originally published May 15, 2019
updated December 13, 2020
updated for Cricut Joy January 10, 2021
updated tutorial January 30, 2022
Learn to make an amazing Unicorn pop-up card with this step-by-step tutorial! Use the free SVG file if you have a Cricut or Silhouette, or use the printable PDF if you are hand cutting.
After attending several unicorn-themed birthday parties in early 2019, I created a magical unicorn pop-up card.
This will be the coolest, most unique card the birthday child receives – I promise!
It’s also a great card to lift the spirits of someone special.
“Have a magical day!” is my preferred greeting. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the different messages you can Print then Cut for the front of the card.) Click here for the full tutorial on how to use Print then Cut.
When the card opens, a glittering horn pops up, along with two different levels of flowers.
The Pop-Up Unicorn SVG file is also available as a printable PDF, so you don’t need a cutting machine to make it.
Kids can make this easy version of the pop-up birthday card.
It’s so simple – just print three pages on cardstock, and it’s ready for them to decorate, cut, and fold.
Follow along with the photo tutorial here.
To create the Unicorn pop-up card, you’ll need:
- the free SVG file – it’s design #40 – Unicorn Pop-Up Card SVG in the Free Files Folder
- for the sentiment on the front – design #67 – Birthday and Magical Sentiments located in the Free Files Folder
- (If you don’t have the password for the free files, fill in the form at the bottom of the page and it will be emailed to you.)
- cutting machine such as the Cricut Maker or the Explore Air
- scoring tool – either the scoring stylus or scoring wheel
- bone folder to crease on the score lines
- 65 lb. cardstock – my favorites are these bright colors from Recollections or the essential pack with 20 colors from Recollections – I used:
- – white for the base, ears and horn support
- – glitter for the horn and flower centers
- – light pink for the inner ears
- – black for the eyelashes
- – bright blue, blue, and purple for the flowers, mane, and outer card
* 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. *
If you are using the Cricut Joy:
Download SVG file #42 – Cricut Joy Unicorn Pop-Up Card SVG (available from the Free Files Folder; just sign up at the end of the post to get the magic word if you haven’t already).
In Design Space, you’ll need to change certain cut lines to Draw/Pen lines (instead of score lines as shown in the tutorial below.)
Then, after you cut it, you’ll use a bone folder to manually score on the DRAW lines.
Also, the SVG file for use with the Joy does not include the card base. (It’s too big for the Joy to cut.) You will need to use a blank premade card or hand-cut one.
How to use the free unicorn SVG in Cricut Design Space:
Download the SVG file #40 – Unicorn Pop-Up Card SVG from the Free Files Folder, then unzip it and upload it to your cutting machine’s software. (Read this tutorial if you need help uploading to Design Space.)
The first step is always to UnGroup the SVG file.
Next, select the four cut lines (as shown below). Hold down the Shift key and click each of the lines to select them at the same time.
From the Operation menu, select Score.
Now, click on the group that has the score line and cut piece (shown with the red arrow). Then click the Attach button.
Repeat this to Attach each score line to the cut piece under it.
Scroll down to the next pieces that need to be changed.
Next, select the five cut lines (as shown below with the red arrows). Hold down the Shift key and click each of the lines to select them at the same time.
From the Operation menu, select Score.
Now Attach each group as previously shown.
Your canvas should look similar to the screen shot below. The dotted lines are the score lines, and they each are attached to the cut piece below it.
Elements such as the hair, eyelashes, ears, and most of the flowers are individual pieces without score lines.
Hit the green Make It button. Cut everything out of 65 lb. cardstock.
How to assemble the Pop-Up Unicorn Card:
You should have the following pieces:
– an inner base
– a slightly larger outer base
– horn support
– support for the flowers pop-up
– two scored rectangles
– two ears, both with an inner and outer ear piece
– a horn
– two eyelashes
– three parts of the mane
– seven flowers (one is scored)
– seven flower centers (one is scored)
Use the bone folder to sharply crease the score lines in the middle of the colored outer card and the white inner card base.
Glue the white card inner to the outer card.
Use the bone folder to sharply crease score lines on both the back horn and the horn base. Also crease the tabs on the white horn base.
Apply glue to the back of the horn base.
Press the horn into the base, folding it in half as the glue dries. It needs to be folded in half inside the card later.
Glue the pink inner ears to the white outer ears.
Glue the ears to the base.
Apply glue to only the right tab of the horn base.
Fold the horn in half, and place the piece at an angle. Put the horn center exactly in the fold of the card.
Close the card and press the horn piece into the center fold of the card.
You’ll basically repeat this process for the other side.
Apply glue to the left tab.
Close the card to assure perfect alignment for the tab. Let it dry.
Tip: This piece is the most fiddly part and can easily be skipped for a quicker make!
Crease along the lines of the two rectangular pieces.
Apply glue to the top and bottom sections of the tab.
Glue the two sides of the card to the card base and the horn base. (The longest side should be facing away from the horn base.)
Open and close the card before the glue dries. The piece may need to be adjusted so that it moves when the card is both open and closed.
Repeat on the other side.
This is how it should look now. (If you skip this step, you’ll just glue the flowers onto the horn base instead of on these pop-out tabs.)
Glue the centers on the flowers.
The largest flower and center should be scored first. Open and close it while the glue is drying; this flower needs to be able to fold in half when the card is closed.
Crease along the tabs and center of the flower base.
Glue the largest flower in the middle of the little base, applying glue only on the bottom half of the flower.
Glue the two smaller flowers on the sides, again only gluing half of the flower to the base.
Use the same method as above (when you glued the horn base on.)
Apply glue to the right tab, fold the piece in half, and be sure the middle of the piece is in the center of the card when folded.
Apply glue to the left tab and fold the card shut.
You’ll have to kind of slide the piece into place around the horn when it’s half closed. Let the glue dry.
The rest of the card is really easy!
Lay out the hair and eyelashes.
Glue them into place after you’re happy with the positioning.
And… you’re done!
Now you have a fabulous pop-up unicorn card!
Messages for the front of the card:
Here are a few messages I created for the front of the card. You can use the Print then Cut feature on your Cricut Explore Air or Maker. (They are PNG files you upload to Design Space.)
These files are design #67 – Birthday and Magical Sentiments, available to download in the Free Files Folder.
Did you enjoy making the Magical Unicorn Pop-Up Card? The lucky recipient will love their special card!
Ready to download the project file? 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.)
Pin this unicorn pop-up card on Pinterest!
Hi, I would like to make this card but I only find the simple file and not the one with all the pieces to cut out. Is it possible to have it? Thanks
Hi Tiziana! The file is up in the Free Files Folder. Let me know if you have any questions about it!
It was a little more complicated than expected but turned out super cute! (Organizing and changes in Cricut Design Space was the hard part.)
Thanks for the feedback! I’ll review my steps and print-screens and try to make it a little more easy to follow. 🙂
Wanted to make a unicorn card for my granddaughter who is turning seven and this is perfect! Just I just wanted to say thank you! It came out beautiful!
Thanks for sharing,
Great!! I’m so happy that it came out beautifully for you. My daughter is also almost seven and I can assure you that most girls in that age range will LOVE the card. Thank you for taking the time to tell me. Happy Birthday to your granddaughter!
Gloria Brooks says
I have tried for 30 minutes to click on anything that would yield the mindcraft card. I have joined, I have the secret word, but nothing gives me the printable minecraft pattern. Can y ou please help me?
Click on the “Free Files” link in the menu across the top, then click on the link to log in. After you enter the magic word, you’ll see a list of projects. Scroll down near the bottom to find the Minecraft card. I’ll also email you better instructions.
Emily is SO AMAZING!!! I had some trouble getting the file to load into my app so I sent an email for assistance. Emily was EXTREMELY kind and so patient with me. I am forever grateful for her help. Once I was able to load the file, the cutting and assembly process was super smooth and THE CARD. OH MY GOODNESS!!! SO SO BEAUTIFUL. I literally can not say enough good things about it. After it was done I wanted to make more because it’s SO PRETTY!!! This is also the first card I’ve made using the Cricut. Looking forward to making more. Thank you SO MUCH Emily!!!
Wow… thanks for your kind words Jaye! I might have teared up a bit. 🤗
I made this card for my niece using pastel colors, It was sooo cute. I had put it in a larger envelope with a few gifts, but have a few questions… Do you have a pattern to make an envelope? I didn’t see anything. Also what kind of glue do you use or reccomend?
I made two today because I have two granddaughters that love unicorns and both have birthdays coming up.
I made this last night for my niece it is beautiful thank you- I made the front onto a shaker card with a unicorn on the front x
DeeDee Vaughn says
I just made the unicorn card and I love it! Are ya’ll writing on the inside?? It’s so cute I really don’t want to mess it up with words!!!! Thanks for any feed back!
DeeDee, I usually just write one thin line of text on either the bottom, or I turn the card and write it on the left side. I don’t like to cover the unicorn’s face with writing either. When I had a lot of text, I wrote it on the back of the card.
Nadine Lacroix says
I tried to get the free file for the Unicorn card but even with the pass word I did not get it. I will try again with a fresh look at the direction. I still managed to be able to get your letters and to follow you. Have a great day.
I’ve sent you an email with a screenshot of which link it is in the Free Files Folder. I know all of the different file names and links can be confusing!
Hi, I have downloaded files #40 #41 and #42 but none of them have the individual cut out files, just the simple file showing it all placed together.
Any help would be much appreciated, thank you.
File #40 is probably the one you want. Do you have a cutting machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette? The SVG file with all of the pieces is inside the ZIP file that you downloaded. Extract the SVG file and then upload it to the cutting machine that you are using. Just by previewing it on your computer, you won’t be able to tell that they are in multiple pieces, but when it is uploaded – it pulls in correctly.
Thank you so much for sharing your creative talent, Emily. I’m making the pop up unicorn card for my soon to be 4-yr old granddaughter. She’ll love it! One suggestion would be to do the vid in real time. I had to keep stopping to check assembly.
Also, this little missy’s brother will be 6 and is obsessed with dinosaurs. Your dinosaur trifold is great, but if you need something to work on, *g*, a dinosaur pop up similar to this would be wonderful. Their bdays are in July.
Thank you again.
Ohhhhh….. a pop-up dinosaur would be amazing!! I can’t make any promises, but I’m adding it to my idea list!
This looks so cute! I downloaded the file, but all the scoring lines come up as cutting lines. I’m using Cricut Design Space, and when I change the lines to score, they all come up separate on a different page than their images. How do I fix this?
Hi Christina! This happens when the score lines don’t get attached to the cut piece below them. (It’s super common to forget this step!) If you look at the screenshot below step #2, you’ll see red boxes that indicate which lines should be attached. Here’s the image directly: https://i2.wp.com/www.minordiy.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-Instructions.jpg?ssl=1
To attach: Click on the layers (in the list on the right side of the screen) and hold down the command key to select multiple layers. Then, click on the paperclip with the word “Attach” above it.
I’m sorry the directions aren’t super-clear on this point. I’ll try to update it! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Ellen E. Criss says
This all made sense except for the scoring. I was not prompted to use a scoring tool in either A or B, and needed to score by hand – which wasn’t the end of the world, but not what was intended I’m sure. Mat 10 looked like it should score, but it cut….
Hi Ellen! I made the tutorial during the short time Cricut was letting us designers designate score lines in our files. So the tutorial isn’t totally correct anymore. It is on my list to fix it and make a new YouTube video about it. When it’s finished, I will email everyone letting you know that it’s better now. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for sharing this card and your gifts!! It turned out beautifully and is sure to wow!
You’re welcome!! This card is super-popular; it is a lot of fun to give.
When I tried to open the pdf link it shows errors can you assist me?
Hi Crystal! It seems that the bottom link was going to an old page. It’s working now. Thanks so much for letting me know!