published 27 April 2019
updated 6 February 2022
This amazing gift is the perfect DIY for Mother’s or Father’s Day. The recipient will gasp in surprise when they slide open the gift box and the pop-up cubes jump out!
I love making gifts using photos. I often gave friends photo books as
“see you later” presents (moving away is a big part of expat life.)
Currently, I’m obsessed with photo gifts that move. They can fall down, slide out, or in this case, literally jump out. The person receiving the gift gets the surprise of motion and the emotion of memories from the photos.
Just watch the clip below and tell me that you know someone who would not love to get one of these. 😍
If you don’t have a machine such as a Cricut Maker or ExploreAir to do the work, I’ve also created a PDF file that you can download, print onto cardstock and cut with scissors. ✂️
For bigger kids, this is a great craft for them to get creative with. I’ve included easy step-by-step directions on the PDF.
You do need to watch the video – it shows how to folds everything, how to use the rubber band, and how to glue everything together.
To make this DIY pop up cubes and box, you’ll need:
- Either the SVG pattern (design #02 – Pop Up Cubes with Gift Box SVG) or the PDF file (design # 03 – Print and Cut Pop Up Cubes Template PDF) from the Free Files Folder
- Nine pieces of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock if you are using the SVG
or nine pieces of A4 or letter-sized card stock if you are hand cutting
Tip: 65 lb. cardstock works the best!
- A way to cut and score the cardstock – I use a Cricut, but you can also use scissors quite easily for this project.
- Six rubber bands (3 inches long when unstretched)
- Glue; my favorite two are Aleene’s Tacky Glue and Art Glitter Glue
- Photos or more paper to decorate the sides of the cubes
* Links to products are for your convenience in finding tools and materials, however, they are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. *
What type of paper works the best?
Is it 110 lb cardstock or 65 lb cardstock?
You’d think perhaps the heavier card would be more sturdy. However, in my test, the cube in 65 lb cardstock really snapped up! You can see how high it went in my Instagram post shown below.
Watch how to assemble the pop-up cubes and simple sliding gift box
Step-by-step Directions to make the pop-up cubes:
1) Print out the pop-up cubes template PDF file and cut out as shown on the paper.
Score and fold along the lines as indicated. (Or cut and score with your Cricut; instructions are below.)
2) Draw or glue photos onto the four sides of each cube.
You could also use stickers, washi tape, or cut more paper accents to decorate the cubes.
3) Glue the triangles onto the tops of the cubes for extra detail if you like.
4) Fold the cube up on the score lines.
5) Put the rubber band around both tabs, then glue the cube together. (I’ve created a new video upon your requests that shows this step more clearly and slowly!)
6) Assemble the drawer and glue it together.
7) Fold the box and glue it together. Decorate the top if you like.
8) Fold the cubes flat and put them into the drawer, which slides into the box.
Your gift is ready to delight and surprise!
How to use the SVG file in Cricut Design Space
Download file design #02 – Pop Up Cubes with Gift Box SVG from the Free Files Folder.
Upload the SVG Pop-Up Cube to Design Space. (Here’s a quick tutorial if you need help with that.)
Insert it into your project; then Ungroup it.
Select the cut line (as shown with the right arrow) and change it to a Score line (shown with the left arrow). Attach the score line and the shape below it, using the Attach button on the bottom of the screen.
It should look like the screenshot below.
Cut three to six of these. (Three is easier to make, but six fills the box nicely.)
Next, we’ll make the outside box.
Upload the Pop-Up-Cube-Gift-Box SVG. Insert it into the project; then Ungroup it.
Change the Cut lines into Score lines for both the outside of the box and the inside drawer. The pink rectangles will line the box and also make the drawer pull stronger.
The pieces should be Attached to the Score lines as shown below.
Cut and score on your choice of paper.
Assemble the cubes and box by using the photo tutorial and video above.
I hope you enjoyed making this cool gift from the free pop-up cubes template I created! I know your friend (or best friend or mom or dad or boyfriend or husband or girlfriend or wife) will love it when the cubes leap out of the box! 🥰
Do you want to sell handmade pop-up cubes?
Many crafters asked if they could create gift boxes with pop-up cubes to sell, so I’ve created a commercial use license.
Click on the product for more details.
Ready to download the free SVG or printable? Head over to the 📂 Free Files Folder and enter the ✨ magic word. ✨ (If you don’t have the magic word, just fill in the form below first.)
Save this for later by pinning on Pinterest!
Looking for more DIY projects for your cutting machine? Try these!
This looks SO fun, can’t wait to try it! Thank you~
Please share when you do try it!
OMG love it!!!
Thanks! I love it too. The look when when someone opens it is so much fun. I’d love to see your version.
Kay Blanton says
These are so fun! Can’t wait to make one for my granddaughter. Do you need double sided paper for the boxes? What are the extra triangles for? I see where you used the 4 that are with the box but there are 4 more and I don’t see where you used them.
Nope, the paper doesn’t need to be double sided because one side is always in. That’s just what I had on hand. I put the extra triangles on just in case you want to have 4 triangles on top instead of the two. It’s up to you.
I was wondering what the sizing is for cricut is the svg already to size or so I need to change them once uploaded into design space?
It is the correct size if you are using 12×12 inch paper.
If you are using A4 or letter-size cardstock, I believe that you need to make it just a little smaller.
im excited to make this for my son, but the password does not seem to work.
For some reason, occasionally you get an error message when you enter the password, even though it is correct.
If you go into “InCognito” or “InPrivate” mode and then enter the password, it will work.
Sorry for the hassle – I am working on a solution to this!
Thank you so Much! I am in the process of making them now. I only want to do one cube, do you know how I would shrink the box down to fit just one cube?
That’s a bit tricky!
You’d need to keep most of the dimensions of the box the same and just change the height. It would be possible to do with the box by just moving the score lines.
However, with the drawer…. you’d really need to redesign the entire drawer. The center rectangle would be the same, but the edges would be much smaller.
Unless you are a graphic designer, I recommended keeping it the same, no matter how many cubes you are using. 🙂
What weight paper do you use for your pop up boxes? I have some thin stuff, 80lb, even 120lb. What works best?
It sounds like your thinner stuff would be about right. Around 65 lb works quite well. The thick stuff doesn’t seem to spring out of the box as well.
Thank you for sharing this file. I making cards for some students and always look for something that will make them smile.
Hello je ne trouve pas le formulaire pour avoir le code
The code is in the email that you were just sent. It’s in the very last paragraph on the bottom. 🙂
size of photo will be
They are 2 inches square.
The sizing seems off on the svg? Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Can you please provide measurements.
For some reason, it comes in very small if you are using an iPad (as I mentioned in the post.) Originally, the length of the file is 11.5 inches.
Hi, This is lovely! Will i be able to use the Cricut Joy for this? Also, is there anyway I can get printed pictures on the cube instead of having to paste them?
The Cricut Joy can’t be used to make these cubes right now, as they are too big, and the Joy doesn’t score. You could download use the file to hand-cut the cubes, and use an image editing program to put your photos directly on the cubes. Then you could print it out and handcut.
I’m going to try it later today. Thank you!
love love this – thanks for sharing… i did one, but the rubber band seems too loose… what size rubber band did you use?? i have a bag of assorted sized….. i can just do trial and error but wondering if there is one that works best… thanks for sharing!!!
silly question – but cant fimd a good sized rubber band… some are too loose – some too tight…any suggestions???
It’s not a silly question at all! In the updated post with the pop-up cubes, I go into the research I did on the rubber band size that works for me.
Of the sizes I had from an assorted pack of rubber bands, the largest worked best. If I squish the band down into a line, it is 3 inches (80 mm) long. From my research, it seems that this is size #18, which is 80 mm long and 2 mm wide.
yay – thanks…. i ordered them from your affiliate link and they will come tomorrow
i appreciate it!!!!!!
Great! Please let me know how well they work!
I just tried it and I got the concept but the svg comes out really small on my iPad and I tried to resize it the cube came out fine but then the box was too small
What are the dimensions on the svg???
Hi Kim! Good question! The red wrapper on the box should be 11 inches wide (and of course the other pieces in the SVG are resized along with it.)
I’m not sure why this one SVG has issues on iPad. I just added the information about the box to the downloads folder too, so anyone downloading it should see the message.
Thank you so much for this!!! I was searching everywhere for a file like this.
I’m so glad you found it!
What type of sheets are used to do this
You can just use regular cardstock or scrapbook paper.
Cyndi Asher says
I made 6 of these with 6 cubes each for Christmas gift cards, After the cubes popped up the gift card was in the bottom. They were sooooo much fun to make. There was a minor issue though. If the recipient held the box in the middle on the sides to pull the drawer out the cubes got stuck and didn’t pop out. After they realized and held it at the back they popped out like they were supposed to, still fun!!!
This is super awesome! Thank you!!
You’re welcome! Share a photo of your version.
Heather Mercer-Rodriguez says
Made this for my mom’s birthday, can’t wait to see her face!
Thank you for the tutorial and the video. I’m cutting out the 6 jumping cubes but I don’t understand how to fold the handle of the box. Can you help me please? It is for a birthday !
See (in the step 3 image) the part that looks like two ovals? There are 4 score lines there. It’s easiest to make the rest of the drawer first. Then, fold one oval down so it’s at a 90 degree angle from the drawer. Fold the second oval under it. Half of it is glued under to create the tab, and the second half is glued to the outside of the drawer, creating a tiny shelf for the tab.
I hope this helps! I’ll put this post on my list to update; I realize I don’t have clear photos of each step.