EASY DIY Pop Up Box Card Tutorial and Instructions



Let me help you make your own gorgeous pop-up box card with my easy, step by step photo tutorial and instructions. Instructions are given in both US and UK measurements and popular paper sizes (A4 and Letter) to make things really simple for you.

A pop-up box card is styled like a pretty box shape when on display but has the benefit of folding flat into an envelope for posting and gifting. Imagine the wonderful surprise when this stunning card comes out of the envelope and pops right open.

A pop-up box card is not called an exploding box - the two are often confused. I prefer this style of box card because it is so pretty and it has the added bonus of folding down almost flat. So it is both pretty and practical. Let's see how you can make one.

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EASY Instructions and Tutorial to Make Your Own DIY Pop Up Box Card


Get complete instructions to make your very own pop-up box card from just 1 sheet of US Letter sized card or, alternatively, a standard sheet of A4 card. I've worked out all the measurements you need and have made it as easy and simple as possible for you to make a wonderful box card.


If any handmade card has the wow factor - this one does! It is perfect for special occasions such as milestone birthdays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, new baby cards and so much more. There is also a flower box pop up card in the tutorial as well.

Tools and Materials to Make a Pop-Up Box Card


A sheet of card, either Letter size or A4, for each box card.
Scoreboard and scoring tool USA. I use Hunkydory's scoreboard here in the UK.
Alternatively, mark folding lines with a pencil and ruler and score with an embossing tool.
Rounded corner punch if you want rounded off corners.
Patterned paper, embellishments of choice.
Scissors, adhesives of choice.

Step 1: Scoring the Card in Landscape Width


Adorable scorable Hunkydory purple craft scoreboard score board scoring A4 sheet of card

Note: if you do not have a scoring board, you can draw the measurements on to your card with a pencil and then score them afterwards with a scoring or embossing tool.

I am using the Hunkydory Adorable Scorable scoreboard which I love because it has centimeter measurements on one side and inches on the other. I keep my scoring tool on a piece of long elastic so it is ready to use straightaway.

You can get this board in the UK. If you're in the USA, you can get a scoring board from Amazon.com.


Place your card in a landscape direction (longer side going across and shorter side up and down) onto your scoreboard. If you're using A4 sized card, I have measurements in centimeters. If you have Letter sized card, measurements are in inches.

Scoring Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Score the card at 2.5", 5", 7.5" and 10 inches. This should mark out 4 wide sections and a very narrow section at the end.

Scoring Measurements for A4 Card

If you know your 7 times table, this is so easy. Score the card at 7 cm, 14 cm, 21 cm and 28 cm. You will end up with 4 wider sections and a narrow section at the end.

Step 2: Scoring the Card in Vertical Tall


Scoring a sheet of card on a craft scoreboard to make handmade pop up box cards

Turn the card around clockwise on the scoreboard so it is in a vertical or tall position. The thin section you scored should be at the bottom of the board as shown.

Scoring Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Score the first 3 sections only at 4.5 inches. Skip the 4th panel and then score the last panel at 4.5 inches as well.

Scoring Measurements for A4 Card

Score the first 3 sections only at 11 cm. Skip the 4th panel and then score the last panel at 11 cm as well.

Step 3: Cutting the Scored Card


Cutting scored lines of a sheet of card to make a special boxed pop up card

Position the scored card in front of you in landscape mode with the thin scored section over to the right as shown in the photo.

You need to cut the top half of the card only in this step. So ignore everything under the middle score line for now.

Use a pair of scissors to cut down the first 3 scored lines down to the center point. Those scorelines were at 7, 14 and 21 cm for the A4 card or 2.5, 5 and 7.5 inches for the Letter card.

Cut away completely the top half of the narrow strip right at the end of the card.

I do love my Tim Holtz scissors with micro serrated and titanium coated blades. The handles are very roomy and extremely comfortable for me to hold. You can get these scissors at Amazon.com and also at Amazon.co.uk.

Step 4: Creasing the Scorelines to Start Folding the Box Card in Shape


Folding scored lines inwards on boxed card design craft

Now it is time to start creasing the scorelines so you can start to fold the pop-up box card into shape.

You need to fold the bottom half of the card only in this step. So ignore everything above the middle score line for now.

Using a scoring tool or your fingers press all the scored lines inwards, from the sides of the card towards the middle area.

Flatten out the card again.

Step 5: Folding Down the Outer Box Flaps


Folding down the outer box flaps on the 3D pop up card

Turn your card so that the long uncut panel next to the thin strip is facing on the left. This will form the outside of your pop-up box card.

Fold down the 3 flaps next to it as shown.

Step 6: Sticking the Pop-Up Box Card Together


Assembling the pop up box card

Turn the card round so you have the longest section over on the right side as shown.

You may have been wondering what the narrow strip left on the card was for. It gives you an area where you can apply glue or sticky tape in order to stick your card together.

This narrow flap sticks on the inside of the card to the opposite side. I find it easier to use double sided tape to stick this neatly. Put double sided tape down the strip of card.

Sticking the handmade pop up box card shape together assembly

Now stick this to the opposite side. Note, your card should fold flat when this is done and should look how I have it in the photo.

Step 7: Your Assembled Pop-Up Box Card


Basic blank handmade DIY pop up box card craft scored and cut by hand

With a simple move, you can pull the card upright and form it into the box shape. The panels will hang down around the outside.

I used a corner rounder punch while the box card was folded flat to round off the corners on all the fold down panels and at the top section as shown.

Step 8: Adding the Inserts to the Box Card


Adding the inserts inside the pop up box card

To finish the box card blank, there is one more step before decorating.

You need to add strip inserts at the top center of the box card. These inserts allow you to add in all the "pop-up" elements to the card to give it the wow factor.

You need a minimum of 2 inserts. I prefer 3 to give a nice full look to the finished card.

Insert Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Cut a piece of card at 3.5" by 3.5 inches.

Place the card in the scoreboard and score at 0.5 and 3 inches.

Cut two or three 0.5 inch widths from this scored card. This leaves flaps at each end which will be stuck inside your box card.

Insert Measurements for A4 Sized Card

Cut a piece of card at 9 cm by 9.

Place the card in the scoreboard and score at 1 cm and 8 cm.

Cut two or three 2 cm widths from this scored card. This leaves flaps at each end which will be stuck inside your box card.

Sticking the Inserts Inside the Pop-Up Box Card

I like to use a small piece of double-sided tape on the flaps of each insert but you can use glue instead.

Pop your choice of adhesive onto each flap and stick one at one side of the box card on the inside. Line the insert up with the top edge of the card, then carefully position the insert flap on the opposite side and stick that down in place.

Refer to the photo above. You need 2 or 3 inserts going across the inside of the box card with roughly equal gaps between each one. You should be able to fold this card flat when done.

Step 9: Adding Patterned Paper to the Bottom of the Box Card


Adding patterned panels of flower paper to the outside of the handmade card design

Now the actual structure of the pop-up box card is done, you can enjoy starting to decorate your design now with patterned papers and embellishments. Fold the card flat to make this job easier.

I start by adding paper on first along the very bottom of the card. I add paper around the front and two sides but not on the back. I also like to ink around the edges of this paper to add some dimension to the look. I like Memento Dew Drops as they are quick drying on most papers.

Stick the paper panels in place with my double-sided tape mounting technique which will allow you to get the paper panels lined up professionally.

You can also add paper on the back if you wish but I prefer to leave the back blank in order to write a greeting to the recipient.

Paper Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Cut 3 pieces of paper with a 2 inch width and a 4 inch height for the bottom outside panels.

Paper Measurements for A4 Sized Card

Cut 3 pieces of paper with a 6.5 cm width and a 10.5 cm height for the bottom outside panels.

Step 10: Adding Paper to the Top Flaps


Adding patterned pink paper to the outside box card flaps

Chose a complimentary pattern and color of paper for the flaps on your pop-up box card. This adds more interest and dimension to your finished design.

Paper Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Cut 3 pieces of paper with a 2 inch width and a 3.5 inch height to decorate the hanging down flaps.

Paper Measurements for A4 Sized Card

Cut 3 pieces of paper with a 6.5 cm width and a 9.5 cm height to decorate the top flaps that hang down.

Adding Patterned Paper to the Box Card Flaps

I rounded off the bottom corners to fit with the card and inked around the edges of the paper with a slightly darker shade. When the ink was dry, I stuck each piece of paper down using my professional mounting technique for precise placement.

Step 11: Add in a Top Panel of Paper


Covered DIY pop-up box card design with pink floral papers

To pull the look of the card together, I opted to use the same floral patterned paper on the top of the card that I had used all along the bottom.

Paper Measurements for US Letter Sized Card 11 x 8.5 Inches USA

Cut a piece of paper with a 2 inch width and a 3.5 inch height to decorate the very top of your box card.

Paper Measurements for A4 Sized Card

Cut a piece of paper with a 6.5 cm width and a 9.5 cm height to decorate the very top of your box card.

Adding Patterned Paper to the Top of the Box Card
I rounded off the top corners of the paper to fit with the card and then inked around the edges of the paper with a slightly darker shade. When the ink was dry, I stuck the paper down using my professional mounting technique to get it in exactly the right place.

Step 12: Adding on Some Toppers and Embellishments


Adding embellishments Hunkydory designs and toppers to the outside of the handmade box card

Once the box card is decorated with papers, it is time to start adding some toppers and embellishments to the top panel and the hanging down flaps.

I find Hunkydory are perfect for this as they sell lots of pop out topper designs and sentiments that make it really easy and fast to add interest to any card blank. Some of their floral collections are just perfect for making flower pop-up box cards.

If you enjoy rubber stamping, you can ink up your own designs, color them in and add them onto the card.

Perhaps you prefer die cutting, in which case simply cut out some designs and use those.

There are loads of ways in which you can add interest to the outside of your card. I like to use 3D adhesive foam pads under toppers to add some depth and dimension to the finished card. Just bear in mind that your card will have more bulk when folded if you do this. I always make sure mine will fold enough to fit inside an envelope.

Step 13: Adding Pop-Up Elements to the Inside of the Card


Adding in pop up embellishments to the box card interior inside

When you're done with decorating the outside of your card, it is time to work on the inside. Lots of smaller designs and shapes can work wonderfully here.

You can attach designs straight to the inside strips of your box card. Or, alternatively, mount toppers onto thin strips of card or even better clear plastic sheets so you can have those coming up higher from the box edges.

I like to position things using 3D foam pads which I can normally remove and reposition if I don't like the effect.

It can take a lot of moving around and adding things at different heights and on different insert strips before you may be really happy with the finished look. Always test that you can still fold the box down as well.

Step 14: My Completed Pop Up Box Card Design


Finished completed handmade pop up birthday box card pink spring design

This shows my completed design (an even better example is just below) and you can see that I added some butterfly embellishments in which work well with this Spring design.

Also see my Christmas pop-up box card design HERE.

Completed Flower Box Pop up Card Example


Flower box pop-up card tutorial and instructions make your own handmade cards easy steps with craftymarie.com

This flower box card design took a little longer. I used flower toppers from Hunkydory that worked perfectly with the look I was going for.

Flowers work especially well in these pop up cards but you can also use other design themes such as butterflies and hearts to make your pop-up box unique. Now you know how to make these, you should realize they are super easy once you know how. Have fun!

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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.