Making native bird pop-up cards was a huge hit at Whitby Library last week. I’ve been taking part of the Porirua Library “Imagine This!” summer festival for children and this was the second workshop I ran. 

Nature pop-up cards are a great way to re-use greeting cards, scraps of paper, used Christmas or birthday wrapping paper, and images from old calendars and magazines. This activity worked well with age 6 and up.

pop-up card examples

How to make the Kiwi Pop-Up

You will need:

  • brown wrapping paper or origami paper 
  • a circular object to trace around, about 5 or 6 cm in diameter
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • glue stick
  • recycled greeting card or new card
  • colouring pens 
  • magazine or calendar pictures 

HINT If you are using a recycled greeting card, cover any writing or messages inside with a piece of paper or an image from an old calendar or magazine.

1. Use your circular object to trace circles on your paper, you will need 6 circles. Hint: you could consider stacking paper and cutting out three at once.

2. Fold each circle in half, then open out again. Stack the circles on top of each other so that the folds line up. With a stapler, carefully staple the pile of circles together along the fold. 

3. Cut out a kiwi beak and place this between the flaps of the middle circle. Glue the middle circle together with the beak in place. You now have a ‘kiwi body’.
4. Glue the outside circle of the ‘kiwi body’ into the card, making sure that the fold of the circle matches the fold of the card. Draw some legs below the kiwi. 

5. Decorate the card, inside and out. Put in your greeting.

Glue in beak, glue to card.


Some of our kiwi were black, so were called All Blacks! Popular greetings were “From one kiwi to another.” “You are a cool kiwi”

How to make the Pīwakawaka/ Fantail Pop-Up

You will need:

  • origami paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • stapler
  • colouring pens
  • recycled greeting card or other card
  • pictures from magazines or old calendars

HINT: If you are using a recycled greeting card, cover any writing or messages with a piece of paper or an image from an old calendar or magazine.

1. Fold two pieces of origami paper into fans – do this by folding the paper back and forth always keeping the same width. Then glue the two fans together along the long edge. (You could glue the two pieces of paper together first before you start folding if you think that will be easier).
2. Fold the fan in half, put a staple in at the fold.

3. Make a pīwakawaka body out of a scrap piece of paper. Glue the body between the middle two pieces of the fan.

4. Glue the lower edge of the pIwakawaka into the card, making sure that the fold of the bird sits in the fold of the card.


5. Decorate and add in a greeting.
Popular greetings included: “I’m a fan!” “You’re fantastic!”

How to make a Kākā, Kākāpō, Kea Chick Pop-Up

This is an easier one suitable for younger children who will enjoy colouring in the image, they’ll need an adult to help them finish the card. 
You will need:

  • large recycled greeting card or a piece of A4 card
  • a print-out of the parrot chick download (see below)
  • colouring pens
  • scissors
  • glue Stick
  • magazine and old calendar pictures 

1. Decide whether your parrot chick is a Kākā, Kākāpō or Kea and colour in appropriately.

2. Fold the finished picture down the centre. From the folded edge cut across the beak opening.

3. Open out the picture again and score the four sides around the beak.

4. Use a finger from behind to carefully push the beak outwards.

5. Now glue the image into the card.6. Add a greeting and decorate the outside.

FREE DOWNLOAD Pop-up Parrot Chick

Making Native Bird Pop-Ups
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