How to make a waterfall card

Pull the tab and watch the images flip, one by one. Learn how to make a waterfall card today!

How to make a waterfall card

Create the wow-factor and learn how to make a waterfall card with our easy step-by-step tutorial. Simply pull the tab and watch the panels flip! This is an easy technique to learn, and only requires some clever folding to create a fun, interactive card that all ages will enjoy.

Here are some top tips, from our designer Carolyne Knott:

  • Scoring both sides of the crease line with a bone folder will help the waterfall mechanism to run smoothly.
  • Use brads as well as a dab of wet glue to secure the card strip, as this will ensure that it doesn’t come loose.
  • Attach the die-cut tags carefully, just below the scored lines, to avoid the mechanism snagging.
  • As the finished card will be quite heavy on the front, ensure that you use some strong card for your base.
  • Sit the longer piece of the mechanism under the card strip when attaching it, to ensure that it has room to move easily and isn’t too tight.

Short on patterned paper? Take a look at our ever-growing collection of free patterned papers, there are lots to choose from and there are lots of different themes. We love these animals baking in the kitchen! For more general card making, let us show you how to make cards. And for more waterfall card inspiration – check out these roarsome dinosaur printables!

We love seeing what you make with our free printable papers, so don’t forget to share your cards and papercraft projects with us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

How to make a waterfall card - card in action

How to make a waterfall card


You Will Need

  • Card, white, kraft
  • Patterned paper
  • Distress inks
  • Embossing folder
  • Score board
  • Stamps, or something to decorate the panels with

Step 1

First, make the background panel for your card – it doesn’t have to be exactly like ours, but this is what we did:

Emboss a 140mm square of beige paper with the footprint embossing folder. Ink in brown. Emboss a 50 x 110mm piece of blue paper with the industrial embossing folder. Layer onto Kraft card.

How to make a waterfall card - step 1

Step 2

Now we want to make the piece that holds the slider mechanism in place. Essentially, this is just a strip of card, joined to the background card at either end. So to fit the background card from step 1, cut a 140 x 15mm strip of patterned paper and layer onto Kraft card. Attach the strip toward the bottom of the card using a brad on either side as shown. Attach to a 150mm square white base. We’re using brads in order to make absolutely sure it will not wiggle free after repeated playing with the card!

How to make a waterfall card - step 2

Step 3

Now let’s make the mechanism itself. Cut a 50 x 220mm strip of patterned paper. Score horizontal lines at 120mm, 140mm, 160mm and 180mm using a bone folder and a scoreboard. Attach a 54 x 122mm piece of Kraft card to the back of the largest panel.

How to make a waterfall card - step 3

Step 4

Here’s a nice touch: why not attach a belt die-cut from Kraft card to the centre of the large panel of the mechanism? If you don’t have a belt die, a thin strip of card will work just as well.

Slide the panel behind the strip of card on the base, and attach the scored end to the front of the strip. This is your main mechanism done!

How to make a waterfall card - step 4

Step 5

Now to create your panels! You’ll want to make four – we’re using luggage stage dies to go with our travel theme. Add die-cut tabs through the slots at the top.

How to make a waterfall card - step 5

Step 6

Starting at the bottom of your mechanism, attach each luggage tag to an individual section, positioning them just below each of the scored lines. Pull the long edge down to test and loosen the waterfall mechanism. Each image should partly obscure the one below so that when the tab is pulled, the images are revealed in all their glory!

How to make a waterfall card - step 6
How to make a waterfall card