How to Make a Pop-Up Photograph

How to Make a Pop-Up Photograph

As a young girl, I had a slight obsession with pop-up books. I would collect them, display them open on our family coffee table and pretend they were a little community of people in The World of Erin.


And NOW? Now I want to make a community of actual people in The World of Erin. People I really know, from photographs I really have. Because, hey, I'm weird.

WikiHow shows us how to make it happen:

  1. Choose a photo of a background or vista. This image will be folded in half so that the top of the image is the "backdrop" and the bottom of the image is the "floor" or "ground." You can use two different photos, one for the top, another for the bottom, and glue them onto a sheet of paper.
  2. Cut out separate photos of the objects you want to pop up in front of the background.
  3. Fold the background photo in half (photo on the inside) and press along the fold. Keep the photo folded.
  4. Make two parallel cuts of the same length into the fold of the photo (about 1/2 to 1 inch apart). The longer these cuts, the further the image will sit from the background. The cuts should not be longer than the height of your cutout photo and the width between them should not be wider than your cutout photo, either.
  5. Make another set of cuts for each additional photo.
  6. Fold the tabs between the cuts back and forth, pressing them flat.
  7. Return the tabs to the flat position.
  8. Open the photo halfway to 90 degrees. Use your finger to push each tab forward into the center of the photo, creating pop-up boxes.
  9. Glue your cutout photos to the front of each pop-up box to create a pop-up scene. The finished pop-up has a spatial sense that is both surreal and enchanting.



  • Print photos on matte rather than glossy paper to make cutting, folding, and gluing easier.
  • Choose photo backgrounds that are relatively plain landscapes or interiors.
  • Choose photo objects that are in focus and easy to cut out.


Things You'll Need

  • Several photos or several copies of the same photo that can be cut apart
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick



View/Add Comments (4)


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rebecca on Dec 22, 2011:

really perfect I love its congrulations

jet-h on Nov 15, 2010:

i love those cards, i have make some too, soooo fun to do;-D
like your methode i curtainly will try this out, greate tute, and thanks for your sharing. love it!!!!;-D

wizodd on Dec 08, 2007:

Glad to see that pop-ups are not a dead art--at onepoint there were only a handful of people who knew how to do it.

Note that they can get VERY intricate (and large,) for larger ones, glue the image to, or print on, card stock.


And don't forget, you have no limits--images from ultiple sources can be used, and it ispossible to give the images 'sides' too. Much of the magic is in the hinges, so if you're being ambitious, play with subassemblies and preliminary models to work out the bugs.

relawson on Sep 18, 2007:

that is SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!

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