I have been having fun making these 180º open twisted crest style origamic architecture pop up cards. This is a clever technique and, I wanted to invite you to join in the fun. This post includes patterns for my new Flower Crest design, suitable for production on a laser cutter, a craft CNC cutter or, by hand.
Most people will have to actually make one of these cards or watch the folding video to get how it works. I originally spotted this technique used for several patterns in Keiko Nakazawa’s 2006 book 3D Pop-Up Greeting Cards (link in the resources section below) and, abstracted it to make my own designs. Rather than gluing to backing cards, I prefer to develop other approaches like what I have done here.
Settings for your cutting machine, whether CNC or laser, will vary depending on your machine, the specific paper stock you are using and other factors.
The paper I used for my cards was 0.014″ thick 105lb cover stock.
On the Glowforge, I used a speed of 500 and power of 72 for the cut lines and a power of 18 for the mountain fold lines. I scored the valley fold lines on the back by hand with a craft knife. If you are a Glowforge user, you likely have some experience dialing in settings for a particular material. I color-coded the file so that the GFUI will separate and order the operations on import.
My settings for each operation for the Gazelle cutter are in the MTC file as layer descriptions (D is depth setting on my adjustable blade holder, V is velocity and F is force). Those will probably be mostly useless unless you are also using a Gazelle cutter with an adjustable blade holder. If you are a craft cutter user, you are likely used to sorting out settings for a given stock. The layers are in the order you should cut them. The last two layers are the backing card (one score and the cuts).
Important: These files are for personal, non-commercial use only. If you want to produce these to sell or for other business use, please contact me to arrange for licensing terms.
Flower Crest Pop Up Card PNG (for cutting by hand)
Flower Crest Backing Card PNG (for cutting by hand)
Flower Crest Pop Up Card SVG (optimized for Glowforge)
Flower Crest Pop Up Card MTC (for craft cutters)
Lil Chizler scraping tool
Amazon referral links support a local arts organization. Glowforge referral link helps defray my costs of running the studio.
This Viking longship OA/kirigami pop up card was some time in the making. I’m quite happy with it, especially the dragon head.
I made four custom rubber stamps for imprinting the sails (two dragons and two spirals, one for each orientation). The metallic ink takes a long time to dry (like a month). So, I embossed them with clear embossing powder and a heat gun. The tongue is painted red. Lots of fragile bits on these. So, they required careful handling.
During the holidays last year, I was looking through some of my old Celtic knotwork designs. I came upon the original pencil sketch of my 1992 Snowflake design and, decided to print it in silver on some really nice black 100% cotton heavyweight T-shirts to give as gifts to family and friends. They came out great and, were a big hit.
Special thanks to my good friend and wonderful, highly photogenic model, Tanya, for showing off the women’s fitted shirt for the photo!