Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Pop-Up Tunnel Book

Although today is the official first day of spring, the plum trees and magnolias up the hill in Berkeley honored the season early on February 23. New York, where I am visiting, is just beginning to bud; I like seeing the magnolias blooming all over again. I thought a project that springs open would be appropriate for today.  I've been playing with a pop-up tunnel based on the structure from an artist book I bought from Two Fine Chaps called The Silent Song. You can print all five of the pieces of this miniature tunnel from one piece of card stock. If you use an inkjet printer, I recommend spraying the printout with Archival Varnish and letting it dry before you begin to assemble the book. A miniature book is under three inches in any direction, so technically only the tunnel is a miniature.

Tools: pencil; metal ruler; X-acto knife and cutting mat (and spare blades); bone folder; PVA and small brush or piece of board; magazines or catalogues to protect your work surface and to use to mask your book to keep it free from glue. 

Materials: one piece of 8 1/2" x 11" (or A4) card stock set up to print like the template thumbnail. Cut pieces as follows (black lines for cutting, gray lines for scoring):
  • outer card/support: 8 x 3" (203 x 76 mm)
  • tunnel walls: 6 1/4 x 3" (159 x 76 mm)
  • tunnel panels: 7 1/2 x 3" (191 x 76 mm) cut into 3 sections 3 x 2 1/2" (76 x 64 mm)
The Outer Card
1. Fold the outer card in half. Open it.
2. Working left to right, measure 3/8" (7 mm) from the fold and mark (top and bottom).
3. From the mark, measure and mark 1/2"(13 mm) (top and bottom).
4. From the second mark, measure and mark another 1/2" (13 mm) (top and bottom).
5. Against a ruler, use a pencil and connect the parallel marks so you now have three lines. (I set this up in an Adobe Illustrator file so I didn't have to measure it.)

The Tunnel Walls
6. On the tunnel walls piece, measure and mark 1/4" (6 mm) (top and bottom) from both right and left edges.
7. Against a ruler, use a bone folder and connect the parallel marks so you have two scores.
8. Measure and mark 2" (51 mm) toward the center from each of these two scores (top and bottom).
9. Against a ruler, use a bone folder and connect these parallel marks so you have two new scores (4 total).
10. Fold these four scores into mountain folds.
11. Cut a rectangle or other shape in the front wall, leaving at least 1/4" (6 mm) on all sides (from the two edges and from the two scores).

The Tunnel Panels
12. For the tunnel panels, measure and mark 1/4" (6 mm) (top and bottom) from both right and left edges of all three pictures/panels.
13. Against a ruler, use a bone folder and connect the parallel marks so you have two scores on each of the three panels.
14. Fold each of the scores so that what will be the top of the picture/panel has a valley fold and the bottom will have a mountain fold. (Looks like an "S".)
15. Cut out the windows in the tunnel panels so that the main object on each is connected to at least one side and leaving least 1/4" (6 mm) margin from the two edges and two folds. The rear panel has no cuts.

16. Apply glue to connected tab and back wall of the tunnel walls.
17. Nest the tunnel walls onto the outer card so that the folded tab at the bottom is aligned with the folded card.


18. Use the bone folder to smooth it down firmly.
19. Apply glue to the bottom tab of what will be the back tunnel panel.

20. Align this folded tab with the line closest to the fold that you drew on the card. It will overlap the tunnel walls piece a bit.


21. Use the bone folder to smooth down the tab.
22. Repeat steps 19-21 for the remaining two cards, continuing to work back to front (left to right, most likely).


23. Put a piece of scrap paper on top of the front two panels. Apply glue to the top tab of the back tunnel panel.
24. Put a piece of scrap paper on top of the front tunnel panel. Apply glue to the top tab of the middle tunnel panel.


25. Put a piece of scrap paper on top of the front section of the card. Apply glue to the top tab of the front tunnel panel. 
26. Pick up the left section of the outer card (with the tunnel walls attached to it) and fold the outer card in half, pressing in place on top of the panels.


27. Use the bone folder and smooth down. Open.
28. Apply glue to the front tab of the tunnel walls. Flatten it down and close the card again.



29. Use the bone folder to smooth it down.
30. Let dry.
31. With knife against a metal ruler, trim the sides.

32. Attach hard covers, if desired: see upcoming post for detailed instructions for insetting a title and colophon, and wrapping and assembling the hard covers.

Download a blank pop-up tunnel template to use with your own imagery and content here.


Lynn said...

What a fun project.
Thanks for sharing this.

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

Excellent idea! With photos and detailed instructions, will give it a try. Thanks!

Alisa said...

Thanks, Lynn. Have fun, Patricia! And let us know how it goes. One of my students made a wonderful one with drawings that she tinted with watercolors. It would be interesting to see one with all words, too.

Lizzie said...

Ah, I hoped that if I scrolled down a little way, I'd find the beginning of the instructions for this fab little tunnel book!

Lovely and clear instructions (as in all your books!). Thank you, Alisa.

Eva said...

Alisa! I love your idea and used and adapted it for create a card.
I invite you to see my blog. Eva