The new year is about to bring excitement for some of our VIVITA international members and they might not even know it yet!

The ball started rolling already in 2020 when VIVITA Singapore initiated the VIVIPAL project: an analog channel of communication via snail mail for children from VIVISTOPs around the world. An idea age-old yet quite novel to the kids, it initially picked up more quickly with our crew members. They, for one, might still remember their own positive experiences of getting new friends and learning about the big wide world through the letters of their international penpals. However, as soon as the project pried the door open to the magical world of hand lettering, handcrafted postcards, and paper arts, it didn’t take long for children to storm in. And those of us who especially enjoy making something for others and the painful pleasure of waiting for the same in return, surely understand why.

Until the project could kick off for real, all our VIVISTOPs across the world (Japan, Singapore, Philippines, USA, Lithuania and Estonia) set out to transform their spaces into postal offices… Well, at least with a designated corner for it with an information board about all the eager future penpals.

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Illustration on the left: VIVITA Singapore. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Come December, with Christmas just around the corner, we didn’t want these smiley kids in the photos to get impatient for their holiday greetings. VIVISTOP Telliskivi invited children over to decode together the mystery behind pop-up books, learn a cool new skill, and craft greeting cards for other members from around the world. Sometimes, paper, tape and scissors are all you need to create an exciting tridimensional world.

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Cutting, folding, gluing — how complicated can it be? Photo: VIVITA Estonia

Before they plunged into making, the kids examined some well-crafted pop-up books and got inspired by the examples we had prepared. Gathered around the table with all the necessary tools and materials — rulers, hobby knives, scissors, double-sided tape, bone folders, and of course, paper stock of colour to suit the season — we prepared the first pop-up postcard together. That brief introduction was enough to get them going: they could then use the pieces we had prepared with our laser cutter or come up with their own designs.

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During the workshop. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

For those who really wanted to, but didn’t get a chance to participate in our workshop on the spot, we prepared a DIY-pack to craft pop-up cards at home, including some ready-made shapes and a manual to go with.
Secretly, for each kid interested, we snuck in a letter from a VIVIPAL, too, in the hopes to kindle some unexpected friendships. In case someone needed a little help to figure out where to cut and where to fold, we held a Zoom session and guided them along.

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DIY home packs with pop-up cards designed by Silvia Hijano Coullaut and adapted VIVITA instructions. Photo: VIVITA Estonia

While we are preparing to mail the skilfully made postcards (no spoilers!) as close as Lithuania and as far as Hawaii, we hope that the children who participated in the workshop felt that nothing is impossible. One can make new friends and plan future travels to faraway places even if you are stuck at home due to a pandemic.

Unusual times call for inventiveness and we certainly have no shortage of it at VIVITA!

If you want to delve deeper into the world of pop-up mechanisms, we highly recommend the advanced courses by Silvia Hijano Coullaut on Domestika. But if you only have a couple of minutes to spare before another idea takes over your busy creative mind, you can use the template below to make a simple V-shaped postcard featuring your own illustration.

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V-shaped pop-up card instructions. Image: VIVITA Estonia

Text and workshop creator: Vera Naydenova / VIVITA Estonia
Photos: Steveli Säde, Vera Naydenova / VIVITA Estonia

Kids and Youth Creativity Accelerator

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