Kid-made Christmas cards, 3 ways

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Written by contributor Catherine Way of Indirect Observations.

My children have been making handmade cards for birthdays and Christmas ever since my eldest son was 2.  I enjoy having this personal touch for special presents, like those we will give to my son’s teachers, grandparents and other family members.

These three cards are quick and enjoyable to make and use materials you will probably already have at home.   The only special requirement is the blank cards to decorate. You can buy ready-made blank cards or make cards by folding cardstock or paper to the size you require.

I’ve also provided my tips for helping you get the best results without needing to do parts of the card-making for your children.

In my house, we make the card-making a bit of an event by setting a day, playing Christmas carols and all sitting down together to create cards.  It is a firm part of our Christmas tradition.

Cookie Cutter Stamp Card

Cookie Cutter Stamp Card
Photo by Catherine Way
You need: paint, Christmas-themed cookie cutters, glitter

To make this card:

Start with a full-size piece of paper.  Use the cookie cutters to stamp a pattern on the paper, by dipping the edge of the cutters into paint.  I provided red and green paint, so the finished cards would be in Christmas colors.  If your children have not done stamping before, you may need to demonstrate putting the cutter down on the paper and lifting it up again, otherwise, your child may use the cutter like a paintbrush and slide it over the paper.

When your child has stamped the paper, let your child sprinkle glitter over the wet paint for some added sparkle. The trick when making this card with young children is to keep a close eye on the stamping, you need to change the paper or distract your child with the glitter before they add so many stamps to the paper that the shapes are unrecognizable.  If they want to keep on stamping, simply give them another piece of paper.

Some children will still want to slide the cutters around the paper, leaving you with no recognizable Christmas shapes on the paper.  This painting will still look Christmassy and make lovely cards, because you have used Christmas colors and it is an original artwork by your child.

Once your paintings have dried, you can cut them to fit the front of your blank cards.  Because each painting can be used for more than one card, this card-making technique is perfect if you want to make lots of cards.

Ransom Note Card

Ransom Note Card
Photo by Catherine Way
You Need: old catalogs or magazines, scissors, glue, blank card

To make this card:

Cut letters from magazines and catalogs to spell out your holiday greeting. I penciled in the greeting my son wanted to use on the card prior to asking my son to find the letters.  This helped to ensure no letters were missed and to helped my son recognize if he was gathering lots of letters that were too large (meaning our message wouldn’t fit on the front of the card).

If you want some extra decoration, you could add a small Christmas tree, star or other holiday symbol to the card. To add a picture to your card you can cut a suitable from the magazine or find a background image from the magazine in the right color and cut out your desired shape, for example, cut a green triangle from a green magazine picture to create a Christmas tree.

Crayon and Watercolor Resist Card

Crayon and Watercolour Resist Card
Photo by Catherine Way
You need: crayons, watercolor paints or food dye, paintbrush

To make this card:

Cut your paper to fit the front of your blank card.

Invite your child to draw a Christmas picture in crayon, adding as much detail as possible.  When making these cards, I sat with my sons and we talked about Christmas symbols that they could draw. My youngest son (who is 4) was reluctant, declaring that he couldn’t draw any of the things that we talked about.  I drew alongside him talking about the shapes and colors he could use – a green triangle for a Christmas tree, a cross for a star or snowflake and so on.

Paint over the crayon with watercolor paints or water colored with food dye. Ask your child to paint all the way to the edge of the paper for the best effect. If you are using watercolor paints, encourage your child to keep dipping the paintbrush in the water, so that the brush is very wet.

You can see that my son had fun with color mixing as he painted his cards.  I do not mind this, but I realize Grandma Jean might not be able to see the magical time we had creating the card when she receives a brown card. To prevent this, you need to limit the colors of watercolor you provide for you child to use.  If you give them only one color there is no chance you will end up with brown (unless you give them brown!).  A blue watercolor wash would provide a nice sky background to the pictures and would look especially nice with a white or silver crayon snowflake.  Black creates an effective night sky, as you can see in our cards.

When the paintings are dry, stick them to the front of your cards.

I hope you enjoy making cards with your children these holidays.  Merry Christmas!

Do you make handmade cards with your children?  If you try any of these techniques I’d love to hear how it went.

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About Catherine

Catherine Way is mum to two boys living in North Australia. They read lots, run lots, love to learn new things and are good at finding fun and mischief. Catherine blogs about her family adventures and passion for lifelong learning at Indirect Observations.

Comments

  1. Cat, I love these ideas! I think my kids would especially enjoy the water color crayon resist cards :-)

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: Kid-made Christmas cards, 3 ways

  2. As of now, our three-year old simply draws a picture and signs it with the first letter of her name. She loves it and so does everyone who gets it. But these would be great experiments to try as well!
    Steph´s latest post: Want, Need, Wear, Read: How we do Christmas Presents

  3. I am loving the cookie cutter card! It’s simple enough for the little ones, but the final product looks really cool. Think we will be making these for friends this year. :)
    Jen | Family Sponge´s latest post: Giveaway: Laundry Tree Soapnuts

  4. Very nice ideas and impressive cards! Here’s another idea: enclose a photo of the child creating the artwork along with the card. Family and friends will love it!

  5. I’m still laughing at the ransom note style. I like this one the best though, it is a good precursor to the copy and paste most people will need to learn on the computer. Plus, you get to look in old magazines for good letters!
    Jamie´s latest post: Cash Energy and Savings: Tips for the Winter

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