Background: Many years ago while researching chaos topics that might be used in a new course offered at our high school, I came across Diego Uribe’s book, Fractal Cuts. I was so intrigued by his popup designs that I assigned my students the task of duplicating some of his card stock designs. Unfortunately, the students had difficulty in folding the card stock, and the designs did not look as sharp as those in Fractal Cuts. Although I did not assign this task again, I was still impressed enough with the designs that I kept a completed example of one of the fractal cuts, which I hoped I could someday incorporate into a classroom activity.
Nearly ten years later after repeatedly viewing this fractal step pop-up, I turned it sideways and suddenly visualized a series of hearts for a Valentine card. After many attempts to create a suitable design, I finally came up with a satisfactory one. So for Valentine's Day in 2006, I set aside a class period for the students to cut out the design and fold it appropriately to create a Valentine card. Additionally, I encouraged them to decorate it further. I was so pleased with the results that I have continued this class activity yearly, and I have since created additional cards to celebrate other holidays. Of course, I assign different fractal cuts for different classes.
Besides the Valentine fractal pop-up, this booklet also contains drawings and directions to create fractal cuts for Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter.
Fractal pop-up directions from the booklet (drawings include dashed and solid lines), 1 copy per student, or a viewable screen projection
Resume (or similar weight) paper for the fractal pop-up, 1 per student
8 1/2" by 11" cardstock for the backing (folded in half), 1 per student
Exacto knives (or other cutting instruments), 1 per student
Cutting board or cardboard to cut on.
Glue or glue sticks
Markers and other things to decorate the cards (optional)
Time Required: Approximately 30-40 minutes to assemble the card. Allow additional time for decorating.
Teacher Information: The holiday fractal cut should be photocopied onto resume or similar weighted paper (your choice of color). All cutting and folding is carried out on this paper. The fractal pop-up directions need to be photocopied (on regular paper) so that students have the directions for folding unless the image is projected on a screen for the students to view. All lines that are dotted represent where cuts need to be made. When looking at the front of the fractal, all thick, solid lines must be folded forward (mountain fold), and all thin, solid lines must be folded backward (valley fold). To have nice, straight folds, the paper can be "scored" by using a straight edge, and lightly dragging the edge of an exacto knife along the straight edge without cutting through the paper. Valley folds are scored from the front of the paper while mountain folds are scored from the back of the paper.
After all cutting and folding has been completed, the fractal cut can then be glued to the cardstock. The finished product should be a pop-up card with different levels of similar shapes popping out. If time permits, students may want to personalize their cards using markers, glitter, etc. *Note: It is very helpful to have a completed card for students to view while they work.
Photographs: Several photographs of my student's fractal pop-ups are included at the end of this booklet