greeting cards

Twist-and-pop bots

CR00528 square

All the time I was making the art cards for the Daily Marker colouring challenge, there was a nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me that it would be my other half’s birthday only two days after the challenge ended and I really ought to be spending a bit of time making a card for him.

And in the spirit of never making it easy on myself, I decided to make a twist and pop card; I hadn’t made one before and I was curious about the mechanism. Of course, most of the tutorials out there make it to US sizes, use expensive die sets (£25–£30!), or over-complicate it (as I discovered when I tried to follow one tutorial). Luckily I found this video from Jan Brown who explains it really clearly.

CR00528 folding

Four out of the last five birthday cards I’ve made for my other half have been on a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 theme and that’s pretty close to being traditional now. At some point during the practical part of putting the structure of the card together, I came up with an idea for decorating it.

There are four panels on the pop part of the card and, although you only ever see three of them, there are actually four bots in the show — the fourth is Cambot, who films everything. And one bit in the opening theme is the Robot Roll Call which calls out each of their names. And on remembering that, I had the finished design for the card.

CR00528 open

All I had to do was make a clipboard for the front of the card, a Gizmonics Institute badge and four robot panels.

The clipboard was simple. A card rectangle with rounded corners for the board. The clip was hand-cut from metallic card (I spent longer trying to see if I had a die that would work than it took me to do it by hand). And the roll call sheet was just printed on regular printer paper and taped down in a couple of places to stop it from flapping around too much.

CR00528 detail-a.png

I quickly gave up on the idea of making a pristine Gizmonics badge. All it takes is one slightly wobbly line and it doesn’t look tidy any more, so I gave in to the very hand-drawn look of the lettering and didn’t even try to make my lines perfect. And it works. It’s only a bit of additional decoration anyway; the robots are the main attraction.

If I had started this sooner then I would have had a go at drawing the bots from scratch. As it was, I really didn’t need that much stress. In my search for source images, I came across a set of drinking glasses with the bots on and they were just perfect for this. I roughly traced the outlines in pencil and refined them with Copic-safe multiliner.

CR00528 detail-b.png

I’d coloured Tom Servo and Crow for a Christmas card before so I reused those Copic marker combinations. Cambot and Gypsy are pretty much the same colour so I just picked a simple purple combination and supplemented them with some greys.

I needed to put the bots’ names underneath their pictures but I didn’t want to write them by hand — partly because I’m still not a fan of my own handwriting, but mostly because even the Copic multiliners bleed a little on the Neenah cardstock, which isn’t ideal when you want crisp lettering. Luckily, in among the stash of rub-ons I was given last year, there was a sheet with these cute letters. Unfortunately, there’s no label so I can’t identify them…

The smaller of the two dies in the ATC die set are almost perfectly sized for the twist-and-pop panels so I just had to cut them out and glue them in place and the card was finished.

CR00528 detail01

Copic markers:

Gizmonics badge – 100, B00
robot backgrounds – BG53, B00
Cambot – BV04, BV13, BV02, BV01, B00, R37, N3, N5, N7, N9, W0, W2, C00
Gypsy – BV04, BV13, BV02, BV01, Y21, Y00, W0, W2, N5, N7, N9,
Tom Servo – R89, R39, R37, R27, R32, C00, C0, C2, C4
Crow – Y28, YR24, YR23, YR21, Y21, Y00, N5, N7


  • dies:
    Marianne Designs – ATC
  • fonts:
    Buckwheat TC
  • pens:
    Copic multiliner – black – 0.1, 0.3
    Posca PC-1MR black
  • paper and card:
    Hunkydory Adorable Scorable – black
    Neenah solar white 216gsm
    Papermill Direct plain azure blue
    printer paper

CR00528 display

4 thoughts on “Twist-and-pop bots”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.