Make Gift Card Holders That Pop – DIY Gift Card Holders [Tutorial]

Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

Don’t give another boring gift card this year — make gift card holders that pop! Learn how in this easy step by step tutorial today.

Great Gift, Poor Presentation

The inventor of gift cards has my eternal gratitude — doubtless, that of many of you as well. Gift cards make gift giving so easy, don’t they? Since most of my loved ones live in other states, gift cards allow me to send them gifts for Christmas and other occasions without breaking my budget. That said, I have one big complaint about gift cards: they’re boring!

Let’s face it: gift cards are flat little rectangles of plastic — boring! Put them in little envelopes and hmm…still boring! Where’s the texture, the dimension, the movement? Even ugly Christmas sweaters have that much in their favor! So how do you solve the problem, and give gift cards with more personality? Make gift card holders that pop!

Easy Pop Up Gift Card Holders

There are a lot of different ways to make gift card holders, but I like ones with a little built-in surprises — how about you? In today’s tutorial, we’ll make gift card holders that look like regular greeting cards until you open them. Then…surprise!

Gift card holders that pop up when you open them

Gift cards!

What’s also great about these pop up gift card holders is that they hold the gift cards securely in place. Eager recipients can shake to see what falls out of their cards, but nothing will!

How to Make Gift Card Holders That Pop


  • Gift card
  • 1 piece of cardstock, cut to 5-1/2 inches by 10-1/2 inches, to make the base
  • 2 pieces patterned paper, cut to 1 inch by 5-1/2 inches each, to decorate the sides of the pop-up/holder mechanism
  • Scoring/folding tool
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Double-sided tape
  • Miscellaneous patterned papers, cardstock, stamps, tools, and/or embellishments to decorate the front and inside of the card


Gather all necessary supplies at your work space.

Score and Cut the Gift Card Holder Base

1. Position the piece of cardstock so that one of the long sides faces you.

Score the cardstock vertically along the long side at the given points - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

2. Score the cardstock from top to bottom along the long side at these positions:

  • 4-1/4 inches
  • 5-1/4 inches
  • 6-1/4 inches

3. Lay the scored cardstock on top of your cutting mat.

4. Align one of the long sides of the gift card to the left edge of the 5-1/4-inch (middle) score line, and then center it along this line.

Align the gift card at the left edge of the center score line - - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

5. Hold the gift card firmly in place with one hand, and then, with your craft knife, cut down along the score line, starting a bit above the top edge of the gift card, and ending a bit below the bottom edge of the gift card.

Cut along the score line to the right of the gift card - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

TIP: Pull the craft knife slowly towards yourself as you cut. This will give you better leverage.

6. Gently push the gift card against the slot that you just made to make sure that the gift card fits. It should fit snugly but not tear the cardstock.

Gently test the slot to make sure the gift card fits - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

TIP: If the slot is too small, simply go back with your craft knife and make the slot a tiny bit bigger. If the slot is too big so that the gift card is loose in the slot, don’t worry — I’ll tell you how to fix it after the next couple of steps.

Assemble the Pop Up Mechanism

1. First, fold the card in half at the center score line so that this score line (the line that you just cut the slot into) forms a ‘mountain peak’.

Fold the card up along the center score line - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

2. Bring the two sides of the card together with the peaked score line as the left outside edge, and then crease this fold with your folding tool.

Fold the card in half with the peaked score line as the left edge - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop


3. Next, fold the top layer of the card to the left along the score line that is just to the right of the peaked edge. Crease the fold with your folding tool.

Fold back the top surface of the card - - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

4. Flip the card over towards yourself, so that the underside is now the top surface, but the edge you just folded back still points left.

Flip the card over - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

5. Again,fold the top layer of the card to the left along the score line that is just to the right of the peaked edge. Crease the fold with your folding tool.

Your gift card holder should now have the shape of a standard 4-1/4-x-5-1/2-inch (‘A2’) card. You should also see a little valley at the right side of the card between the top and bottom surfaces of the card.

Valley at the right edge of the card - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

6. Rotate the card so that the long, creased edges face you.

7. Lift the top surface of the card a bit to reveal the inside of the ‘valley’ between the two layers.

Apply the double-sided tape - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

8. Apply double-sided tape just above the outer crease of the lower layer of this ‘valley’.

TIP: If you cut your gift card slot too long, now is the time to fix it! The card slot was cut into the innermost crease of this ‘valley’. Simply add an extra bit of double-sided tape to that crease to cover up the necessary amount of the too-long cut.

9. Remove the plastic covering from the double-sided tape, if necessary, and then flatten the card back down to close the ‘valley’. Be careful to align the outside edges, and then press along the taped area to seal it in place.

Close the 'valley' and press to seal it closed - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

Decorate the Pop Up Mechanism

When you open the card, you should now have a pop up holder for your gift card. Let’s decorate it to make it really stand out!

1. Apply tape runner or similar adhesive to the back side of one of the 1-x-5-1/2-inch strips of patterned paper.

Apply adhesive to the back of one of the patterned paper strips - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

2. Then stick the strip down along one of the sides of the pop up mechanism.

Attach the paper strip to one surface of the popup mechanism - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

TIP: If necessary, trim any patterned paper overage away with paper scissors.

3. Repeat step 2 with the other1-x-5-1/2-inch strip of patterned paper.

4. If you’d like, decorate the inside surfaces of the card. To do this, I cut two pieces of coordinating patterned paper to 4-x-5-1/4 inches each, and then taped them in place with tape runner adhesive. All of the patterned papers that I used are from the “Flea Market” paper set by Doodlebug Designs.

Optional: Decorate the inside of the card - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

5. Insert the gift card in the slot. It should slide in just enough to hold it securely in place

Decorate the Outside of the Card

Last but not least, decorate the outside of the card to your liking. You can rotate the card to be vertical or horizontal, whichever you prefer. I tend to like to make gift card holders that are vertical.

Decorate the front of the card - Make Gift Card Holders That Pop

I decorated the front of my gift card holder with more “Flea Market” patterned papers, along with some of the cardstock that we embossed in our Dry Emboss Cardstock tutorial.  I started with this sketch from Create with Connie and Mary. To make the banner pieces, I just cut strips of paper and then angled them by hand with scissors. These cute stamped images are from the “Fall is in the Air” set by Echo Park. I stamped them in Walnut Stain Distress ink, and then colored them in with alcohol markers.  I popped the owl up with a little foam tape so that he looks to be sitting on top of the banner.  Then I stamped the sentiment in black Versafine ink, and accented it with a couple of enamel gems.

Want More Inspiration?

For ideas about more ways to make gift card holders that are both fun to give and receive, check out some of the pins I collected for you on the Creative Gift Cards board on Pinterest.

Creative Gift Card Holders Board on Pinterest

Materials Used

Curious about the materials that I used today? To make it easier for you to find them, I’ve linked them below. Please note that some sponsored links are included. At no extra cost to you, your purchases through these links help support Paper Craft Romance — thank you!!! For more information about sponsored links, please read my Advertising Disclosure.

Share Your Thoughts

Will you use this pattern to make gift card holders? Do you have other ideas about how to make gift card holders that include the element of surprise? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Please Share This Article

If you enjoyed this article, please share it — via Pinterest, Twitter, etc., or directly with a friend. Thanks for reading, and please let me know if I can help you in any way with your paper crafting today!

Article written by Deedee Anderson

4 thoughts on “Make Gift Card Holders That Pop – DIY Gift Card Holders [Tutorial]

    • I’m so glad you found the directions clear, Stephanie — it’s sometimes tricky to choose the right words to paint a clear picture. I look forward to seeing the gift card holders that you make for Christmas! 🙂

    • Thank you — I try hard to make the directions easy to understand. I agree with you that gift card holders are a lot of fun to make. I’ll try to share some more ideas before Christmas! 🙂

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