Create your own ‘Return Journey’ paper pop-up

Create your own ‘Return Journey’ paper pop-up

Paper pop-ups began to appear in the 1820s, often celebrating famous places or particular events. These mini stage-sets give the illusion of depth, and offer fascinating perspectives. We have designed a unique pop-up featuring some of the buildings Dylan passed when walking through Swansea in his radio play, ‘Return Journey’, and we hope you enjoy creating your own little world!  

This activity is suitable for adults, young people and older children. Younger children will need adult supervision.

You will need:

Paper, a printer, safety scissors, glue, and colouring pencils.

Download the templates

1. Print and cut out the five illustrated panels and two concertina panels. Your pop up will be more stable if the panels are printed on card. If you only have plain paper, you could glue the panels to a cut out cereal box. The concertinas need to be flexible, so they should be printed on paper.

2. Colour in the five illustrated panels, which contain six of Swansea’s most memorable buildings. You do not need to colour in the folding tabs at the side of each panel or the concertinas.

3. In panels 1 – 4 there is a cut out area, outlined by a dotted line. This is the minimum you need to cut away in order to see through the peepshow – if you are confident with scissors or a craft knife, you might like to cut closer to the buildings. However you choose to cut away the central areas, please do so carefully, or ask an adult to do so for you.

4. Pre-fold the tabs at the side of each panel away from the drawing, as shown in the illustrated guide. Tabs on panels 1-4 are folded backwards, away from the illustrated side. Tabs on panel 5 are folded inwards, so that they touch the illustrated side. 

 By folding them now, you won’t have such a fiddly time gluing them on!

5. Fold both concertinas in a zig-zag fashion, going back and forth with your folds as you go. It doesn’t matter which way you begin folding because you can always turn them around when it comes to fixing them to the panels.

6. Balance your concertinas upright, on their zig-zag lengths, as shown in the illustrated guide. The sides with instructions and fold guidelines should face inwards, with the Panel 1 end the furthest away from you. We will be assembling the pop-up from the front to the back, but this is easier to do if the front is facing away from you so that you can get to the inside of the concertinas.

7. Beginning furthest away from you, fix the front panel, Panel 1, to the front of the concertina. This is done by gluing the tabs at the side of Panel 1 and pressing them onto the concertina where it reads “Panel 1”. Panels 1-4 are fixed with their tabs glued to the inside on the concertinas, completely covering the guideline words that indicate the panel order. See illustrated guide.

8. Panel 5 is fixed slightly differently, with the glue placed on the same side of the tabs, but the tabs folded around the outside of the back of the concertina. This is the only tab not glued directly in top of the guideline word. See illustrated guide.

9. Once all the panels are glued to the concertinas, you might want to check for any excess glue! Wipe it away, and when you are sure everything is clean, press down on the whole concertina, especially on the sides which have been glued. You might even want to put a book on top of it whilst it dries – but be doubly sure there is no gloopy glue if you do this!

10. Once it is dry your pop-up is ready to view! Unfold the concertina carefully and peep through the front to see all your favourite Swansea sights.

We love to see what you’re making! Don’t forget to share photos of your pop ups by emailing dylanthomas.lit@swansea.gov.uk or tagging us @DTCSwansea and Facebook.com/DylanThomasCentre      

This post is also available in: Welsh