Monday, 9 April 2018

Floral Mini-Album Pt 6 Page 5–Piano Keyboard Pop-Up

Recently I made a new mini-album, about my mum who died in December. I was unable to publish anything about this until now because it is a present for her best friend, who sometimes visits my blog, and I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I wrote a series of blog posts as I did each stage of the project, so I didn’t forget what I did, and they will be published in sequence now the project is finished and has been given to our friend.

If you want to see the finished project, please click here.

For the music spread in the mini-album, I have created a piano keyboard pop-up. This is a revamped version of the one in a birthday card I made for Dad back in 2010 – my goodness, was that really 7 years ago? That was the year I started this blog!

There were one or two things I wasn’t quite happy about with the original, notably the fact that the white keys were too short. I had to redesign the template anyway, to fit the page in the mini-album, so I corrected this in the new template.

Here it is at the planning stage. The album page is on the left, and the mock-up of the keyboard is on the right. The middle piece is marked with measurements and folds, to try and get the keyboard profile correct.

045 Page 5 Planning Keyboard Pop-Up

The template I finally came up with.

046 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up - Template and Beginning to Fold

On the right in this picture, you can see the piece I have cut, with a bamboo skewer woven through it. I have found that this is the easiest way to get the pop-up folds started. It’s really hard to get the folding started because it is completely flat at this stage, and you need to fold quite small pieces individually, without creasing the rest. It helps to score the fold-lines first, of course.

In the next photo, you can see that the folds are beginning to be established.

047 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up - Template and Folding

I opened and closed it gently, a very little distance at first, and increasing until it folded flat, to establish the folds. It becomes a lot easier to complete the fold once you reach this stage, and once you can fold the pop-up right over, it is a simple matter to burnish the folds with a bone folder, to establish the shape.

The white keys on the keyboard are a solid piece, and you need to draw lines between them to indicate their shape. I did this with one of my Zentangle drawing pens (permanent, archival).

049 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up - Drawing the White Keys

The next step was to paint the black keys, using black acrylic paint. This was a really fiddly job, and on several occasions I accidentally touched the brush onto the back piece, but it was a simple matter to touch up these blemishes with a bit of white acrylic paint afterwards. It might have been easier to do this before I began folding the piece.

050 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up - Black Keys Painted

The pop-up mounted on the mini-album page.

051 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up Mounted

A success! This took a long time to do, but it was such fun in the making. I want this mini-album to be as interactive a possible, and also to contain some fun surprises.

The difficulty with designing the keyboard template was to determine where on the pop-up the fold of the album flap will be. If you don’t get this right, the pop-up won’t fold correctly and will get damaged. Also, the way it folds flat when the flap is closed, is that the keys are pushed forwards and collapsed, and it is important that they don’t project beyond the card flap. I did a bit of trial and error to get this right. The final potential problem with this particular pop-up was that in order to get a nice symmetrical order of keys (and I think 2, 3, 2 black keys as I have done gives a nice balanced effect and also leaves one in no doubt as to what it is supposed to be), you need a white key at either side, and to fit it into the space, I was left with a very narrow margin on each side for gluing the pop-up in place. However, it worked OK, but it needed fairly careful handling, particularly at the early folding stage, in order to avoid tearing it.

The next day, I added the text (a quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night) and lightly distressed the edges of the white card, carefully avoiding the white keys, using Hickory Smoke and Broken China distress inks. Again, with a bit of forethought, I might have found this easier to do before folding and installing the piece, because I could easily have masked off the areas I didn’t want distressed.

I also added a few random floating music notes along the front piece, to fill the blank space.

052 Page 5 Keyboard Pop-Up Complete with Text

To complete the basic structure of page 5, I added a belly band above the pop-up. I will make a tag or an envelope to slip behind this, and the top of the pop-up flap will serve to prevent it from dropping out. (Note added later: This proved to be inadequate – the tag kept falling out, so it needed extra measures to keep it in place. More will be revealed in a future post.)

053 Page 5 Belly Bands

I have always been fascinated by pop-ups, since I was a small child. There is something quite magical about a 3-D structure made of flimsy paper, that looks quite solid, and which folds completely flat. When I first started making them, I found that there are just a few basic types of pop-up and once you’ve got the basic structure, you can make each one appear completely different. The keyboard pop-up is an adaptation of a simple box pop-up. These are very useful because you can stick pieces of card onto the vertical surface of the box(es), extending upwards, such as letters spelling a word, for instance, “Happy Birthday.” This would look completely different from, say, a scene with trees and a house, but they could both be made from the same pop-up mechanism.

The plan is to add another pop-up of a different type, towards the end of the album.

1 comment:

  1. It's lovely to see the progression of your mini album Shoshi. I love the keyboard pop up, it's genius - so perfectly done!


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