Monday, March 31, 2014

Steampunk Pop-Up Box Card Tutorial

I had a card swap I needed to make a card for, and just couldn't think of what I wanted to do.  Finally, after scouring Pinterest looking for ideas, I stumbled across a steampunk board and it hit me !   I'm fortunate in that if I want something I can make it, but that's a good thing for you too, since if I make it, then it usually becomes available on my website.  :D

This is the end result, which I think turned out marvelous !  Since I didn't make the tutorial off this card, I decided to make another one, so lets see how the second one comes out. :)

Here we go...

First off, you need to decide what colors you want to use.  Three different colors are used in this card.  I chose black as the base for this card, for the outside panels I used a red glitter floral paper from a Recollections - Love Letter pad, the inside panels are black and grey floral from a DCWV "The Performance Stack" pad.  

You will need an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of cardstock for the main card piece, I chose black.
Along the short side, measure 5 1/2" and cut (keep this skinny strip as we use it later.)
Now, on the long side, we want to score the sheet in 4 places:  2 5/8", 5 1/4", 7 7/8" and 10 1/2".  From here, rotate the sheet 90 degrees and score at 3".  
Now, on the very skinny end, cut along the score lines on the 2 1/2" side and remove the little corner.  We also want to cut along the 3 score lines on the 2 1/2" side, but only up to the horizontal score line that goes all the way across the page - this is creating the top flaps on the box that open. 

So here you can see the top left corner cut out, the score lines and cuts on the top half score lines
You can go ahead and fold along all the score lines EXCEPT the big one on the left (do fold the skinny little piece.)  This section (my finger is on in the pic and the one above it) is the back bone of your card, and while we do add a little more to it to make it sturdier, it holds up better if you don't fold it down.
As you can see, all the flaps are folded open and down (except that back piece) and we have the box shape, although I haven't taped it closed just yet.

I wanted to make the back piece a little stronger, so I cut a strip from some spare black card stock I had laying around, 5 3/8" x 2 3/8".  Glue this piece to the back of the card, covering the entire back panel, adding strength.

Now we get to add some color !   I cut my pieces ahead so I'm ready to glue all at one time.

I started with the outer bottom panels, using my red glitter card stock.  (I opted for card over paper as it makes the card a little sturdier in general, but as long as your base card is fairly heavy, paper should work too.)
I cut 4 squares, all sized 2 3/8" x 2 3/4" and glued these to the outer lower panels.

For the inner top panels, I used the black and grey card stock.  All 4 squares are 2 3/8" x 2 3/8".  Glue to inside top panels.

You can now glue the card together to form the box (small tab glued to inside of large back piece.)

Now is when I start to play with the goodies I'm using to decorate the card with, in this case...GEARS !
I have a bunch of different natural chipboard gears in all shapes and sizes.  I decided which ones I wanted to use, and painted them an assortment of colors.  When it comes to painting, I'm all for quick and convenient when possible, so for many of my projects I opt for spray paint - there are some gorgeous colors these days !!  For this project, I used a mix of gold, silver, dark wood stain, hammertone pewter, and a little gold glitter spray.  I also LOVE Inka Gold Metalic Rubs, and used the copper on a few pieces, as well as some Tim Holtz tarnished bronze Distressed Paint.

While those dry, we can add the center pieces in the box.  
Get the strip that was cut off in the very beginning.  I score it in two places, 10 1/2" and 7 7/8".  Cut it so that the final piece looks the same on both sides:  skinny, big, skinny.  This is the piece that goes in the middle of the card, that we attach the gears to.  

We need two pieces, so go ahead and cut in half to create two like pieces (it doesn't have to be perfectly straight or exactly in half, just eyeball it.)  
When folding along the score lines, I fold the left one way and the right the other way...this makes it all lay flatter in the envelope.

We are going to divide the inside of the box into thirds, again, this doesn't need to be measured.  Glue the folded edges of the pieces we just made and attach inside the box.  You may need to play around to get the pieces mostly straight - I do this by folding the card closed and flat a few times and readjusting the dividers if needed.  

Now for the fun part !  Here are the goodies I painted (not all will be used in this card.)
This gives you an idea of how they can turn out.   

For the front divider, I glued several different color/shaped gears together and then glued this piece to the divider.    I placed our top hat set on the front flap, as well as a partial gear (regular gear cut in 1/4's, one piece was used.)  I used a random assortment of other gears on either of the side flaps, and a clock face, gear and another gear piece on the back panel.

Almost done !!  For the back divider, I used our angel wings, gears and pocket watch.  To give them a little lift, I glued them to chipboard strips (you could use just about anything here, just needs to be sturdy to hold up the pieces.)

Add your final pieces...and voila !


  1. Absolutely....blown L <3 VE!!!...... ps..great tute too!!

  2. This is great! I know they will always want to swap with you. I absolutely LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  3. Totally Perfect. Fantastic project and tut. Awesome. Thanks for the tut.

    1. Thank you, Rachelle, and you're welcome ! :D

  4. Great tutorial! Look at that fun pile of gears! Fantastic job with this card! Love it! :)

    1. Thanks, Katy. hehehe I figured people would like the pile ;)

  5. that is just gorgeous, such a clever idea.