KID-MADE CHRISTMAS CARD #1: Painted PrintsMATERIALS: 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!
MATERIALS: Fern leaf stamp, green ink, blank card paper
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.
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
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 TreesMATERIALS: 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.
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.