Thursday, December 11, 2008

Advent Activity: Three Kid-Made Christmas Cards

In keeping with our handmade holiday around here, we have decided to try a few different kid-created Christmas cards. We are fortunate enough to have over a hundred cards to mail each year, so we knew the winning design would have to be equal parts lovely and easy, with a sweet injection of kid-ness.

MATERIALS: one saved styrofoam tray from the grocery store, scissors, chopsticks, toothpicks, kid-safe paint, blank card paper
STEP ONE: Cut the rim off of the styrofoam tray to produce a flat piece of material.
STEP TWO: Have your child use the toothpicks, chopsticks, and any other implement that might make a deep indention, to 'draw' a picture in the tray.
STEP THREE: Paint the entire tray.
STEP FOUR: Press the tray, paint side down, onto your card paper and hold down a second or two, being careful not to move the tray. Lift up and admire!
STEP FIVE: The beauty of using the not-so-eco-friendly (yet recycled!) tray, rather than the tried-and-true potato print method, is that it really can be washed and reused over and over and over again. Simply rinse and repeat.
Big B's Design: 'A Tree in the Snow'
BENEFITS: Your child needs only enough patience to do one masterpiece, and you can reproduce it a zillion times.
DRAWBACKS: It's a bit time consuming on the parental end, and let's be honest, not everyone will know what they're looking at.
CONCLUSION: I'll resurrect this activity when Big B and little b are older.

KID-MADE CHRISTMAS CARD #2: Stamped Leaf Designs
MATERIALS: Fern leaf stamp, green ink, blank card paper
STEP ONE: Have your child use the leaf stamp to create holiday designs.
STEP TWO: Repeat step one.

BENEFITS: Easy, easy, easy.
DRAWBACKS: What child has the patience to do this over a hundred times?
CONCLUSION: Although I had illusions of six-leafed snowflakes and leafy Christmas tree designs, I loved what Big B did, and will save this activity for thank-you cards and other greetings that require only one or two iterations.

KID-MADE CHRISTMAS CARD #3: Artwork Christmas Trees
MATERIALS: Your child's artwork, scissors, craft glue, foil star stickers, blank card paper

STEP ONE: Discuss this project with your child. Let them know that you love their artwork, and this will allow their friends and family to love small pieces as well.
STEP TWO: Draw triangles (smaller than your card size) on the back of a piece of art for your child to cut.
STEP THREE: Cut triangles! I cut a bunch while Big B was cutting his.
STEP FOUR: Using the craft glue, affix a triangle to the front of your card.
STEP FIVE: Stick a star on top and marvel at the cuteness of this little tree!
BENEFITS: Your card recipients will feel special because they've each received a truly unique card. Your child will feel special because his or her art is card-worthy. You have found a creative use for some of the art collecting dust somewhere in your house because you can't bear to part with it. You are not spending any money.
DRAWBACKS: Hmmmmm....
CONCLUSION: The winner, by a long shot.

I've seen lots of Christmas cards that use cut-outs from a large piece specially created artwork, like this one I found on The Crafty Crow, using a red, green, and sparkly palette. I decided to make use of the large pile of Big B's art in my office, just waiting to shine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OH this is awesome! I bought a new roll (finally, it only took a year) of paper for the kid's easel and instead of tossing all their drawing and paintings (okay, I saved one last time), I'll save as much as I can to make cards next year. Great idea to use their already made art for x-mas cards. You are my crafting heroine, mama. I love this stuff you make.