8-bit popup cards

Hello! Remember that pixel heart card I made a while back? Well it has been one of my most popular tutorials to date so I thought I would add another few designs to the collection. Meet ‘space-invader popup’ and ‘skull popup':

8-bit popup cards

Like the heart card, they are really minimal (which I just love) and easy to make once you have got the hang of it.

8-bit popup cards

You definitely need a craft knife (and a steady hand) to make these cards this project is only really suitable for adults or teenagers.

8-bit popup cards

8-bit popup cards

8-bit popup cards

If you want to have a go at making them you will find full instructions and downloadable templates after the jump.


Suitable for: Teenagers & grown ups
Card size: 8.5cm x 6.5cm
Envelope size: 9cm x 7cm

8-bit popup cards

You will need:
♥ Paper
♥ Craft knife
♥ Ruler (preferably a metal one)
♥ Cutting mat (optional)
♥ Needle (or compass point) for scoring

1. Download the card and envelope templates and print out (I used paper rather than card). Using some scissors trim around the edge of the template.
Space invader template
Skull template
Envelope template

Then cut and score along the correct lines on the template (see diagrams below for more guidance). Do ensure that you cut and score as accurately as you can. (I use a needle and ruler for scoring).

2. As you (slowly) fold the card in half the space invader, or skull, should begin to pop-out. This is the trickiest step so make sure you take your time. If the shape does not automatically pop out you can use a toothpick (or something similar) to ease the shape out as you are folding. When your card is shut smooth down.

If you are having problems with this step refer to the heart popup card tutorial for a more in-depth explanation.

3. Cut out the outer card and glue/tape popup insert inside. I kept mine plain (I like the minimal look! but you can use patterned paper if you fancy it).

4. Cut out your envelope template

5. Pop card inside

6. Stick down!

If you have any questions then do ask (leave a comment below).

8-bit popup cards

8-bit popup cards

8-bit popup cards
More 8-bit goodies

My older brothers used to have a ZX Spectrum (I would have been about 8 at the time) and occasionally i was allowed to have a go on Jet Set Willy which I l-o-v-e-d. I was thrilled to find a version that you can play online here. Yay!

Dafont has a whole collection of free pixel fonts. Including a great pixel invaders font!


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103 Comments Leave yours

  1. Kathleen Devlin #

    Lovely cards . So hard to find one for my nephews. Perfect
    Thank you for the tutorial .

  2. Alice #

    Lovely cards! I’ll do those in a seconds, thank you for the tutorial! <3

  3. Both are perfect!! Thank you! Love the colors too

    • Kate #

      Thanks Angeles, love your bracelets btw…very pretty ^_^

  4. AAAAAAAHHHH! These are even more awesome than the 8 bit heart!!!!!! I just can’t express how FREAKING AWESOME these are. I’m totally making these. TONIGHT. (If you get a sec, I’d love it if you’d share on http://saynotsweetanne.com/2012/sweet-sharing-monday-3/ – because that way I can segway into raving about your projects on my blog =D

  5. I love these! Definitely going to give them a try. I did a pop-up card course a few months ago and it takes patience, but I think these are worth the effort :) x

  6. Hola! me encanta como te ha quedado, muchas gracias por compartirlo! :)
    Yo ya hice el mio y lo puse en mi blog :)
    Hi! awesome work, it’s beautiful, thanks for sharing
    I have already done mine and it’s on my blog ;D


    • Kate #

      Hi Gallentitaa,

      They look fantastic…well done you. (Great also that you managed without a printer). I spotted the error in the template (thanks to Helen) and have adjusted it.

      Cheerio for now
      Kate ^_^

  7. Anne Laure #


    Hi just wanted to leave you a quick message to say I love your blog!

    I’ve been reading it for a while now and keep being amazed by all your wonderfully creative and colourful ideas. Plus, I have two young boys, too, and this place is just a goldmine to keep them occupied and creative!

    I’ve just spent waaay to much time going through your old posts and realized I never left you a message to thank you for everything you do and for bringing color in my life (cherry on the cake, everything is sooo affordable!)

    Thank you very much again,
    Love from France xoxo

    • Kate #

      Hello Anne…thank you for such a lovely comment. It brightened my day.

      Love back to France

  8. Helen #

    These are AMAZING. FYI – There is a small error in the template for the space invader – some of the green lines around the legs should be red. Thanks so much for this tutorial :)

    • Kate #

      eeeek! Thanks Helen…all sorted now!

  9. Lovely! I must try it at once. These cards are perfect for my son’s birthday.

  10. These are seriously cool! So says my big boy, standing at my side. I agree wholeheartedly.

  11. Danielle Marie #

    I totally made an 8-bit heart card today so I wanted to try these out but I downloaded the skull pattern and there seems to be a problem with the template. Could you email me a PDF of it without a huge box right through the middle of the pattern?



    • Kate #

      Hi Danielle,

      The pdf I have is exactly the same as the one on the site…so I don’t think emailing it would fix the problem. Try saving it to your hard-drive first and see if that sorts it. Kate ^_^

  12. I totally made some cards tonight. They turned out so freaking awesome!

    • Kate #

      Yay Danielle…they look ace ^_^

      Love the writing too…:)

  13. Thanks a lot, those cards are great!

  14. Hi, I only found your site because you linked to my remake of Jet Set Willy – I’m glad you liked it! These cards are amazing! I hope I can try making one of these out for myself one day!

    • Kate #

      Thanks Matt…yeah…loved the remake….bought back memories! I never really got into the newer computer games….I do love the old-school ones though…

  15. Hey Kate, these popup cards are so lovely. I’ve made some for my son’s birthday, here:
    thanks for sharing.

    • Kate #

      Yay Yamayka. Your cards look ace….^_^

  16. ohhellnah #

    what kind of utility knife is used for this project? oh, it is DEVINE.

  17. Ooooh, these are fab! My other half is a bit obsessed with space invaders so I will definately be giving these a go! Thank you.

  18. Hi Kate,

    This is really awesome tutorial. Featured at my site at http://www.theddi.com/resources/8-bit-popup-cards/

    • Kate #

      Thanks Voislav ^_^

  19. Emma Atkinson #

    Brilliant, absolutely love it! Saw this link on NOTCOT, will be making them all. ;-D

    • Kate #

      Yeah…thanks Emma

  20. Jade #

    Amazing! Any chance of a Pacman ghost one?

  21. Tash #

    Awesome! Love love love ♥

  22. THANK YOU!! I’ve just made a space invader and a heart for my nephew and niece’s birthdays (they are both this week) They know of the old 80s video games through their mother and I. They are going to love them!

    • Kate #

      Yay…glad it went well Keeg!

  23. Alberto #

    Well done! These are minimal and wonderful, just like the 8bit tech they pay homage to. Thank you so much for this; I will be sure to save this page and use them soon!

  24. very cool work!

    greetings, jenny

  25. really great, will be nice if you can ad some more, like a mario or other 8 bits characters.

  26. My version has the space invader on the upright part rather than the flat of the card. :)

    • Kate #

      yay…thanks for pointing me to your version Carol…you managed to figure out the little antennae too which is cool. I was scratching my head about that one.

  27. Epsilon Wolf has Pacman ghost.

  28. Maria #

    These were pretty and not too hard to do, althought the process of folding out the “invader” was a bit tough for a first timer at pop up cards.

  29. Just finished the “space invader” one for my father’s birthday! I’ll publish the pictures on my blog on sunday. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

    • Kate #

      Hi Miliezebomb. i just popped over to your blog…your card looks great. Hope your Dad like it. Kate ^_^

  30. Your work is amazing, I love every post and every idea you share!!!

  31. Jubilous #

    Thanks for posting these – have just made some and they turned out great! What program do you use to design the templates?


    • Kate #

      Hi Jubilous…I use adobe illustrator :)

  32. This is an EXCELLENT IDEA! You’re soooo talented! Thanks for sharing this awesome craft :D <3

  33. Sofia #

    Muito obrigado pelas informações me ajudou muito
    E acho tudo lindo e muito criativo

    • Kate #

      Obrigado Sofia ^_^

  34. EMILY #

    Hi Kate,

    This was to make sure you know i TOTALLY ENJOY reading this website.

    I made so many cards for my friends using your website and OMG they like the cards SO MUCH!!
    Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful crafts.
    Please put more!! Thanks again for sharing

    • Kate #

      Thanks for the kind comments Emily…its the summer holidays here at the moment so production is pretty low at the moment ;-) Both my boys will be in school from September so the blog will be much more active then ^_^

  35. JUST AWESOME! I have to do the skull thing right now, can’t wait for the next occasion :-)

    • Kate #

      Yay…hope it goes well Erika x

  36. Oh, this is cool, I wil definitely give it a go! Love your website, full of fun ideas!

  37. I made one, too – so much fun, thanks!

  38. Kevin #

    not cool. i have red-green colour blindness

    • Kate #

      if you want me to send some ‘colour blind friendly templates’ to your email address let me know

  39. Claire #

    Do you think you could possibly do a Star Wars template?

    • Kate #

      I think the success of these cards lies in the simplicity. I cant think of any simple star wars motif that would lend itself to this kind of design. If you have any ideas do let me know ^_^

  40. LOVELY <3 <3 <3
    check if you want what i do with space invaders…i simply LOVE them

  41. linnea #

    i tried it and i loved it!

  42. dario #

    Hi !
    I had a very great time doing this!!! thanks from Italy – dario

  43. Hi! I’ve had these saved in my craftgawker favourites for AGES waiting for my boyfriend and brother’s birthdays! They are brilliant thanks so much. I have put them on our blog and linked the whole thing back to you!

    Thanks again! xx

  44. melt #

    Ohhh thanks so much!! This Tutorial saved my Life ;)) We are planning a Birthday Party for my son at the LEGO Discovery Center . I looked for cards that matched this idea. So found your cards!!! So Perfect!!! Did them in all Kinds of colors . And the envelopes were “sealed” by a Little LEGO Stone instead of washi Tape . I just glued it like a wax seal….;))) they Look so Great .
    Thx a Million from Berlin , Germany ….

    • Kate #

      Yay…sounds great. Glad you had success with the templates. Waves to Germany ^_^

  45. Hey there! I ended up featuring this on my blog, The Crafty Nerd, as part of my craft roundup for the week! I absolutely love crafts like these – I did something similar in art class in high school, making pop-up cards with cardstock and a craft knife, but never thought to do 8-bit designs with them! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! (And you can find the blog post where I featured the cards here: http://www.thecraftynerd.com/2013/06/07/beths-craft-picks-of-the-week-6713/)

    • Kate #

      Thanks Beth….sorry for the s-l-o-w reply. Kate ^_^

    • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but
      after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…

      well I’m not writing all that over again.
      Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

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  48. elio #

    hello, your cards are beautiful, could you do the format for a heart? I can not figure out how to get it up (pop-up in short) thanks ^ ^

  49. Your website is so awesome! Thank you for you great ideas! I would love to see you do something on minecraft cards since you are great at 8bit. I am going to make mine craft halloween costume for one of my sons and also looking to make some printables on minecraft for their school party and I hope to post them on my blog. Great post.



  50. Lulu #

    Amazing! Any change of a printable pop up pac man ghost template? :)

  51. Angi #

    I shortly discovered your pixel christmas cards and love them!! Now I ask myself if it was possible for you to design a new baby card, for some friends of mine will become parents soon? that would be so great :-)) Greetings from Landshut, Germany!

  52. Your style is really unique compared to other people I’ve read
    stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book
    mark this blog.

  53. Naomi #

    Wow I loooove this card!!
    I have been looking for such creative cool pop up card!!
    Your idea is amazing! XD
    Naomi @Japan

  54. Lavina #

    These look so cool I can’t wait to try them!

  55. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a great article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  56. Lez #

    HI there!
    your pop-up are really awesome!fresh, cool!Really good post, great work! I made them for my friends and they were just..so pleased!Some people ask me if i can do them for a charity event to earn some money, but i was wondering about your copyright and stuff!
    greetings from Italy! ^_^

    • Kate #

      Hi Lez,

      Of course…that’s fine ^_^

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  66. Jinal Patel #

    I just love these! I always want to make gifts and cards and things more personal, and I have since found that simple ones do the trick:) That makes these designs (especially the space invader) ideal. If you have any other ideas for cards like these that would be even better!

    Thank you so much for the designs:D

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  68. rene #

    I’ve just made the pixel heart card, and tomorrow I’m trying these! Thank you for the inspiration and for the designs :)

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  71. Wen #

    Hi I’m trying to do this ? And I’m wondering what scoring mean ? Thanks ^_^

    • Aidan #

      It means to cut or scratch a notch or line on (a surface).

  72. Aidan #

    So cool! Just finished the skull! Thanks!

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