Got everything worked out and finalized to be able to share my Kick It pull tab tutorial! This pull tab is from my September cover page (you can check out the setup here). I apologize that it took a while to get this for you but I wanted to make sure that it made sense, and most importantly, that it works consistently! Honesty moment: some of my other pull tabs aren’t working nearly as well anymore. So I wanted to make sure this would have some longevity. You can check out my YouTube tutorial here, but I also like to have written instructions too so you can find that below.
Quick note: the mechanism that I use for this particular pull tab is from The Pop-Up Channel. You can check their video out here.
Kick It Pull Tab Tutorial Supplies
Supplies for this are pretty basic but I wanted to share what I used so that you can see.
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I used white cardstock for my mechanism, and acetate for my pull tabs. The pull tab slides smoother with the acetate, and the wow factor is better because you can’t see the pieces.
I have switched from using 160GSM paper to cardstock for the mechanism since the thicker paper holds up a bit better in the long run.
For my journal, I use an Archer & Olive 160GSM B5 journal. The best part about the 160GSM is that the pages following the pull tab don’t get bumpy from the mechanism. Its still mostly flat and smooth, and useable. You can check their journals out here. NM10 for 10% if you do decide to grab one.
Building your Kick It Pull Tab
The Turning Mechanism
- Cut 2 circles of the same size. I used a drawing compass to draw them. Draw another smaller circle in each big circle (of the same size). Only cut out one small circle out of a big circle, leaving the second circle as is
- In the second whole circle, you’re going to draw 2 lines, just intersecting the smaller circle that you drew in the center. Cut along these lines to just inside the smaller circle. Make sure that these “arms” are parallel to each other and cut the same lengths. (This is the part of the mechanism that gets glued down)
- Fold these arms back, and then fold the arm again, creating an L shape. This allows the moving donut circle to move a little easier without getting caught
- Insert the arms into the middle donut circle and fold the arms flat. This is the basic circle mechanism. To make it even more stable, glue a piece of paper over top of the flat arms so that the donut circle doesn’t pop off
- Using a hole punch (I used a single hole punch), punch a hole into the donut circle. This will be where the pull tab mechanism attaches to the mechanism.
Constructing the Pull Tab
- The pull tab paper will be cut into a chunky L shape – one part will be thick (the actual tab portion), and the thinner part that attaches to the donut circle
- Now you will take the thinner part and cut two notches into it, near the end, making sure that the stem left from the notches will fit into your punched hole
- Fold back the remaining pieces of the end of the strip (or the T arms). Then feed this through the punched hole in your donut circle. Once in place, unfold the T arms and that should secure your pull tab into place
Creating the Journal Page
- You will use 2 pages in your journal
- Measure your mechanism and cut a Dutch door window into the front page that is the same size as the mechanism. This will house your mechanism and allow your pieces to move
- Further down the page (depending on your design), cut a line where the bottom of your pull tab will peak through. NOTE: this pull tab moves on an angle – no straight up and down. So you are going to want to cut the line a little longer on the moving side. So if your punched hole is on the left of the mechanism, cut the line longer on the right
- Once your mechanism is glued into place (make sure NO glue gets onto the donut circle or else it won’t work), feed your pull tab into the slit
- Play with the pull tab and make sure everything moves smoothly. If it doesn’t find where it catches and make adjustments as needed. One known issue is the portion of the mechanism that is glued down. The tab may catch on the open piece left from cutting the arm. Stick a piece of tape on it and it should glide
Adding the Element
- Once your mechanism and pull tab and working smoothly, you can add your element
- Push the pull tab to it’s top most position before gluing your element arm down, or else it may not work as you intended
- Visually see where the center of your design is (the true center may not look good depending on your design), and start gluing the pieces down
- Once you are happy and everything is in place, and moving smoothly, add a thin strip of glue to the edges of your front page and your second page. Make sure you don’t put glue down in the way of the mechanism
- Add the final pieces to your design and you are good to go!
Kick It Pull Tab Tutorial Tips and Tricks
- Create background/base of design first. The mechanism will make a shallow bump in the page which may mess up your design
- Use cardstock to ensure maximum strength of your pull tab
- Acetate is so fun because it’s clear, so it hides what is going to happen (the real magic), and it’s also thick and sturdy
- Hole reinforcer stickers can help the punched hole stay intact and not rip from over use
- As with most crafts in life, measure twice, cut once. If that doesn’t work for you, keep the pieces big and trim down as needed
- Try not to get hung up on the true center of the page. Rather try and figure out the visual center of your design. This is probably the hardest part but helps make the design look good
I hope you found this helpful and decide to give it a try. It really is so fun to experiment with, and try different designs. I will be posting more tutorials in the near future as I revisit some of my older designs. But in the meantime, if you do decide to give this a try, please tag me on Instagram @natashamillerletters as I would love to see what you come up with.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am more than happy to help.