Create a Pop-Up Book: 5 Easy Steps for Beginners
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Gather your materials
  2. Draw and cut out your designs
  3. Create the pop-up mechanisms
  4. Attach your designs to the pages
  5. Assemble your book

Picture this: A tale of adventure, of mystery, or of whimsical wonder, all unfolding through the intricate pop-up designs that leap off the pages of a book. Sounds magical, doesn't it? Well, the good news is, you don't need to be a wizard to create your own pop up book. Whether it's a gift, a school project, or just a fun weekend activity, the following easy steps will guide you through the process of creating a pop-up book. So, let's get started!

Gather Your Materials

The first step in our journey to create your own pop up book is gathering all the materials you'll need. Think of this as prepping for an art project—you want to have everything at hand before you start. This way, you can focus more on the creation process, and less on scrambling around for supplies.

Art Supplies

Every good pop-up book starts with basic art supplies. Here's what you'll need:

  • Cardstock: This is the paper you'll use to create your pop-up designs. It's thick enough to stand up, but thin enough to fold easily.
  • Pencil and eraser: You'll use these to sketch your designs before cutting them out.
  • Colored pencils, markers, or crayons: These will bring life to your designs. Choose whichever medium you feel most comfortable with.
  • Scissors: A good pair of scissors is essential to cut out your designs.

Book Construction Supplies

Once your designs are ready, you'll need some additional supplies to assemble your book:

  • Blank book or heavy paper: If you're starting from scratch, heavy paper works great. However, a pre-made blank book can save you some time.
  • Glue or double-sided tape: This will secure your pop-up designs to the pages.
  • Ruler: A ruler will help you make precise folds and cuts.

With all your materials gathered, you're well on your way to create your own pop up book. Up next, we'll dive into the fun part: drawing and cutting out your designs.

Draw and Cut Out Your Designs

Now that you've got all your materials, the next step to create your own pop up book is to draw and cut out your designs. This is where you can let your imagination take the reins.

Sketching Your Designs

First things first, you'll need to decide what your pop-ups will be. Are they characters from your favorite story? Maybe scenes from a magical world? Or could they be abstract shapes and patterns? Once you've decided, grab your pencil and start sketching these designs on your cardstock. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. The goal is to have fun and let your creativity shine.

Cutting Out Your Designs

Once you're happy with your sketches, it's time to cut them out. This is where your pair of scissors comes in handy. As you're cutting, remember to be careful. It's not a race, so take your time to ensure you stay safe and keep your designs intact. Here's a tip: start by cutting out the main outline of your design, then move on to any smaller details.

Adding Color

With your designs cut out, now comes the fun part—adding color! Grab your colored pencils, markers, or crayons and start coloring. Be sure to stay within the lines, but don't be afraid to mix and match colors and experiment with shading to give your designs a 3D feel.

And there you have it! With your vibrant, colored designs ready, you're halfway through the process to create your own pop up book. Next up, we'll be exploring the magic behind the pop-up mechanisms. Ready to bring your designs to life?

Create the Pop-Up Mechanisms

So, your designs are cut out and colored—awesome work! The next step to create your own pop up book is to make those designs literally pop off the pages. How, you ask? Let's get into it.

Understanding the Mechanism

Creating a pop-up mechanism might sound like rocket science, but it's not. All you need are strips of paper, glue, and a bit of patience. The key is to create a fold in the paper strip that will push your design up as the page opens, and pull it back down when the page closes. Easy, right?

Making Your First Pop-Up

First, cut out a strip of paper and fold it into a "V" or "L" shape. This will act as your pop-up "base". Next, take your design and glue it to the top of the base. Be sure to only apply glue on the base and not on the design itself for it to pop up properly. Once the glue dries, test out your pop-up by opening and closing the base. Does your design pop up? If yes, congratulations—you've just made your first pop-up!

Getting Creative with Mechanisms

Now that you know the basics, you can experiment with different types of pop-up mechanisms. Try making a spiral pop-up, or an accordion-style pop-up. The possibilities are endless, and the more you play around, the more unique your pop-up book will be.

With your pop-up mechanisms ready, you're well on your way to create your own pop up book. But we're not done yet—next, we'll be attaching your pop-up designs to the pages. Excited to see your book come together?

Attach Your Designs to the Pages

Now that you have your pop-up mechanisms, it's time to bring your pages to life. Attaching your designs to the pages is a vital step in the process to create your own pop up book. Let's jump right into it.

Choosing the Right Placement

Before you start gluing, think about where you want your pop-ups to be. You can place them in the center of the page, or spread out multiple pop-ups across the page. Imagine how you'd like each page to look when opened and plan accordingly.

Secure Your Pop-Up

Once you've decided on placement, apply glue to the bottom of your pop-up mechanism—remember, not on your design itself—and stick it to the page. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure it sticks well. Then, test the pop-up by gently opening and closing the page. If your design pops up and folds back smoothly, you've nailed it!

Maintaining Cleanliness and Precision

While attaching your designs, remember to keep the pages clean. Any stray marks or smudges can distract from your amazing pop-ups. Also, precision is key. Make sure all edges are glued down properly to avoid any mishaps later.

Great job! You're one step closer to the finish line in your quest to create your own pop up book. Up next - the final piece of the puzzle: assembling your book. Are you ready to see your creation take shape?

Assemble Your Book

It's time for the grand finale! All your hard work will now come together as you assemble your pop-up book. This stage is where the magic happens as you create your own pop up book.

Order Your Pages

Firstly, make sure your pages are in the correct order. You wouldn't want your exciting climax to show up before the introduction, would you? Lay out your pages in the sequence you want them to appear in your book. You could even number the back of the pages to make sure they stay in order.

Binding Your Pages

Next, you'll need to bind your pages together. One simple method is using a hole punch and some ribbon or string. Punch holes along the edge of each page, thread your ribbon or string through, and tie it securely. Ensure the pages can still open and close freely and that your pop-up designs aren't affected by the binding.

Adding the Cover

Once your pages are all bound together, it's time to add the cover. You can use a thicker piece of card for this. Decorate it in a way that gives a hint of the exciting pop-up adventure waiting inside!

And there you have it! You've successfully navigated the steps to create your own pop up book. Now, it's time to share your unique creation with the world. Who knows? You might just inspire someone else to start their own pop-up book project!

If you enjoyed learning about creating pop-up books and are interested in taking your project to the next level, consider exploring Genaro Bardy's workshop, 'How to Self Publish a Photobook with Kickstarter.' While the workshop focuses on photobooks, the self-publishing process and Kickstarter tips can be applied to your pop-up book project, helping you bring your creative vision to life.