published 27 April 2019
updated 6 February 2022
updated 6 May 2023
This amazing gift is the perfect DIY any time you want a fun gift. The recipient will gasp in surprise when they slide open the gift box and the pop-up cubes jump out!
I originally made these for a mother’s day gift.
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. 😍
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 fold everything, how to use the rubber band, and how to glue everything together.
To make these DIY pop-up cubes and box, you’ll need:
- Either the SVG pattern (design #02 – Best 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, 65 lb. card stock if you are using the SVG
or nine pieces of A4 or letter-sized card stock if you are hand cutting
- A way to cut and score the cardstock – I use a Cricut
- Six rubber bands (read the tutorial for tips on finding just the right size)
- Glue; my two favorites are Bearly Art Precision Crafting Glue and Beacon’s 3-in-1 Advanced Crafting 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 best for the cubes?
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.
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.)
Add it to the canvas; then Ungroup it.
To adjust the drawer in Design Space
For the drawer and tab – change the layers to Score as shown below.
Select each group and click Attach as shown below.
For the drawer wrapper – Do the same thing. Change one layer to Score and Attach to the cut piece below.
Your project should look like this now.
Cut the drawer and wrapper out of 110 lb. cardstock if possible. (The light blue pieces in the SVG.)
The decorative pieces (the dark blue) can be cut from whatever you like.
To assemble the drawer
Glue the back tabs to the outside of the drawer.
Glue the front tabs to the inside of the drawer.
Fold the tab so that the middle forms a peak and the tabs are flat against the tab. Apply glue to the tabs.
Slide the tab through the drawer to create the handle.
Glue on the decorative pieces.
Glue on the bottom of the drawer.
For the wrapper, fold it so that the smaller side is on the bottom. It’s quite hard to tell which side is actually smaller, but the box will be slightly more square.
Glue the longer side on top of the smaller one.
To make the Pop-Up Cubes
Change the layer to Score as shown below.
Select the group and click Attach.
Duplicate the cube so that you have six total.
The purple triangles and squares are the decoration. Get creative with them however you like.
Each cube will just fit on a letter-sized piece of paper.
Cut the cubes out of 65-lb cardstock.
Use the Cardstock for Intricate Cuts material setting.
Tip: Cut out three cubes on one 12×24 mat to make it go quicker. (You’ll have to trim down the paper to do this.)
Be careful when you remove the cubes! The corners can easily stick and tear.
Flip over the mat. Use your scraper to hold the paper flat on the table while you roll the mat back slowly with the other hand.
Decorate the cubes.
Watch how to assemble the pop-up cubes on instagram
How to put together the pop-up cubes
This is the trickiest part! I’ve made a short video for you showing you exactly how to do it.
One question that I get a lot is “How do I know what rubber band to use?“
A quick way to judge the correct size is to hold it against the cube. The rubber band should be just a bit smaller than the cube.
Choose the slightly thicker one if you have the option. (Both will work, but the thicker one will have a bit more snap.)
Fold all of the cubes into the box and you’re finished!
Tip: Don’t keep the cubes in the box. They won’t pop out as dramatically. Store them outside of the box and then fold them in just before you use it.
Questions? Leave them in the comment section below!
Decorating the pop-up cubes:
It’s easiest to decorate the cubes after you’ve burnished along the score lines, but before you glue the cube together.
Draw, glue patterned cardstock, 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.
Glue the triangles onto the tops of the cubes for extra detail if you like.
Your gift is ready to delight and surprise!
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! 🥰
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!