How to Make a Fun Birth Certificate

Written by aline lindemann
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How to Make a Fun Birth Certificate
Bold images from nature usually decorate traditional frakturs. (ornament image by NataV from Fotolia.com)

Certificates of birth, marriage and death were originally written or painted by hand and were often embellished with decorative lettering and artistic images. Germans who immigrated to the United States, known as Pennsylvania Dutch, are known for their tradition of making these artful certificates called "frakturs." Old fraktur birth records typically include data about the child's birth and images of nature, such as leaves, birds and flowers. Almost anyone can paint a fun fraktur-styled birth certificate.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 9-inch x 12-inch heavy duty drawing paper or watercolour paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Coloured pencils (optional)
  • Black pen
  • Small paint brushes (optional)
  • Watercolour paints (optional)
  • Cup (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Write a list of vital statistics about the birth; the baby's name, the names of the parents, the place of birth, the date and time of birth and the length and weight of the baby at birth.

  2. 2

    Measure and draw a three-inch border on the paper with pencil. In the centre rectangle, draw eight horizonal lines allowing enough space above each one to write the relevant information from your list. These lines should be centred, but some of them can be drawn beside each other. For example, the top line will be for the baby's name, and beneath it you can draw two lines side-by-side on which you will write the parent's names. Continue drawing the lines parallel to each other in this way.

  3. 3

    Draw or paint pictures in the border with the coloured pencils or watercolours. These can be bold-coloured angels or flowers to resemble traditional frakturs, or you can add your own fun designs to suit the taste of the parents or to match the decor where this birth certificate will eventually be displayed.

  4. 4

    Write the information about the child and the birth on the lines. Use pencil, double check for correctness, and then trace over the pencil lines with ink or coloured pencil.

  5. 5

    Erase any unneeded pencil marks.

Tips and warnings

  • Traditional frakturs were written using calligraphy. For a more contemporary design, experiment with copying various fonts.

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