the world is more romantic than the combination of machines and science.  If you've played Portal and it's amazing sequel Portal 2, you know how warm and cuddly GLaDOS can get.  If you've never played them, you should.  Seriously. 

I'm not a big fan of doing the same old song and dance, so when I sat down to brainstorm how to make a unique valentine I decided to start thinking with portals.  This guide will show you how to make a unique card that will be sure to please fans of video games and science.  When you open the envelope, a Companion Cube pops up, imitating the use of Portals in the game.

So let's get started!  For science!

*special thanks to my spouse for letting me use her hands for the pictures, versus my ugly man-sized hands.

Step 1: Items Required for Science

Here's what you're going to need:
1 Scissors - For cutting
2 Rubber Band - For banding...with rubber
3. Velcro - For Velcro...ing
4. Double Sided Tape - For creating a clean bond between paper and science
5. Scouring knife or other paper folding tool
6. A Marker
7. Templates. 
8. Paper.  Two kinds.  Cardstock and regular 'ol printer paper.

To save you time, energy and resources, I've gone to the trouble of acquiring templates for you.  The templates needed are the attached PDF files.  Simply download them and print them off.  Don't worry, I'll let you know when to use cardstock or regular paper.  Let's move on!

Step 2: Making the Cube

Let's make this cube!  You'll need to print the cube templates on cardstock, then cut them out.  Once the templates have been extracted from the page you can begin scoring them using a scoring knife or any similar tool.  It should be noted, that this can actually be completed without a scoring knife, but the edges won't be quite as neat. 

From there you're going to begin folding across the the dotted lines you've gone over already with the scoring knife. This takes a little work, but it's not too difficult.  I've included pictures below to demonstrate how the folds come together.  I've included a link that will take you to a YouTube video that demonstrates exactly how to fold it and put it together.  ***Please note, this video is not mine.  I'm including it as an additional resource because it's sometimes easier to see papercrafts in motion***

ProTip:  If you continue to watch the video, you'll see exactly how the cube will operate upon the completion of the project.

Step 3: Making the Cube a Companion.

With the cube completed, you'll need to begin the delicate process of making it look proper.  Print out the companion cube template on regular paper.  We don't want to weigh this thing down any more than we have to.  You'll note that two of the sides have diagonal lines in them.  You'll want to cut the boxes out, then cut along those lines.  This will make it easier to attach the top and bottom of the cube.  This is where you'll be using the double sided tape, or a tape gun if you've got one!  I don't, so I didn't.

Step 4: Constructing the Hi Tech Envelope

The tiled template is used for the envelope.  The envelope needs to be printed on cardstock, and will need to be printed on both sides.  If you don't have a printer that can do this, I recommend putting a little mark on the top left corner of the paper, then flipping it over and putting the same mark on the other side.  This will ensure the template gets printed out properly. 

Once the tiled template is printed out you'll need to make two folds.  The best approach for getting the size right is to use the companion cube as a guide.  The "top" of the envelope will need to be shorter than the bottom.  If you're not sure how to do this exactly, don't panic.  I've got pictures that can help!

Step 5: Adding GLaDOS and Some Portals

Alright, let's continue.  Print out the template with GLaDOS and the portals on cardstock.  You could use regular paper, but I don't think it stands out the same, and GLaDOS won't hold up to the wear and tear involved when you start demonstrating how this card works.

Cut out GLaDOS and the portals, then prepare to attach them to the envelope.  I recommend positioning GLaDOS to the left of the card.  You can position her so that it looks like she's descending from inside the envelope by placing the section with her wires just above where the top fold in the envelop will rest.  I didn't do that for this one, but it's an optional touch.

You'll need to use the tape for her body, but don't tape her head to the envelope.  If you're not sure what her head is, it has the big yellow light on it.  Cut out a small piece of velcro and attach it to the back of her head, towards the top where it overlaps with the envelope.  Use the pictures as a reference to how this should be done. 

You probably don't have a portal gun, and that's okay.  You've printed out some portals and they'll do just fine.  You can decide which portal to attach to the envelope.  I went with the blue as the orange seems to stand out better on the inside.  The second portal needs to be attached to the center on the inside of the envelope.  Almost there!

Step 6: Adding a Personal Touch

All that's left now is to add a personal touch.  Since we're using GLaDOS for this, I chose a phrase that she's used before.  Use your marker and add the first part of your message on the top of the envelope. 

You can put the second part of the message anywhere on the inside.  I chose to put it next to the portal.  You'll note that the second part of the message is where GLaDOS' personality comes through.  Her "compliments" are always back handed, so make sure you capitalize on that. 

With your message completed, fold up the companion cube and place it in the middle of the envelope.  Then fold up the envelope and use the velcro attached to GLaDOS' head to keep everything together.  Give the card to whomever you had planned, then when they open it, the Companion Cube will "pop" through the portal, making a lasting impression on that special someone. 

Play Portal 2.

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    did it looks awsome


    5 years ago on Step 4

    Looks AWESOME!!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i havent made this befor but i have seen other cubes that lay flat and i codent get them to work with paper so i hope this works


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Im am confused,can you make a video showing how it works?Thank you :D


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent! I like the fact that it can be re-opened repeatedly so that others can be surprised by it too. Nobody likes a one-show go! ;)