Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY Greeting Cards, Baby and Toddler Style

One hidden perk of being the parent of a baby or young child is that you can easily go for a few years without having to buy greeting cards. That's good, because babies and toddlers aren't necessarily great at sitting patiently while you read through 30 Mother's Day cards to find the one that says exactly what you want to say to your mother, which means you could conceivably end up accidentally buying your own mom a card that says "You've been like a mother to me." I'm not saying it's happened to me, I'm just saying it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

But if you have a baby or toddler, you have this wealth of ridiculously cute greeting-card potential at your fingertips... or wherever your child ran/crawled off to in the time it took you to read this. To get you started, here are three easy ideas for DIY greeting cards that your little one can help make:


This one works for kids of all ages. If your child is old enough to color or fingerpaint, he can help to decorate his own handprints or footprints. But even if your child is too young to willingly participate in the whole "let's not shell out $5 for a card that's going to end up in the garbage in three minutes" process, you can still force them into helping you - but not like in a mean way.

Lucas "helped" make the above greeting cards for my dad and Dan's mom (whose birthdays are one day apart) when he was about seven months old. And by that I mean that Dan held him while I stuck each of his feet on an ink pad (non-toxic and washable, of course) and then pressed them on the paper. Both grandparents loved his little footprints so much that they didn't notice that I'm fairly awful at making cards.

Added bonus: while we were at it, we figured we might as well make a footprint heart for ourselves, so we had an extra for Lucas's baby book.

Cutie Holding a Sign

This is another one that can work for a child of any age. You can make a Happy Birthday (or Merry Christmas, Happy Grandparents Day, Reasonably Pleasant Arbor Day, etc) sign for younger kids, and older kids can make and pose with their own sign. Then put the picture on the front of a card or in a frame (or email it if you don't quite manage to make it to the post office in time, like may or may not have happened with my brother's birthday card when I took the picture above.) Plus, you'll probably end up with some funny outtakes.

Markers and Painters Tape

Over a year ago, when Lucas wasn't quite a year old, I got the bright idea to combine two different ideas I had seen on Pinterest. I wrote the word "Love" in painters tape on ten pieces of folded paper with the intention of putting them one at a time into a sealed Ziploc bag with paint and then letting Lucas paint through the bag onto the cards. In my mind, the end result would be beautifully painted Valentine's Day cards that Lucas had enjoyed painting and that resulted in no mess whatsoever. In reality, Lucas hated the activity, he managed to to scratch holes in the plastic bag with his fingernails so that the paint came out and got on his hands, and when I took the only card we tried it on out of the bag, it was so wet that it fell apart. So... not a success. But I had already spent over an hour putting the tape on all of the cards, so I just held onto them.

Anyway... I recently found the cards again while I was trying to get caught up on Lucas's baby book...

...and I decided to give them another shot. But this time with markers, since we've established that Lucas hates finger painting. I had Lucas color over the painters tape with markers, then peeled off the tape to reveal the word "love" in white. (You'll probably have to peel the tape off really slowly to keep the paper from tearing. Especially if you've left the tape on for over a year...)

Yes, Lucas is wearing a backwards winter hat and water shoes.

My granddaddy is in the hospital awaiting heart surgery (please pray for him if you're the praying sort!), so I decided that if we managed to get at least one good card out of the batch, we'd mail it to him. And as you can see in the photo above, we did! Tra la!! (Dear everybody in my family - please don't show this to granddaddy. We haven't mailed it yet!)

Do you have any other ideas for greeting cards your child can make? Please share in the comments! 

And if you're feeling loving, you can always click the smiling lady below. :)

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  1. these are awesome! nothing makes me want a baby as much as reading the crafts you post on your blog and wishing i had a kid to do them with. (i use my nephews, but since i only see them every summer they don't completely scratch the itch.)

    also, i feel like a i need to make someone a "have a reasonably pleasant arbor day" card immediately. now to figure out when arbor day is. it's may or september i'm fairly certain. (i kinda suck at remembering these things.)

  2. This is such a wonderful post. The birthday card ideas are great and I really want to make time on making one of this with my kids. By the way, thanks for sharing and Im looking forward for more of your ideas . More Power. :)