PCS Tutorial Videos


Today’s post is definitely a technical post… nothing cute, nothing whimsical, nothing Pinterest-worthy here! lol But I still hope this post will be a valued one!

In the last post I made on February 12, I showed off a popup card I made for a swap. While I received a lot of nice comments from readers here and from my local card-swapping friends, it was apparent that most of you had missed my link to a video I made for designing single word cards in the new Popup Card Studio! (That was my fault for having a subtle link that said click here. lol)

So, to be a little more bold this time, I’m going to re-announce that first video by giving it a line of its own:

Free Video for Designing a Simple One Word Popup Card

AND… for today’s post, I put together a sequel which shows how to add a second word to the same card design:

Free Video for Designing a Two Line Popup Card

Now at this point, I want to share a list for those of you new to PCS. This is kind of like a list of reminders about what you’re most likely to forget to do when working with this fun and powerful design program:

  • Hold down the D key when clicking on shapes that might not be on the current plane. This is how you select them. If you need them on a different plane then click on the icon at the top to Cut them to the Clipboard, go to the new plane, and then click to Paste them onto that plane.


  • When you find you’re unable to select anything (and you ARE holding down the D key), you are probably in the wrong mode! I often do this! I’m still in the Text mode or I’m still in the Bezier mode! Click on the Arrow icon on the left side to return to the Selection mode.


  • Certain functions work better if you have the right Snap selection. If you need to use the Crop Tool or Resize shapes or Move shapes, make sure Snap is really low… as in 1/256. If you need to use the Bezier tool to create those really cool two point rectangles, make sure you’re using a higher Snap, such as 1/8″.


  • Before adding two point rectangles, you need the shapes to have flat horizontal lines so that those all-important mountain or valley fold lines will be automatically added. The Crop tool makes this simple to do! Just pick either external or internal and then marquee select what you need to exclude or include from the selected shape.


  • Also, before adding those two point rectangles, make sure you’ve aligned your shape to the bottom plane! Simply select it and then click on the appropriate icon under Align and Distribute (it’s the middle icon in the second row). Also, there’s a left-to-right centering icon you might want to use just to the left of this bottom alignment function.


  • File>Print Preview will save you time and headaches! Use this function often to make sure you see those needed dashed lines indicating that you have shapes and two point rectangles properly positioned.


  • Remember that if you’re more comfortable editing in MTC, then do that! Just use File>Export>Project Rendering>As SVG File to save your project in a format that will then import into MTC. Once imported, RIGHT click on the Layer Bar thumbnail and select To Each Its Own. The Cut Lines, Mountain, and Valley folds will be put onto their own layers. You can then use the node editing tools, such as Knife, Erase, and Bezier to further perfect the design.


  • Just like with ANYTHING, don’t get frustrated, get help! My knowledge increases as I am forced to research PCS AND answer questions. Please don’t hesitate to challenge me. Of course, I may end up simply referring you to Susan Bluerobot’s videos! lol But I do enjoy helping and I do benefit from being asked questions! So go for it!

If you’d like to try out the demo version of PCS:
Demo Version (scroll to the bottom to find a link for the trial version).

If you decide to buy PCS use this link and remember that your MTC registration code saves you 15%!):

Buy PCS Here!

Stick Your Neck Out with a Popup Card

I recently participated in a card swap in which the theme for the card was animals.  At the time I signed up, Popup Card Studio had not been released but I had already decided that the card I would make was going to be a popup card.  A dear friend had given me a gift of a wonderful book on creating popups and I was determined to learn to use some of the knowledge in the book.  When PCS was released, I revised my plan for the card to include my original popup idea plus a second popup element created in PCS.

This was the finished card incorporating both types of popup.  When the card is closed the giraffe’s head and neck are hidden inside.



Materials Used:

Photo paper – glossy and matte finish

Giraffe print scrapbook paper


1/4″ double sided adhesive tape


15″ KNK Maxx Air

Various cardstocks:  Blades – KNK Standard Blade (red cap) or Thick Material Blade (blue cap) depending on thickness and density of cardstock.  Force:  60 – 80, Speed:  70 – 100, One or two passes depending on cardstock, Offset – as appropriate for blade (red cap – 0.35, blue cap – 0.75), Blade holder height – 25 PIN

Glossy photo paper – (Heavy):  Blade – Thick Material Blade (blue cap), Force – 80, Speed –  70, 2 passes, Offset – 0.75, Blade holder height – 25 PIN

Matte photo paper – (Thin):  Blade – KNK Standard Blade (red cap), Force – 50, Speed – 100, Single pass, Offset – 0.35, Blade holder height – 25 PIN


After spending quite a bit of time searching the Internet for pictures of giraffes, I finally settled on the two shown in the photos of the card above.  I opened the pictures in the Adobe Photoshop Elements software and removed the background except for the area of grass under the standing giraffe.  Since I wasn’t going to cut the picture of the giraffe head, I was able to print the photo for the card front directly from the Adobe Photoshop Elements software onto the glossy photo paper.  The photo was then trimmed, matted with giraffe print scrapbook paper and adhered to the front of the dark blue cardstock card.

The cleaned-up standing giraffe image was saved as a PNG format file to maintain the transparent background.  The PNG image was Pixel Traced in Make the Cut as an object with Texture to keep the graphic.  I decided where I would separate the giraffe and used the Eraser Tool in the Node Editing Toolbar to separate the image into two parts.  Because I wanted the two pieces of the giraffe to overlap when his head was popped up, I duplicated the whole image and made differently placed eraser lines in each image.  I discarded one portion of each image keeping the longer head piece and the taller body piece.

A graphic file was created using the body portion of the standing giraffe and a pale blue background so I could use the MTC software’s Print and Cut feature for the inside of the card.  The whole inside of the card is a PNC image.

The body portion of the giraffe was copied in MTC and pasted into PCS.  To create the flat edges needed for a successful attachment to the card sides, the image was rotated and cropped.  The height measurement of the cropped image was noted and the image was cut from the screen.  The plane was then relocated to a measurement that was one half of the height of the giraffe body image and the previously cut image pasted onto that plane making sure it was even with the left side of the card and the bottom of the plane.  The Fold feature of PCS was used to fold the giraffe body in half and attach it to the card.  The Print Preview feature was used to check that the body would be centered on the card and that the fold lines were in place.  The file was then Exported as an SVG format file.

The exported SVG file from PCS was imported into MTC, the graphic of the giraffe body and blue background was added as a Texture to the imported file and saved as an MTC file.  Options were set in MTC to be able to use the file in a Print and Cut operation.  The inside of the card was printed on the matte photo paper and then cut using MTC.  Score lines were added by hand.

The giraffe head image was duplicated and printed and cut using MTC in a second PNC operation.  Since the matte photo paper is thin, a shaped piece of cardstock was cut to be glued to the back of the giraffe’s neck to provide extra support for that piece.

The popup mechanism for the neck and head was designed in the KNK Studio software and several prototypes cut and tested before the design was finalized.  During that process, I decided that using cardstock for that mechanism was not what I wanted because the test ones did not hold up to the repeated folding and unfolding.  I determined that the glossy photo paper was more durable and used it to cut that element of the card.  I also modified the edges of that popup mechanism to fit the contours of the pieces attached to it and it’s placement on the card.

The heart sign around the giraffe’s neck is three layered cardstock hearts that were created in the KNK Studio software.  The heart shape began as a square turned 45 degrees so it sat on a point.  Two of the sides were pulled into outward curves to create the top of the heart.  The shape was resized to provide three different sizes.  The middle size heart was modified using a small circle and the Transform/Fit Object to Path and Weld functions to create a scalloped edge.  The smallest heart was copied into MTC and a graphic file with text added as Texture.  It was then duplicated, printed, and cut as a third PNC operation for the card.  The ends of a length of heavy thread were glued to the back of the layered hearts to create a sign that would hang from the giraffe’s neck.

The little sign hanging form the giraffe’s neck makes it a Valentine card.  However, with some minor modifications, the card could be used for many different occasions.  A note included with the cards for the swap suggested replacing the heart sign with one reading “Happy Birthday!” and adding wording inside the card such as “Seriously???  39 Again this year???”.  I’m sure you can imagine other wording for other occasions that would follow the lead-in on the front of the card.

A custom envelope was created for the card and lined with the border portion of the giraffe print scrapbook paper used on the card front.


If you want to create a similar card and cannot find, or would prefer not to use photographic images, cartoon or coloring book or line art giraffe images would work as well.  Each different image would need to have custom PCS files, MTC files, and popup mechanisms created for it.

The heart sign around the giraffe’s neck could be used and resized, if desired, to create simple Valentine cards or signs to hang around in unexpected places for your loved ones to find on Valentine’s Day or with loving messages for any time of the year.  The sayings found on the Valentine candy hearts would be fun to use on the signs.

Files for the heart signs and the envelope with the liner are available for download in KNK, MTC, & SVG formats in the following links.

Layered Heart Cut Files_JudyKay

Envelope 5×7 wLiner Cut Files_JudyKay

My First Card Using Popup Card Studio

Know who’s MY new BFF? A software program called Popup Card Studio! If you’ve been following Team KNK the past few weeks, you’ve seen some of the cool cards created by our Team KNK designers. I’ve also been “playing around” with PCS during my spare time and have just been amazed by the features of this new program. It removes so much of the trial and error designing and has allowed me to really step up my popups!

For anyone interested in making popup cards, this IS the tool to have! With so many features AND so many videos being released every week, learning to design a popup card has never been easier! If you’d like to see my demo video on how to make a simple card, click here. If you’d like to try out the demo version of PCS, then click here and scroll to the bottom to find a link for the trial version. If you decide to buy PCS, order from here and receive my free support for any questions or issues you may have. Remember that if you already own MTC, you get a 15% discount at check out.

So, here’s my first published PCS popup card (message reads, “I’m not ‘lion’ when I say…”):


And then the inside (message reads, “You’re my ‘beast’ friend forever!):


I did make some simpler popup cards, as I was learning PCS, but since this card was for an animal-themed card swap due last Thursday, I knew I wanted to make something that would match the standards of the other participants! (What I lack in elegance in my card designs, I try to compensate with “a wow factor!” 🙂 )

  • Cardstock: gold, green, red
  • Glossy photo paper
  • Popup Card Studio
  • Make The Cut
  • KNK Maxx Air
  • Maxx Air/Zing Embossing Tool
  • Font: 2Peas DW Sidney
  • Lion and Lamb images from Doodle Dragon Studios
  • Bone Paper Folder and Artist’s Palette Knife (tools for folding popup)
  • Various Adhesives and a pop dot

    • Instructions

    (1) I designed the popup in Popup Card Studio and then exported as an SVG file to import into MTC. I apologize for not sharing the file, however I used copyrighted images from Doodle Dragon Studios. Note that I design my popup cards to be slightly smaller than the planned base card so that there’s a small border around the popup on the inside.

    (2) I prefer scored folds, so I used the small end of the Zing/Maxx Air Embossing Tool for the job. I set the force to 180, speed at 350, and multi-cut at 3 passes. I turned off blade offset and used WYSIWYG mode so that my cut lines would align with the score lines.

    (3) After scoring, I hid the fold layers and turned on the cut layer. I set the force to 60, the speed at 200, and multi-cut at 2 passes. (Even though I probably didn’t need 2 passes, I always use it when cutting LOTS of repeats for swaps… as insurance!)

    (4) For the colored images of the lion and lamb, I did a print and cut using glossy photo paper. The same cut settings were used.

    (5) The messages were created using 2 Peas DW Sidney font and a print and cut performed on the gold cardstock.

    (6) The jungle leaves are from the MTC Users’ Gallery database… just search on the word “jungle”. (Yes, I do realize that lions don’t live in the jungle, but hey, I grew up with the original Tarzan movies and they always had lions living in the jungle! 😛 )

    (7) The red pieces on the stage were designed by making a copy of the popup shape and then breaking it up into the separate pieces needed. (I probably should make a video for this part! I’m sure some of you will be wanting to do the same with your future popups!)

    (8) Then I just glued everything together! I used a pop dot for the lion on the front. If you’ve never glued a popup card before, remember to do the bottom first and press closed. Open and check for wrinkles. Then apply the glue to the top part and press closed. Again, open and check for wrinkles.

    As I posted earlier, if you interested in Popup Card Studio or if you’ve purchased it and need some help, let me know! I’ll direct you to videos made by others or I’ll make one for you myself. As always, the best way to master something new is to start helping others with it… or just sign up for a swap!

    Easter Pop Up Card

    Hello fellow KnK-ers!

    I know it seems a little early to be sharing an Easter Card but I’m sure it will be here before we know it, I’m certainly looking forward to Spring and the warmer weather it will bring 🙂

    I used Make the Cut’s new Popup Card Studio to make the insert for my card today and then designed the card front in Make the Cut, the Cut File for both the insert and the card front is available at the end of today’s post (mtc format only today).

    These are the Materials I used:

    These are the Zing Settings I used:

    • Blade = Standard
    • Blade Height = 25 post-it notes
    • Offset = 0.30
    • Speed = 10
    • Force = 65
    • Passes = 1

    Pic 1. The picture below shows all of the pieces you will need for today’s card. I cut a piece of Worldwin Worldwin Colormates Smooth & Silky Card in half to make a 6 inch square card, all of the other pieces were cut from Worldwin Cutmates Cardstock which I love as it cuts like a dream! As the card insert is quite intricate I definitely recommend Cutmates for this:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 1

    Pic 2. Starting with the card front, I glued the 2 card front layers together and also the 2 sentiment layers:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 2

    Pic 3. Next I adhered all of my scene pieces to the card front panel, they slot together like jigsaw pieces:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 3

    Pic 4. I popped my sentiment into place with some 3d foam pads and the card front is done, I set it aside for attaching to the card base after the insert had been added:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 4

    Pic 5. Moving onto my card insert, I carefully folded along all of the perforated lines until it looked like this:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 5

    Pic 6. I attached double sided tape to just one side of the pop up insert and placed it into the card base, next I added tape to the other side of the insert and closed the card onto it to ensure perfect placement:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 6

    Pic 7. Once the insert has been added to the card I can go ahead and pop the card front onto the card base with 3d foam pads, Here’s how the completed card looks:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 7

    Pic 8. …and here’s how the inside looks:

    Easter Egg Pop Up Card 8

    If you would like to see more projects I have created with my Zing and access my free cut files you can find my blog here: www.birdscards.com

    Here is today’s Cut File:

    Easter Pop Up Card

    Easter Pop Up Card MTC Cut File by Bird