Craft activity, Valentine pop-up dog

To begin we must buy for ourselves or our kids or our grandchildren a package of 110 LB card stock. I bought mine at Sam's Club for $7.00 or $8.00 a package of 250 sheets. The size of a regular ream. I usually buy four reams at a time because I go through this stuff like mad.

Amazon is more expensive. It gets more expensive still and I'm interested in the other types to find out about the differences if any.

Before beginning I want to relate a quick story. Anecdote alert. At age of beginning school my dad came home with a box of paper that was mis-cut for its purpose on the airbase. An expensive mistake. Instead of trashing the whole box dad brought the paper home and gave it to me. It was a full box of like five reams of wrongly cut paper, an incalculable treasure to a 5 year old. When I ran out of ideas of things to draw I asked my parents, "What should I draw next? What should I draw next? What should I draw next? What should I draw next?" I became an aggravation to both of them. They began critiquing the pictures instead of generating new ideas so I'd go back and improve them, going back and forth driving both parents insane until the box of paper was gone. That paper was the best gift I could have received. Ever. It didn't matter to me that the size of each sheet was not standard. That was meaningless to me.

Instead of a toy, buy a gift of a ream of card stock and a set of markers. Let them do whatever they wish. Blank canvas. It really does make an incredible gift.

This card is intended for Valentines day. It is not addressed to anyone in particular. The recipient can repurpose the card if they choose.

Now, you may think you're no good at expressing sentiments. Allow me to assist. Take a moment to think what you feel about this person in the most basic terms. Say, as if you were explaining your feelings to a child. Avoid poetry, avoid intellectualism, put aside everything smart and go thick, think basically, what do you feel?

I love you so hard …

I could …

Burst. Whatever.

The thing about cards is they don't have to be excellent. You're not marketing these. You're just expressing a simple sentiment, fixing it, making it physical. Even if it's stupid. Even if your art skill suck. Even if your art is at the level of a child. It will still work when you give your expression to someone you adore your card will contain and convey more than you know. You really do have no idea how these things affect people. They do. The sillier, the more naïve, the better.

The following is a long essay in photos in an attempt to avoid word descriptions. Our picture is a Valentine dog. We love you like a dog loves you.

Any basic pop-up book will show first how to do this simple jaw. 

Ours is a little more elaborate. Ours will have tabs to hold on the dog's muzzle and a pinch to help form it's shape. Whatever we do to our basic "V" shape, it must fold flat. 

I don't want the tabs to run the full length, so they're trimmed.

The point of the "V" fold for the dog's muzzle aligns with the central fold. We're finding where to place the tabs, we're determining the shape of the muzzle.

A slit is cut in the background for the tab. This is style choice. It can be glued on top. Once one slit is cut the slit can be used to find the opposite line by closing the card and drawing through the slit. 

The bottom muzzle is a different shape, a different angle and a different size. All this is determined by trial and error.

Instead of settling for a pinch, the extra paper is removed. Snipped through the center and glued together. A new fold added so that the muzzle can fold flat.

Now for the bone that the dog is holding in its mouth.

The extra double piece is measuring the height of the bone from the background card. The bone will be a pop-up table inside the dog's mouth. We need three legs for the table. The legs will be paper I-beams arranged parallel with the central fold inside the dog's mouth.

ERROR! Bone is too long. It sticks out on one side. The bone must be shortened on one side before that side is glued. Good thing we caught this.

Middle glued, two sides not glued. ↑

Two sides glued. ↓

Dog scribbled on background in gray.

Black added.

Matt covers are provided. These are precut here at home from regular size matt board. There is a pile of these black pieces. In lieu of this matt board then any type of cardboard will work. Even another page of card stock will work for a cover. This is a style choice.

Bookbinding tape comes on a roll. Usually I use black, but this white is left over. It works for demonstration purpose. The tape allows the card to open completely as a book.

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