Little boys usually seem to go through a dinosaur phase, and often they request a dinosaur birthday cake or party theme. They’ll love these pop-up origami dino invitations, and so will you because they are quite simple to make. Just follow our step-by-step folding and cutting instructions and they’ll be a roarrring success!
- Light green mid-weight card – roughly 17.5 x 25 cm (7 x 10 inches).
- Mid-green origami paper – 6 inches square (origami paper is sold in imperial sizes).
- Laser print of your invitation text.
- Craft knife.
- Metal ruler.
- Cutting mat.
- Black marker.
- Double-sided tape (or glue).
1. Design and Print Invitation Text
Create a document in the program of your choice with a page size of 6 inches square to match the size of your origami paper.
When laying out the text, position the main headline across the centre of the square, with the party details underneath.
When you’re happy with the design and wording, draw a box with a thin black line border around the outer edge of the page. This will be your trimming guide.
Cut the invitation out using a craft knife, metal ruler and cutting mat. Accurate cutting is essential to the success of the project.
2. Attach the Invitation to the Origami Paper
Turn the invitation over and apply double-sided tape around the edges, making sure that it runs very close to the edge of the paper.
Remove the paper backing from the tape and carefully line up the origami paper with the invitation paper. Press the papers together.
You could bypass these steps if you are able to source paper that’s green on one side and white on the other, and is suitable to use in your printer. In this case, you would print the invitation directly on to the white side of the paper before trimming it to a 6-inch square.
3. Fold the Base Shape
With the white side facing up, fold the paper in half diagonally to form a triangle. All folds need to be precise and sharp. To get a sharp fold, run your finger nail along it or use the back of a metal spoon.
Fold across the other diagonal and unfold.
Turn the paper over so the green side is facing up. Fold in half to form a rectangle. When folding, ensure that you fold along the vertical axis as shown in the photo below.
The paper will naturally form the triangular base shape if you gently push the sides in.
Press the triangle flat.
4. Create the Pop-Up
Fold in the two bottom edges of the top layer so the corners meet in the middle.
Turn the paper over, and repeat on the other side.
Unfold both sides.
Reverse-fold the sides.
Lift the left corner of the top layer, and fold the corner in and under the top layer. It will fold naturally along the lines you made in the previous step.
Repeat the reverse fold on the right corner, then flip the paper over and repeat on the remaining two corners. Your paper will now be a house shape.
Attach double-sided tape to the open edge on both the front and back of the house shape.
5. Make the Card
Cut the light green card stock to measure 15 x 9 cm (6 x 3.5 inches). Fold in half and open flat.
Position the pop-up piece as shown in the photo below. The point should be touching the fold and the bottom edge will be parallel to, and slightly in from, the bottom of the card.
Remove the paper from the double-sided tape on the back of the pop-up, then reposition the pop-up on the card and press it firmly in place.
Remove the paper from the double-sided tape on the front of the pop-up then close the card and press it firmly in place.
Open the card and check out your handiwork.
6. Add the Spikes
Cut a piece of light green card measuring 5 x 15cm (2 x 6 inches) and add a piece of double-sided tape along one long edge.
Cut triangle shapes into the edge of the card that doesn’t have tape on it.
Remove the paper from the tape and attach the spikes to the back of the card, along the spine.
6. Add the Eyes
Cut two circles out of the scrap white paper and draw on back eyes.
Attach the eyes inside the card with double-sided tape.
Pop the Invitations in the Post
Well done, you’ve now completed your first pop-up dinosaur invitation. You’ve learnt some new origami folds and how to make a fun pop-up effect with paper.
It will be easier and more time-efficient to make the invitations in a production line – for example, make all the spikes together, followed by all the eyes, etc. To get the birthday boy – or girl – involved, get them to draw big spots on the outside of the card and colour in the eyes.
Buy some bright envelopes and you’re all set… now for the cake!
Let us know if you liked this tutorial in the comments below.
Want to make more things with paper? How about a woven paper artwork?