Fresh Ideas

First Time Visitor?

Be sure to visit Pop Up Lessons/How To Books

to review the basic techniques of pop up making.

Book Depository Give Away

Aug 9, 2009

Building a Better Pop Up Cake : Part 1

Pop Up Cake With Center Post Mechanism

I made a pop up wedding cake card before Sizzix came out with the pop up cake die, and swore never to make it again. The method I used had little room for error and took forever. Too many little tabs to line up, too much bulk from the center I-beams. Too much drying time between steps.

wedding cake pop up card

The introduction of the Sizzix die has created a surge of interest among paper crafters to improve the cake design. The center post mechanism of the design piqued my curiosity enough to convince me to give the pop up cake another try.

I've made about a dozen prototypes of the design. This is the best result so far. I am especially pleased with how well it opens. Yes, after it had been folded! The card base is regular card stock (not chipboard) and there is nothing holding the card open except gravity.

pop up cake

See, the Sizzix design is not without its faults, which designers are starting to address: difficulty getting the card to pop open completely, almond shaped cake sides, tilted cake tops.

The designer of the die, Karen Burniston, stresses the importance of paper choice and suggests strategic reinforcement of the center post. For die users, Karen's excellent suggestions are your best bet as you can't alter how the pieces are cut. Except, I do not care for the idea of reinforcing the largest tier with paper fasteners (brads). I would add slots to the pieces (coming in Building a Better Pop Up Cake: Part 5).

If you're willing to cut your own pieces, there are some simple changes you can make that vastly improve the "pull" of the center post mechanism. Here's a clue: slots.

As far as adhesive goes, you may notice that Karen uses tape. I tend to use glue for its forgiveness factor (also know as the fudge factor). I usually end up nudging the pieces a little bit to get them right where I want them. Tape is too once and done for me! However, having made up this cake many, many times in the past few days, I think I'm going over to the dark (tape) side. At least partially.

Now I'm sure you're asking, "So where's the tutorial??" Next post. Promise!