Tag Archives: The Monster Machine

Monster Pop-Up Card

I’m not really a very Christmassy person. I love buying presents, but I love doing that all year round, and I love the food. Mmmm, the food… And I do love the enormous amounts of cheap craft stuff you can get at this time of year, albeit with a very limited colour palette. I like the excuse for my girls to make cards and pictures for people. And I like seeing family.

But I despair of the materialism (despite being seduced by it), penguins and polar bears living together (it’s so wrong!), fir trees and pseudo-religious scenes can get boring after a while…

So, for a wonderful alternate Christmas Card (which will also be a great birthday card, or puppet for a theatre show, or colouring-in page, or a whole host of other things too…) I was delighted to see this monster pop-up card with full instructions from Nicola L Robinson, creator of the much-loved-by-us Monster Machine.

Colouring in

I was quite daunted when I looked at the three print-outs and the instructions, but once we started it was easy and the step-by-step tutorial is very well written. The first sheet (Part 1 – Card Inside) easily doubles as a colouring sheet and cutting and folding along the lines makes a very simple pop-up card for even the smallest children.

I printed off the sheets before going to pick MG and DG from school, and as soon as MG spotted them she was asking if she could “do it”, not knowing what “it” was but loving the pictures. I went through all the steps with her, doing my own at the same time, and then DG joined in as we were colouring. MG needed help with some of the folds, and with the fiddly sticking of the teeth and tongue but otherwise was fine. For DG we left out the teeth and tongue but she needed help with the cutting and folding.


It was a very enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment, and the television stayed off! Then there was lots of playing with the cards trying to scare Daddy, so great fun had by all! We used crayons to colour in, and kept it simple. I like how the monster has a lot of detail but is not so detailed that it’s hard to colour in. All the pieces fit perfectly. The only thing that would improve it in my mind would be if there was a multiple tongue & teeth sheet for if you’re making several cards, as there’s a lot of wasted card from that sheet.

We used thin white card for the inside and tongue/teeth and pink paper for the outside. We didn’t decorate the outside of the cards, just played with them! MG chose to cut her monster out so that she could use it like a puppet. The colouring in might be a big project for small children, so they might not want to give their cards away but they look really good on the mantelpiece.

My, MG & DG's cards

Friday Pick{ture Book} #13: The Monster Machine

The Monster Machine: Nicola L Robinson (Pavilion Children's Books, 2012)

The Monster Machine: Nicola L Robinson
(Pavilion Children’s Books, 2012)

I can’t remember who choose this book. Whether is was me, or MG, or DG. I do know we saw it on a wander through Blackwell’s and we all liked the look of it so it came home with us…

Monsters are made of lots of things… Slugs, bogies, toenail clippings, sprouts, earwax, spiders, and some special dust and goo from Dad’s cupboard.

This is such a fun book, there’s the intricate steampunk-esque Monster Machine, monsters of all shapes and sizes, the kind of dad every kid would want to have, fun, inventiveness and a lovely ending for your little monsters!

We all love: the ingredients that go into making monsters; the inventing and machines; and best of all the different shaped and sized monsters. I particularly like this spread where the monsters are researching and finding out where they come from. It’s a lovely way of showing learning is fun, can be done in many different ways and something that might encourage little monsters to look up something they’re interested in.

The monsters [..] made a discovery.

The Monster Machine (and Nicola) have their own website and blog too, with some more monstrous monsters, but Nicola’s website is a must-visit packed with examples of her art. Wonderful fun for all monster lovers and their monsters 😉

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