DIY Valentine 2019

In an attempt to give you a little lead time, I am posting this year’s DIY Valentine today.

The structure is a pop-up that looks impressive and complex, but is quite easy to make.

I first encountered the structure in Bonnie Stahlecker‘s 2001 artist book Crossing Over.

In 2016 instructions for a similar pop-up began appearing on multiple card-making sites on the web. Ms. Stahlecker’s book is the earliest version I have seen, so the basic structure may be her invention.

If you want to make the 2019 Valentine, download and print the pdf:  valentine 2019.

Print the first two pages on card stock. I used 176 g/m2 (65 lb) card. Print the third page (the envelope) on either a heavy paper —at least 90 g/m2 (24 lb)— or another sheet of card stock.

Score all the fold lines before cutting. On the first page the fold lines are indicated. On the second page you need to score between the red lines on either side of the cover (left side of sheet), and between the individual playing cards.

For the envelope on the third page, score between the inner points of the notches as indicated in the diagram below.

Cut out all your parts before beginning the assembly. Begin your folding with the + shaped base piece. Fold the piece in half along the horizontal line. The printing should be on the outside.

Open your card flat, printed side up, then fold the top down and to the right along the scored diagonal line.

Open your card again, then fold the top down and to the left along the other diagonal.

Open your card again, then fold it flat by pushing in on the projecting pieces at the sides while bringing the top edge down to the bottom edge. Your fold should look like this.

Don’t worry if the top edge and the bottom edge don’t quite match. That edge will be trimmed later.

Crease all the folds firmly, then open your card again. Prepare the playing card strip by folding it according to the instructions on the sheet. The next step is to attach the playing cards to the card base. Place glue or paste or double-sided tape —your preference—in the coloured areas shown in the diagram below.

Attach the upper right portion of the Ace of Clubs to the right hand side. Now attach the lower left portion of the Ace of Spades to the left hand side. Since the strip of cards is not quite as wide as the base, you will need to partially close the card base to accomplish this.

There will be a bit of the base projecting beyond the upper right and lower left corners of the card strip. Trim the corners to match the playing cards.

Fold the cover piece (from the left side of page 2) so that the printing is on the outside. Glue it to the inner base making sure that the side edges are matched. Even if your top and bottom edges of the card base match, the outer cover will be a tiny bit shorter.

Trim the lower edge so that everything matches. Your card is complete. You may need to open and close the card a couple of times before the mechanism operates smoothly.

Fold the envelope so that the printed side is out, then glue the bottom flap to the side flaps. Place your pop-up card inside the envelope (don’t forget to sign it first!) and seal the decorated top flap. Your Valentine is now ready for hand-delivery or mailing.

Happy early Valentine’s Day!


N.B. The illustrations upon which I based the Aces were by Otto Tragy for card deck Whist No 260. They were produced in 1898 for Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik, Germany.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in book arts, DIY, free printable, instructions, moveable books, paper folding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to DIY Valentine 2019

  1. Pingback: A DIY Valentine from Byopia Press | CBBAG Saskatchewan

  2. wendyfe says:

    Have to make this, Cathryn! It looks so nice. Thank you for posting it


  3. Cathryn, such a wonderful card to offer a loved one for valentine. Thanks.


  4. thank you Cathryn. I have to try this one. I share it on my blog today (


  5. Pingback: An Early Start | Byopia Press

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