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Making paper pop-up books and cards can be a fun craft activity. It is also a terrific hands-on approach to math and science.

Although pop-ups appear to be simple toys, they are actually intricately engineered constructions.

Fortunately, not all pop-ups are complicated and even small children can make them.

You don't need many tools to get started...paper, scissors and a ruler will do. If you plan to make more complex pop-ups you will need some additional tools (see the list on the Paper Engineering page.)

If you see a general ad for Amazon, please refresh this page and the proper book information, including price, should appear.

The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers
by David A. Carter, James Diaz
ISBN: 0689822243, Published by Little Simon. Editorial Review

Believe it or not, the first known pop-up element in a book appeared in an astrological manuscript in 1306. During the ensuing centuries, movable mechanics were used in more and more books--but only for adults. In the 1700s a British bookseller came up with the idea of illustrating well-known children's stories with movable flaps of paper. The rest, as they say, is history. Now aspiring paper mechanics (creative engineer-artists who create dimensional and movable books, otherwise known as pop-ups) can learn the how-tos and wherefores of this marvelous craft. From tip-ons to dummies to glue knock-outs, all the intricacies of pop-up production are outlined and explained.

Readers are invited to take apart the sample pop-ups (as long as they promise to put them back together!) to determine exactly how each score folds and where each glue point is. Instructions are somewhat advanced, but the dimensional samples and the step-by-step photographic essay on how a pop-up is made will ease the journey. David Carter and James Diaz have each created many, many pop-up books, and are passionate about their trade. So blow the cobwebs out of the geometry corner of your brain, and get to work! (Ages 9 and older) -- Emilie Coulter

How to Make Holiday Pop-Ups
Joan Irvine
ISBN: 0688136109, Published by Morrow/Avon, illustrated, 64 pages.

Book Description

Celebrate all year long with cards that slide, spring, and snap! From a Chinese New Year dragon through Fourth of July fireworks and pop-up greetings for Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, here are dozens of joyful ideas for three-dimensional fun. Easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations help make each dazzling pop-up card as they learn about thirty holidays around the world.

Making Shaped Books
Gillian Chapman and Pam Robson
ISBN: 1562945602, Published by Millbrook Pr Trade, illustrated, 32 pages.

A book about making books...shaped books, in this case. That is, books that are shaped like trucks or animals or forests. Combined with a pop-up interior, these would be really spectacular.

Paper Engineering for Pop-Up Books and Cards
by Mark Hiner
ISBN: 0906212499, Published by Parkwest Pubns.

Pop-O-Mania: How to Create Your Own Pop-Ups
Barbara Valenta
ISBN: 0803719477, Published by Dial Books for Young Readers.

Card catalog description

Provides instructions for creating all kinds of pop-up pictures, books, invitations, and more.

The Pop-Up Book : Step-By-Step Instructions for Creating Over 100 Original Paper Projects
Paul Jackson
ISBN: 0805028846, Published by Owlet, illustrated, 160 pages.

This is an amazing book. 160 pages of full-color photographs and detailed instructions for making pop-ups. The pop-ups range in complexity from very simple to astonishingly difficult.

A really wonderful book.

Pop-Up Paper Engineering: Cross-Curricular Activities in Design Engineering Technology, English and Art
Paul Johnson
ISBN: 1850009090, Published by RoutledgeFalmer.

From the Back Cover

There is no area of paper technology more popular with children than pop-up enginnering. This book - the first of its kind - introduces the language of pop-up forms in stage-by-stage practical workshops for teacher and taught. Johnson writes in a lively, accessible style, following each workshop with suggestions for curriculum oriented projects and interrelating paper technology, story writing and art.

Up-Pops: Paper Engineering With Elastic Bands
by Mark Hiner
ISBN: 0906212790, Published by Parkwest Pubns.

Related Resources

Keith Moseley's Pop-Up World
Photos of many beautiful and complex pop-ups.

How to Make a Pop-Up
Instructions, with illustrations, for making a simple pop-up card.

The Movable Book Society
The Movable Book Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1993 to provide a forum for collectors to share enthusiasm and exchange information about pop-up and movable books.

Paper Engineered Pop-Ups
Detailed instructions for making a tab slide pop-up card.

Pop-Up Book Directions
Instructions, with photos, for making a simple pop-up book.

Explore the complex art of paper folding.

Paper Airplanes
Tools and resources for making paper airplanes.

Paper Engineering
An introduction to the art and science of building things with paper.

Links and resources for exploring these collapsible geometric paper models.

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