balloons pop-up card – birthday fun!

Handmade card by Kitty at, using Stampin' Up Balloons Pop-up dies.

Pop-up Card

Woohoo!  My first pop-up card!  Gosh this was fun.  I have to tell you, though, that I almost didn’t buy this die set… but it’s being retired at the end of this month, and it’s on sale (so hurry, if you want it) – I just couldn’t pass it up!  However, I did decide to hold off on the matching stamp set.  I really thought that the dies would work fine without them, and I’m happy to say that I was right.  Not that you shouldn’t get the stamps, too (which are also retiring, and are also on sale!), but I’m afraid I’ve gone a little crazy with the spending over the last couple of months.  (But those stamps still might find their way into my cart before month’s end.)

How to

To make this card, you need a standard A2-sized card base (I used Real Red), and slightly smaller piece of white cardstock.  There’s a little flexibility with this piece – I cut mine at about 8-1/2″ x 5-1/4″, which gave me a nice border.  And while it isn’t necessary, I liked using the thicker white cardstock for this card, to make the delicate details a little more stable.  However, what I gained in stability, I lost in the fact that this card doesn’t fold closed all that well.  I’ll be able to stuff it into a standard envelope, but it’s probably going to give me a little grief in the process.

Putting this together is so much easier than it looks.  Take your white piece (or whatever color you’re using), and score it right down the middle – from top to bottom.  Then, place the die with the center right over your score line, and evenly spaced from top to bottom.  A little bit of washi tape, or any “low tack” tape to hold the die in place is a good idea here.  Once your piece is cut, you just punch out the pieces, fold it on the three scorelines (created by the die), add adhesive to the back just along the left and right sides, and adhere it in the center of your card base.  I do recommend playing around with it a bit before gluing it down, to get the placement just right – but honestly, it’s all pretty self-explanatory once you get your piece cut.

Parts & Pieces

In addition to cutting out the “pop-up”, this die set also comes with a bunch of very handy accessory dies.  You can cover, stamp, or color your balloons any way you want.  I chose to use the two patterned balloon dies that come with the set.  For the middle balloon, I used the big polka dots in Daffodil Delight; for the balloon on the left, I used the stripes in Calypso Coral; and for the balloon on the right… well, I got a little creative.  I could have just given it a solid color, but I really wanted a third pattern.  So, using Real Red cardstock, I cut out the striped balloon, twice.  Then, I cut out the stripes from one of the balloons, and carefully glued them to the back of the other, to create a sort of grid pattern.  It worked perfectly!

The Background

It was at this point that I started thinking about decorating around the pop-up image.  Presents seemed like the perfect thing for a birthday card, but I felt that the white paper needed some color.  So, I took a couple of post-it notes, covered up the balloons, pulled out my messy box, and used my ink splatter technique to add hits of red, yellow and orange to the background.  (See my previous tutorial here, for more about the ink splatter.) I also sponged on some of the orange ink around the edges.


The presents were easy.  I just cut a rectangle with my trimmer for the red one.  The two orange ones were cut with a die from the set.  This die only cuts the TOP of the box, with the bow, which allows you to make the finished box as long or as short as you’d like.  The set also comes with the two different bow dies, as well as one that creates a tag of sorts.  That’s what I used for the yellow package – I used the die in the center of my paper, and folded at the score line.  I plan to use the inside of this tag for a personal note to the recipient.

Finishing Touches

I finished off the inside of the card by adding some stamping to two of the presents, some dots to another using a white gel pen, and I stamped a sentiment across the banner under the balloons.  I was happy to find that the Happy Birthday stamp from Sunshine Sayings fit perfectly here.

Handmade birthday balloons card by Kitty at, using Stampin' Up products.

The Front

This is the first time that I spent WAY more time on the inside of the card, than the outside, but of course, it had to be decorated, too.  I did the ink splatter/sponge edges thing on a 4″ x 5-1/4″ piece of white cardstock, to match the inside.  Then, using a punch, I just cut out a bunch of balloons in rainbow colors.  Using Versamark ink and white powder, I heat-embossed different patterns on each balloon.  I then tied a bit of white floss to each balloon, and adhered them to the card, popping up two of them with dimensionals.  The sentiment was also heat-embossed, cut into a banner, and adhered with dimensionals.  I like how it turned out, but the inside is really the star of the show here.

I wouldn’t call this a “quick” card, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as it looks, and it was a lot of fun.  Have you made any pop-up cards?

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a marvelous day!


Supplies used (with some “very close substitutes” shown).  Please note that some of these items are retiring soon, and quantities may be limited: