Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 28, 2012.

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Intricately detailed 2 story, 8 room pop-up paper house folds flat for storage or travel. Light but sturdy, it is designed for play.

Project description:

Doll houses are space hogs, dust magnets and insanely expensive to boot. That is why I designed this pop-up paper house. Knock it down and fold it up for storage or travel, and if you're willing to put in a little sweat equity it can be yours for under $15.

Kids love it! They run up the stairs, play piano, take a bath and jump up and down on beds with their two fingers. I even caught my son forcing an Asterix mini figure to do the dishes once, though I must admit he mostly used the house as a garage, pushing his toy cars down the stairs… Each room is made of two interlocking pop-up cards, so it is much more sturdy than you'd expect, and the house can withstand some serious (albeit gentle) play.

I believe that the best doll houses are hand-made -- but I also know that children of doll-house playing age usually do not have the necessary skill or patience, and that their parents often do not have the time for such an ambitious project. This house is already available as a PDF download or as a printed template in booklet form, but I would like to be able to distribute it as a ready-made product. Pop-up rooms would be cut, folded and glued to the house structure, then mailed out flat. Assembly would take minutes rather than a week-end.

An entire, freestanding house requires a sturdy structure in addition to the individual pop-up rooms. Both the PDF and the book include instructions on making a simple knock-down structure out of foam core, and a full scale pattern can be downloaded for free from my website. Alternately, a ready-made, laser-cut hard board version is available.

Completed house is a little under one cubic foot (each room is 5 cubic inches), and the PDF files are formatted for letter sized paper, though they can be printed on A4 paper without cropping the image.

New Stretch Goal: $25,000

If I reach this new goal I will be able to produce the house structure myself, rather than sending orders to be manufactured on demand. What does this mean for you? A new $75 reward and upgraded house structures if I reach this goal for all rewards $100 and up!

Rewards:

Following are pictures of the rewards offered. For details of the specific reward please refer to the sidebar on the right.

For $2 you get to choose a PDF download of one of these rooms, or, if you prefer, you could request another template for a card posted on my website:

For $12 and up you get a PDF file of the whole house with all rooms

For $25 you get the whole house in a printed book format

Thank you postcard mailed flat, you make it pop-up!
Thank you postcard mailed flat, you make it pop-up!

NEW REWARD! For $26 I will make this intricate village square for you

NEW REWARD! For $75, in addition to the book, PDF file, etc. you will get a hand-made house structure in foam core -- or if I reach my new $25,000 stretch goal, you will get an upgraded house structure similar to the one pictured with the $160 reward below.

For $160 you get the completed house fully assembled on  laser-cut hardboard house structure

House structure made of laser-cut hardboard
House structure made of laser-cut hardboard

For $500, amongst other rewards, I will work with you to design a custom pop-up card (sample cards pictured here; see more on my website)

NY city skyline with the Empire State building
NY city skyline with the Empire State building
Brooklyn apartment building
Brooklyn apartment building

How the funds will be used

To produce a completed house (rather than selling the DIY template) I need a few basic tools: a color printer and an electronic craft cutter for drafts and small runs, then a die cutting machine and dies for production. I would need supplies: paper, blades, and of course prints of the house. I would still be folding and gluing by hand, which is possible if the volume remains relatively small, but if this project takes off and gets extra funds I would be able to get some help assembling them.  

Why the rush?

First, I have heard one too many times that someone loves the house but can't even think of making it themselves. I'm really, really tired of hearing that. 

The second reason is more personal: up till now I've designed these pop-ups in my spare time, distracted by the necessity of earning a living. A lifetime ago I worked for Woody Allen's production company, then I edited wedding videos, worked as an accountant, and advised architects and builders on acoustics, amongst other activities. I recently lost my last job (house/construction manager for a private family), so now I'm trying to make some lemonade and earn a living doing what I love. I love designing but I also love sharing. You might be one of the thousands of people who have downloaded my free paper craft projects, and with your support I could continue to design more. This could be my day job. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest risk in completing my project would be overwhelming success; I have budgeted for the kind of tools which will allow me to create small runs of the house (in the range of 50-100 per month) not large orders in the thousands. Though cutting and scoring will be automatic, folding and gluing will still be done by hand, in my office. This means that the completed rooms will be more expensive than I want them to be. Even with these tools I can't make all 16 pop-ups and 8 rooms for under $100, but I would prefer to sell the ready-made house for $50 or less. If this campaign is wildly successful I would take a different approach: I would still get these tools but I would use them for designing new products and making prototypes, not for manufacturing. Production would be handled by a specialized printer/manufacturer, and the costs could come down -- but I'd need a minimum run of 10,000. With numbers like that it would take a few more months before I could deliver the completed houses.

FAQ

  • The $25 reward is limited, because after paying for the book, tax and shipping there's not much left for buying tools; if everyone chose that reward I would reach my stated goal but I wouldn't have enough left over to buy the tools I need.

    The ready-made houses are limited because of the March delivery deadline. I want to be sure I can make and deliver all the houses I promise on time. If you want a completed house but those slots have sold out, become a $12 backer. I'll put you on my mailing list and when I'm ready to make more houses I'll let you know -- or pledge $100 and up (without being officially in that category), and I hereby promise to make the house for you as soon as I possibly can.

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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    32 backers

    PDF file for any one of the eight rooms in the house. Let me know what is your favorite room, and I will email you the file for the pop-up! Comes with instructions on how to make it yourself with a few simple tools.

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  • Pledge $12 or more
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    267 backers

    PDF template for all 8 rooms of the house, to print and assemble yourself. Comes with instructions on how to make it with a few simple tools and materials.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    7 backers All gone!

    Full color, 48 page book containing all the templates and instructions necessary to complete the whole house. Thank you postcard with a very easy to make pop-up room.

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    Add $12 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $26 or more
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    9 backers

    Some of you love pop-ups and would like to support me but aren't at that stage in life when you need a doll house -- this reward is for you: I will send you a signed and dated hand-made card of my village square. This is one of my more advanced designs so it is quite difficult and time consuming for the novice paper crafter to make. The entire village, with its medieval fortification, its church, and a pick-up truck parked under a tree is cut out of a single sheet of white card stock. You can either display it "as is" or glue it to a regular printed card of your choice and use it as a greeting card. Since I am not limiting this reward, I set the estimated delivery as May -- but if I can send them out earlier, I will (alternately if hundreds of people do want it, I'll keep you posted on any delivery delays...)

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    266 backers

    Full color, 48 page book containing all the templates and instructions necessary to complete the whole house AND a PDF template of all 8 rooms so you can print and make replacement rooms if necessary. Thank you postcard with a very easy to make pop-up room. Your name and a link to your blog or website on mine.

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    Add $12 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    20 backers All gone!

    Full color, 48 page book containing all the templates and instructions necessary to complete the whole house AND a PDF template of all 8 rooms so you can print and make replacement rooms if necessary. Thank you postcard with a very easy to make pop-up room. Your name and a link to your blog or website on mine. PLUS hand-made house structure made of foam core. If I reach the new $25,000 stretch goal your house structure will be upgraded to a stronger material and I will lift the limit on the number of rewards.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    19 backers All gone!

    All eight rooms for the pop-up house cut, folded, glued and ready to be installed in the foam core house structure you will make with my instructions and full sized pattern. PDF template of all 8 rooms so you can print and make replacement rooms if necessary. Thank you postcard with a very easy to make pop-up room. Your name and a link to your blog or website on mine.

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    Add $12 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $160 or more
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    20 backers All gone!

    All eight rooms for the pop-up house cut, folded, glued and installed in a laser-cut hardboard house structure. PDF template of all 8 rooms so you can print and make replacement rooms if necessary. Your name and a link to your blog or website on mine.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    My undying gratitude, which I will express by working with you on a custom origamic architecture style pop-up card. Fifteen hand-made copies of this original design. All eight rooms for the pop-up house cut, folded, glued and installed in a laser-cut hardboard house structure. PDF template of all 8 rooms so you can print and make replacement rooms if necessary. Your name and a link to your blog or website on mine, right at the top of the list, with the biggest font.

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    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,250 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    If you live within reach of the NYC subway system, I will come meet you at a mutually convenient time and place to give a two hour demo/pop-up class. This can be one on one, making the house (or any other cards) with you, or a birthday party for your kid (maximum 15 kids, ages 8 and up). Of course you will get everything described in the $500 category as well.

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Funding period

- (30 days)