How to Make Pop Up Pictures on Poster Board

    by Antonia Sorin

    About the Author

    Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.


    Poster boards are generally, by their flat nature, two-dimensional affairs. Photos and text are glued to different areas of the board, making a single plane, like the page of a book. Pop-up pictures create a dynamic poster with a third dimension. You can liven up an ordinary poster board presentation or help your child add some flair to his homework project with pop-up pictures to show it off with pride.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cutting mat
    • Utility knife
    • Craft glue
    • Picture
    • Unlined 3x5 index card

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    Paper Windows

    Place the poster board on a cutting mat, right side up. Cut a flap into your poster board with a utility knife. Think of the flap as a shutter on a window. Cut a squared-off "U" for a simple flap. Cut an "H" on its side to create shutters. This flap will open to reveal your picture, which has been glued behind it, so make sure the flap is slightly smaller than the picture.

    Flip over the poster board, so that the wrong side of the poster board is facing up. Make sure that the flaps are folded back on the front, so that you are looking at the holes where you cut your flaps.

    Apply glue around the edge of the hole on the poster board. Do not let any glue get on the flap itself; glue should only be placed just outside the edges of the flap.

    Adhere the picture to the poster board where you put the glue. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes before moving your poster board.

    Turn the poster board back over so the front side is facing you. Fold the flaps back, and you will see your picture behind them.

    X-Brace Card Stock Paper Pop Ups

    Cut an unlined 3x5 index card in half so that you have two 1-1/2- by 5-inch pieces.

    Make a 3/4-inch vertical slit in the center of the long side of each piece.

    Place the rectangles together so the slits face each other.

    Fit the two slits together, forming an "X" shape with the two rectangles.

    Fold the four ends of the "X" shape 1/2-inch from the edges, making four 1/2-inch tabs. Fold each tab inward, so that if you are looking at the "X" from above, the pair of tabs at the top of the tab face each other and the other pair of tabs at the bottom face each other.

    Apply glue to one pair of tabs. Attach the ends to the poster board. Allow to dry for a few minutes.

    Apply glue to the remaining two tabs. Attach your pop-up picture of choice to the tabs. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes and repeat the process for other pictures. Your pictures will "pop" out from the poster board with the "X" behind them.


    • Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques; Paul Jackson