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Sep 16, 2012

Covered Bridge Pop Up Card Tutorial




I grew up in a little town with a covered road bridge and a number of covered railroad bridges. The road bridge was destroyed by arson about 20 years ago. Despite pressure from the state to "upgrade" it to a two lane span, the town pulled together and rebuilt the bridge as a covered bridge.

How to make a covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

Download card plan (pdf)

Download bridge and background pieces in your choice of format: pdf1 and pdf2; silhouette studio; dxf

Cut and score the bridge pieces

Following plan shown below, cut on black lines, score on red lines.

covered bridge pop up card

Cut bridge pieces (page 1) from heavy card stock. I used gray and made the walls into stone walls.

covered bridge pop up card

Cut tree trunks from card stock. Cut tree tops from lighter weight patterned paper. Cut the bridge tunnels from a dark color. Cut the roof from card stock.

Cut the water, grass and road pieces

Pieces that cross the center fold are cut apart at the fold to allow the card to close without wrinkling.

Prepare the base card

Print the card plan (2 halves, printed on 2 pages). Cut one half along the red line and match to the red line on the other page. Tape or glue together.

covered bridge pop up card

Cut a base card from card stock, 6.5" x 12". Choose your color knowing that the base card will show slightly, at the center fold, when the card is fully opened.

Score and crease the center fold.

Lay the card plan on the base card, matching center fold to the red line.

Heavily score--enough to press through the card plan and make a mark on the base card--the heavy black diagonal lines. These are the glue guidelines for the bridge. Remove the card plan and mark the scored lines on the base card with pencil.

Assemble the bridge

Glue tree tops to tree trunks.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue roof prop to bridge ends, matching edges.

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

Glue tunnels to bridge ends.

Glue bridge sides to bridge ends.

covered bridge pop up card

Collapse the bridge, exactly as shown. (It can flatten two different ways. This is the way it needs to flatten for the card to close properly.)

covered bridge pop up card

Fold down the tabs at the top of the bridge prop. Apply glue to each, on the surface indicated by the yellow arrow.

covered bridge pop up card

Insert the bridge into the roof, pushing the tab folds firmly into the roof fold.

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

Putting it all together

Glue water pieces to base card. Match top and bottom edges. Leave a little space between the pieces at the center fold.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue road to base card. Check your top and bottom edges, center fold (leaving a little space) and alignment with the diagonal pencil line on the left side of the base.

covered bridge pop up card

Do not glue the grass pieces yet.

Glue the long front wall tab to the right-hand half of the base card. Align to pencil line. The crease of the wall should fall exactly at the bend in the pencil line.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue the other wall tabs to the left-hand half of the base card. Align to pencil marks paying particular attention to the placement of the corner.

covered bridge pop up card

The tabs on the bridge fold to the inside of the bridge.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue grass pieces to the base card. Match top and bottom edges, leave a little room at the center fold, match to fold line of tabs. (The grass covers the bridge tabs.)

covered bridge pop up card

Finish with the trees

Crease small strips and glue ends to make support boxes. One is square and one is rectangular.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue the center of the trunk of one tree to the square box. Wrap just the left side of the trunk around the side of the box and glue. Leave the right side loose.

Apply glue to the two surfaces of the box that do not have tree glued to them. Dab a tiny bit of glue to the back of the right-hand piece of trunk. Glue the box into the corner of the wall on the right-hand half of the card. Push the box firmly into the corner.

covered bridge pop up card

Glue the rectangular box to the back of the bridge, in position shown. It has to be "in the water" or the tree will protrude from the edge of the card when it is closed.

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

Glue the tree to the front of the box.

covered bridge pop up card

covered bridge pop up card

Ever so slowly and carefully close the card. The roof likes to catch on the trees. Push the trees out of the way and collapse the roof between them.


This one was made by H.Rhea.

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.