How to Make Your Own Pop-Up Creature

Learn how to make your own pop-up character from a master pop-up book engineer.

Remember flipping through pop-up books as a kid, and thinking that they seemed so magical? With each page-turn, intricate scenes unfolded, springing to life.

Of course, pop-up mechanics aren’t magic. Through years of experimentation, pop-up book artist Matthew Reinhart has learned how to engineer the perfect pop using paper, glue, and a lot of creativity.

Want to try your hand at it? Reinhart has created easy-to-follow instructions so that you, too, can get popping.

Download the template here.

1. Cut out all pieces along all solid black lines.

2. Fold pieces along all dotted lines.

Fold — — — lines like





Fold — – — – lines like


3. Glue tabs as directed and assemble as shown.

After you glue each piece, try folding the base paper in half to see if the creature is folding correctly.

You’re finished. Now, fold your paper in half and make Anubis come to life!

Show us how yours turned out in the comments.

Meet the Writer

About Brandon Echter

Brandon Echter was Science Friday’s digital managing editor. He loves space, sloths, and cephalopods, and his aesthetic is “cultivated schlub.”

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