Art + Design

How This Flower Bouquet Pop-Up Book Was Designed

Designer Kayla Ferriera shares a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create an intricate pop-up book.

Pop-up books captivate me. Every spread contains a new surprise, waiting to be opened and unleashed. It was with great anticipation and pleasure that I began working on Paper Blossoms for All Seasons, a beautiful botanical pop-up book for adults. I knew this project would test my artistic skills and ability to think in three-dimensional space. The process of bringing this book to life was filled with dedication, passion, and a yearning to create a book that would surprise and delight anyone who opened it.

It all started with Ray Marshall—the genius paper-engineer and mastermind of the series—who crafted gorgeous flowering pop-ups for each season of the year. After sharing his designs with the Chronicle Books crew, we were able to get blank mock-ups of the pop-ups from our printer.

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

Then, it was time to start working on the art. I took some quick pictures of the blank white mockups and digitally added color in Photoshop to plan out the placement.

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

Now for some book design jargon: die lines are a template that shows the printer where to cut the paper and where to fold. Ray created all the die lines for the book, including the ones for the hyacinth which you can see in the photo below, on the left. Continuing the art process, I grabbed my pencils and erasers and sketched directly onto printouts of Ray’s die lines.

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

I took scans of my sketches into Photoshop and began adding color . . .

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

. . . then texture and detail.

PaperBlossoms7_hyacinth_more_color

After adding finishing touches, the final artwork of the hyacinth was done.

Paper Blossoms

Before long, all of the artwork for the spring spread was finished. Here is the full flat schematic of the spring spread, after a round or two of art revisions (click through to view full size).

Paper Blossoms

Then, the moment of truth came. I held my breath as I opened the finished book, fully assembled with my artwork applied to Marshall’s pop-ups. All of the hours of work completely paid off when I opened the first spread and saw a lovely spring flowering scene appear. Pure magic!

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

With a simple page turn, a new season comes to life. To see the summer, autumn and winter pop-ups, be sure to check out Paper Blossoms for All Seasons, coming to stores in June (and available for preorder here).

Paper Blossoms for All Seasons by Ray Marshall

To read more about all things design at Chronicle Books, visit here.

Photography by Irene Kim Shepherd and Kayla Ferriera

Kayla Ferriera

Kayla Ferriera is a designer at Chronicle Books. When she is not designing, she dances Irish reels and jigs, crochets, reads, and lives the good hobbit life.

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