Our adventures in homemade cards
When Boo was 4 months old, we embarked on our first mission to make homemade cards. We made 50 footprint Christmas cards. The next year we made 100. We’ve made countless birthday cards in between – some with footprints, some with handprints or fingerprints and others with stickers and paint and glue. Sometimes I think I am totally crazy to do these crafts with my little one – but I love looking through the cards we’ve made (top tip: ALWAYS keep one for yourself). And Boo has always loved playing with paint. Last year, I saw that someone had made a card and photocopied it … I think we will do that this year. Seems a lot more manageable! Here are some of our favourite makes:
Before you get started:
If you are making a batch of cards, I highly recommend buying pre-folded cards. They usually come with envelopes meaning that they are ready to pop in the post once they are dry. I also have a stash of coloured card for birthdays and other occasions. These cards are usually hand delivered with no envelope. The coloured paper and card comes in really handy if we are needing a quick activity at home so I recommend creating your own stash.
The other thing you will need is paint. I have tried a few different paints and by far the best is Crayola paint. It seems a little pricey for small pots but it lasts ages, is a great consistency and doesn’t dry out. It’s also non-toxic so safe to use for these cards.
The last thing you need to consider is how to contain the mess. We have a plastic mat that helps to protect the floor (we usually do this on the floor as Boo is still young). When Boo was a baby, I sat her in her booster seat. We had one from Mamas and Papas and it was perfect for painting as it had a large tray and let me do footprints while Boo played. As she got older we used the Ikea High Chair. Now Boo just sits on the floor with me.
As with all our messy play activities, I set up a cleaning station before we start. When Boo was younger, this meant running a bath before we got going. Now it means a bowl of warm soapy water and a hand towel.
We made 100 of these cards. Some had one snowman, some had 2. I used sharpies to decorate the snowman (you will need them to write the cards too). The snow is fingerprints. We used pre-folded black cards and envelopes.
Hand print cards
This next craft could be stuck onto a card to make a DIY card or be laminated to use as a tree decoration. It could even make a special label! When we made this my daughter wasn’t up for having paint put on her hands so I dabbed over her hand instead. I then cut out a circle to make a reverse print Christmas pudding!
We tried again using finger prints as holly and berries. The hand print is a bit distorted as 2 year olds don’t understand the concept of sitting still. I think it’s effective nonetheless.
This is a handprint and fingerprints. I have loads of Boo’s handprints from our many adventures in painting so I repurposed this one as a festive gift tag. I cut out the tree and helped Boo fingerprints to trim the tree.
Robin Red Breast
This is a good idea if you plan on making lots of cards. One simple finger print from little one and a simple line drawing from you.
This is really sweet although admittedly I did need to help with fingerprint placement. I drew a circle but Boo is too young to follow the lines. This would be perfect if your little one is a bit older or if you are prepared to move their little fingers to the correct spot.