It’s the thought that counts. By spending the time with your children to make greeting and gift cards the receiver will know right a way how much you care for them. They will appreciate the time and effort that went into the making of their card.
Making cards is incredibly easy. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money, just some creativity and a few materials and before you know a beautiful card will be made and ready to give.
In this article I will give basic ideas on how to make cards with your children and some basic ideas to keep in mind but at the end of the article I will also provide specific ideas for different card types.
Below I’ve made some suggestions on materials that can be used to make cards, they are divided into two categories: Basic Materials, stuff you’ll always need and that you probably already have and; Additional Materials, things you don’t need to make cards and may not already have, but can help make a good card great.
• Construction paper or Card stock (stiffer paper)
• Crayons/Markers/Pencil crayons
• Scissors (make sure these are the safe, craft scissors if working with young children)
• Glue or Tape
• Paint and brushes
• Old greeting/gift cards
• Old wrapping paper (you can use new wrapping paper if you want but the end of old rolls, or pieces that have already been used once work well and save you money)
• Tissue paper (same with the wrapping paper, this is a great time to reuse some of that paper that has holes and has seen better days)
• Ribbon or Wool
• Making The Cards
Before you begin any craft it is important to have a crafting area ready. Either have a craft table where it doesn’t matter if paint gets spilt, or cover an area with newspaper, this helps to contain any mess and also makes the clean-up much easier. Also keep in mind the skill level of your child. Would it be best if they were to only be doing the colouring with you doing the cutting and gluing or will they be able to handle the scissors and glue themselves without a problem.
Next, talk to you child about how they want their card to look and don’t feel pressured to stick to the plain old rectangular shape. If they want their card to look like a heart or a tree, help to draw it and figure out how to make the card open. If it just doesn’t seem possible to do it don’t forget that a card doesn’t need to open, some cards just have a front and back but work just as well.
Now that you have a basic card design don’t forget to figure out what the card is going to say. Is it a birthday card, get-well-soon card or a holiday card? Each one will say something different. You can help your child with the writing of the message if they need it but keep in mind that part of the appeal of home made cards is always the imperfect hand writing.
Next is the really fun part, start decorating your cards. Let your kid’s imagination run wild. Use any of the above suggested materials to create pictures, designs or abstract fun. A card doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and to convey the message it is carrying. Get creative with mixing different types of materials to create a different card every time. Keep them original and unique and their recipients are sure to love them.
• Specific Card Ideas
Create a square card that opens and decorate it to look like a present. This can be done with any type of colouring tool (crayons, paint, etc) or by using actual ribbon to give it that 3-D look. You can even attach a bow to the top of the present or draw a picture of a gift inside.
Make a card with a surprise inside. It is easy to make a Halloween card (shaped like a pumpkin) and put little bats on ribbons or wool inside the card so when it is opened they fall out. Or you can do a similar idea for a birthday/wedding/new years card where you fold ribbons inside (like an accordion) so when the card is opened they spring out.
For Christmas shape your cards like decorations. A wreath, tree, present or stocking all are easy shapes that will be fun to decorate and even more fun to give.
When giving away a gift card don’t use the boring card that comes with the gift card, create your own. Use construction paper or heavier card stock to make your card but on the inside cut four slits, one for each corner of the gift card, so when the card is done it can be secured inside and be ready to give away. The present card mentioned above is a great way to “wrap” a gift card.
In the end, the most important part about making your own cards is having fun, so keep that in mind and have a blast creating memories and cards that everyone will enjoy.