Children don't always have the funds to purchase birthday cards for those they care about. They can, however, make cards for their friends and family with items normally found around the house. Even if costs are incurred, the good news is that for the price of two or three store-bought cards, children can make several with just a few supplies.
Children can make flower cards with a vast assortment of items so that each card becomes a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for the recipient. For this particular flower card, fold card stock in half, and use hot glue to place flower petals cut from discarded blue jeans onto the front centre. Using a needle and thread, sew the metal snap or button from the jeans to the centre of the flower. With supervision, the kids can even hot glue beads around the outer edges of the petals if they prefer more embellishments. They can write their birthday sentiments on the inside of the card.
Cross stitch and embroidery are two relatively easy sewing methods children can utilise when making cards. Fold a small piece of fabric or cross-stitch material in half, spray liberally with spray starch, and then iron. After you have ironed it, hot glue the fabric onto card stock so it can hold its shape. By adhering the material to the cardstock, children can then sign and date it for loved ones.
Draw or outline a simple birthday message with basic balloon shapes, roses or smiley faces onto the fabric in pencil or fabric marker that erases easily. Let the kids choose their favourite colours to sew their messages into the material. A simple back stitch will suffice for filling in shapes if they opt to use the embroidery method. You can trace the shapes in glue for the little ones and let them apply yarn directly on top instead of risking pricks with the sewing needle.
Cut a small, 2-by-3-inch rectangle in the centre front of a folded piece of card stock. On the back of the opening, glue scrap book corners to hold a photo in place. Let the children decorate the front of the card with markers or paint. When they are finished, they can insert a favourite school photo so that the recipient has not only a card, but a sentimental keepsake that they can display.
Another birthday card idea that uses pictures includes the use of craft or Popsicle sticks. The children write "Happy" on the stick that will be glued across the top of the card and "Birthday" on the bottom stick. They can simply decorate the two that will be used to frame the sides with shapes or single colours of paint. Using an X-acto knife, cut a rectangular opening within the frame, leaving a border of about half an inch. A photo can be placed behind the opening using scrapbook corners or glue.
Older children may be more inclined to do something more "grown-up" by embellishing their photos with lace, doilies or calligraphy in place of the Popsicle sticks. Allow their imaginations to run wild as they create these special birthday cards.
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