40 Homemade Cards for Kids to Make

40 handmade cards for kids to make

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | TinkerlabThere are plenty of homemade card ideas out there, but how many of them are kid-friendly? We pulled this collection of homemade cards together for everyone who would like some inspiration for cards that kids can actually make themselves.

HOMEMADE CARDS THAT KIDS CAN MAKE THEMSELVES

If you’re familiar with Tinkerlab, you probably know that we appreciate child-centered projects, experiments, and open-ended creativity. So, for the most part, the cards shared here today have that spirit in their soul. These projects will give you a seed of an idea to start with. Once you set these card-making activities up, you can let your child get into their creative zone as they add their own ideas to the mix.

FIVE HOMEMADE CARD CATEGORIES

For easy navigation, these homemade cards are broken down into five categories: All Occasion Cards, Thank You Cards, Valentine Cards, Christmas and Hanukkah Cards, and Birthday Cards. But don’t let these categories dissuade you from mixing them up, as a Valentine card could easily become a Christmas card by swapping a heart shape for a tree. Thank you to all the blogs who let me share their homemade card ideas with us today!

ALL OCCASION CARDS FOR KIDS TO MAKE

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | Tinkerlab

HOMEMADE THANK YOU CARDS

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | Tinkerlab

  • The cut-out window on these Peek-a-boo Cards gives your child the opportunity to think about what to put behind the open space.
  • If your child is around kindergarten age, introduce them to the joy of random acts of kindness such as sending a Thank You Card to service members. I love this. Coffee Cups and Crayons
  • Her’s another act of kindness to leave happy greeting notes to brighten someone’s day. So Simple!, Coffee Cups and Crayons
  • If you have a few thank you’s to write, check out these printable thank you cards with a blank area for your child to add a drawing and a few words of gratitude, The House of Hendrix
  • Do you have a stock-pile of art that you’d like to repurpose into something new? Try these Mini-Masterpiece Thank You CardsThe Imagination Tree

HOMEMADE VALENTINE CARDS

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | Tinkerlab

HOMEMADE HOLIDAY CARDS

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | Tinkerlab

HOMEMADE BIRTHDAY CARDS

40 homemade cards for kids to make including birthdays, holidays, and thank you cards  | Tinkerlab

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOMEMADE CARD?

If you have a related post or know of an idea that should be including in this collection, feel free to add a link in the comment section.

Simple DIY Pop-Up Cards for Creative Kids

Make your own Easy Pop Up Card

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards

Do you like to make your own cards? Every now and then I’ll find myself in Target’s card aisle, lured in by my wide-eyed kids who ogle at the colorful greeting ideas. I love it too, but we’re rarely suckered in when it’s so easy, fun, and frankly more meaningful to make our own cards.

I know, making your own cards can takes heap-loaps of time, and the truth is that we don’t always have it. On the other hand, creative projects like this have some big benefits: they give my kids something constructive to work on and offer them lots of time to think about the recipient of their card (building lots of gratitude and love along the way).

My five-year old was getting ready for a couple of birthday parties, and she worked diligently on these pop-up cards. They can be as complicated or simple as you like. Since making these cards, this has become her favorite card-making method, and most recently she made a princess card with a pop-up crown for a friend’s dress-up party.

Make your own Easy Pop Up Card

POP-UP CARD SUPPLIES

  • Card Stock or other heavy-weight paper
  • Colorful construction paper
  • White Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Envelope

HOW TO MAKE A POP-UP CARD

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards Instructions 1

CUT THE CARD STOCK FOR THE POP-UP CARD

Cut a piece of card stock to the desired size.

Next, fold the card stock in half. Cut two parallel slits on the folded side of the paper, about one inch apart and about one inch long. I’d encourage you to play around with the length of these cuts.

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards Instructions 2

Next, fold the tab up and crease it.

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards Instructions 2-2

Open up your card.

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards Instructions 3

And then pop the paper toward the inside of the card.

Make Easy DIY Pop Up Cards

INVITE YOUR CHILD TO CREATE A POP-UP CARD

Cut a piece of colorful construction paper, the same size or slightly bigger than the card stock. Glue the card stock to the construction paper. Be sure that you don’t glue the “pop-up” section down.

Set up the blank pop-up card and a bucket of crayons as an invitation for your child to create.

MAKE THE POP-UP DESIGN FOR YOUR CARD

Ask your child to think of what he or she would like to pop off of the card. My five-year old made two cards: one had a space theme and the other had a garden theme. She decided that she wanted a rocket to pop off the space card and a flower to pop off the garden card. I helped her figure out how tall to make these objects.

Note: If the pop-up objects are too tall, they’ll poke out of the card when it closes

Decorate the cards with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. When the card is done, glue the pop-up piece in place and let it dry for about an hour.

Simple DIY Pop Up Cards for Kids

MORE CREATIVE CARDS FOR KIDS

Check back tomorrow for a GIANT collection of open-ended and process-based cards that kids can make. Until then, here are a few more ideas to keep you busy…

FREE template for a pop-up paper giraffe and elephant

The Chocolate Muffin Tree shares the same technique shared here, with some additional ideas on what to add to the pop-up area: How to make a simple pop-up.

Similar to pop-up cards, try making a peek-a-boo card.

If you like handprint cards, this handprint card from Willowday is really unique.

 

Creative Table Inspiration from Instagram

Creative Table | Tinkerlab

How was your weekend? We had some great quality time with family and melted in the sun at the UCLA v. Stanford football gameCreative Table | Tinkerlab

Now that the weekend is over, I thought it would be fun to begin our week with some Creative Table inspiration. If you’re new to this series, this is a great place to start.

If you head over to Instagram and search the hashtag #creativetable, you’ll find all sorts of inspiring creative invitations and projects brewing. It’s sort of like Pinterest, but with real people, making real things. If you’re looking for some hands-on ideas, spend some time lurking through the Creative Table images and you’ll be hooked. If you’re not on Instagram, you can click here to see the most recent photos tagged with #creativetable.

Today we’re sharing four of our favorite Creative Tables from this week.

First up, The Chocolate Muffin Tree shares this Halloween prompt is for high school students, but children of all ages would have fun with this (and adults too!). All you need are some mini pumpkins, acrylic paint, glue, and treasures.

Inviation to decorate pumpkins Chocolate Muffin Tree :: #creativetable on Instagram

 

Debs from Learn with Play at Home is a former school teacher, now mom to two kids. She shares a simple creative invitation to draw with chalk on wet black paper.

Creative Table Invitation from Learn with Play at Home

 

Katey from Playing and Learning Begins at Home shares this fun (and potentially messy — notice the outdoor setting) provocation to paint with balloons.

 

Painting on Balloons because we can #creativetable via Playing and Learning Begins at Home

 

Meri Cherry of the blog, MeriChery, is a mom and an art teacher, and shares these hand-mixed paints — that are both mixed and NAMED by 3 and 4 year olds.

Making paint with 3 and 4 year olds :: CreativeTable

 

How to play

If you’d like to be included in our next Creative Table post, jump in on the action on Instagram and tag your image with both #creativetable and @tinkerlab.

A question for you

We’re just beginning to put together a series of FREE creative table prompts. Is this something that you would be interested in?

A Peek into our Maker Space

A peek at the Tinkerlab Studio

A peek at the Tinkerlab Studio

Where the Making Happens

Since moving into our house about three years ago, our art studio has set its stake in almost every non-sleeping/bathing area of our home. The house is small, and we have to get creative. Are you in the same camp?

Most recently, our studio was in the official dining room, which worked out well since it’s right next to the kitchen (water source!) and I could make meals while the kids created.

But, kids grow and the way we were using the house changed. Mainly, I was ready for my OWN maker space which couldn’t also fit in the small dining room, so we shifted things around and turned part of our living room into what you see here. How about you? Do you have a space for your creative outlet?

For a very different look, you can check out how the art studio fit into this corner just two years ago, and then again one year ago. I think we’re getting better at this! The current space is far from perfect, but it’s become a productive room and serving its purpose well.

I should add that as I look at my desk right now, it’s covered in all sorts of projects (eeek) and doesn’t look nearly as inviting as it does in this photo, but I remind myself that it’s a working space and that’s the point of it! It’s there to get messy.

My favorite things about the space are:

  1. The art cart (IKEA)
  2. Having a big table to work on (that’s not also where we eat meals)
  3. The ability to work alongside my kiddos.

Your thoughts

I’m keeping it short today, but before I sign off I would love to hear from you:

  1. Do you have a designated space for making?
  2. If yes, please tell me about it and submit your studio and it may be featured on Tinkerlab.
  3. If no, what’s holding you back?

 

Day of the Dead Cookie Cutters

Day of the Dead Cookie Cutters :: Tinkerlab

Dia de los Muertos playdough skeletons :: Tinkerlab

We recently walked into one of our favorite crafty store, Paper Source, and I found these fantastic Day of the Dead Cookie Cutters. My kids agreed that we should test them out, so we brought them home and put them to work with our play dough.

Fred Cookie Cutters :: Tinkerlab

My little one and I rolled out some of our famous pumpkin pie playdough. Well, I don’t know if it’s famous, but it smells great and it’s a must-have for the Fall season.

Then she arranged the cutters to make them all fit. With the shapes all cut out, the fun part is flipping the cutters over to make the stamped skeleton impression.

Day of the Dead Playdough

Once they were all stamped and cut I suggested that we squish them all up and start all over again, but she was so proud of her creations and would hear of it. So we packed them all up neatly in our playdough container where they’ll be waiting for us next time the dough comes out.

Dia de los Muertos playdough :: Tinkerlab

More Playdough

One of our most popular posts will show you how to make glowing play dough and here is the recipe for our favorite play dough.

Fred cookie cutters :: Tinkelrab

More stamping cookie cutters

In addition to the Sweet Spirits Cookie Stamps, Fred also makes a letter pressed alphabet, letter pressed numbers, and spooky/cute gingerbread men skeletons. The Fred blog also has some great tips for getting the most out of your stamping cookie cutters: Fred’s Tips for Successful Stamped Cookies.

A question for you

Do you buy or make play dough?

Note: This post contains affiliate links, but we only share links to products that we love or that we think you’ll find useful.

Creative Invitation: Paint and Looping Lines

Creative Invitation with Paint and Looping Lines :: Tinkerlab

CREATIVE INVITATION with paint and looping lines :: Tinkerlab Today we’re setting up a creative invitation that takes minutes to put together, and clean up is a snap.

As we shared in this post, the basic premise of Creative Invitations follows four simple steps:

  • Clear your table of anything that won’t be used in the invitation
  • Artfully arrange the materials to provoke ideas
  • Limit the choice of materials to just a few items
  • Provide clues about how to use the materials, but keep the project open-ended so that original ideas can flourish.

To get started, you could set up your invitation the night before as I did, or take a few moments to arrange it while your child is playing or napping. Or you could include your child in the set-up.

Supplies

  • Paint
  • Large sheet of paper
  • Water container
  • Paint brush
  • Washable tempera paint
  • Container to hold the paint
  • Sharpie marker (or other non-toxic permanent marker)
  • Rag

Set-up

Place all the materials out on the table. With a permanent marker, draw some basic shapes or looping lines on the paper.

Creative Invitaiton Paint and Looping Lines Process

Invitation

Invite your child to paint however he or she likes. You can see that my three-year old and five-year old had completely different approaches and ideas about how to tackle the paper. I love that! The goal isn’t to create anything in particular but to encourage your child to be inventive and use the parameters of the set-up as inspiration. Creative Invitaton Paint and Looping Lines :: Tinkerlab My three-year old’s creation on the left and my five-year old’s creation on the right: one painted inside the lines and the other right over the lines. Cool!

Clean-up

Leave the papers on the table to dry or move them to a drying area. Carry the brushes and water container to the sink. Voila!

More Creative Invitations

We love coming up with ways to make your life simpler and more creative, and creative invitations are one of our favorite ways to do that. If you enjoyed this post you might also want to check out Tape ArtSticker Composition with Frames, Washi Tape and Found Paper Collage. Tinkerlab plays host to a really fun Instagram hashtag: #creativetable. For more creative invitations, pop over to Instagram and search for more ideas from creative parents and artists. Also, our friends at The Art Pantry are hosting an Invitations to Create Challenge this month (October), and you can find out more about it here.

Easy DIY Halloween Garland

Easy DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

Easy DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

Elmer’s Glue sent us a big pack Early Learner’s materials, and I invited my five-year old to help me come up with a project that other children might enjoy making. My kids created all sorts of things with the pom-poms, buttons, popsicle sticks, fuzzy pipe cleaners, and paper that came with the kit, and then we finally settled on this simple garland that’s sure to brighten any home for Halloween.

It’s easy to prep, doesn’t require any hard-to-find materials, and your child will be encouraged to think creatively as she invents jack-o-lantern faces.

Let’s get started…

E

Supplies

  • Construction Paper: Orange, Black, Green
  • Crayons: Black and White
  • Glue. Elmer’s sent us their new Early Learner Glue Stick and Glue Pen to try out.
  • Scissors
  • Long piece of string

Easy DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

Prep

  1. Pre-cut circles from the black and orange paper. Approximately 4″ across.
  2. Pre-cut stems (rectangles) from the green paper. Approximately 3″ long and 3/4″ wide
  3. Recycle your paper scraps

Easy DIY Halloween Garland drawing

Invitation

Invite your child to decorate the circular shapes with Jack o’ Lantern faces. Be sure to color both sides if you plan to hang your garland in the middle of the room.

My daughter asked me to join her, and gave me very specific instructions about how the faces should look. I’m a good student and listened carefully.

Easy DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

When the faces are done, fold your stems in half and glue them to the piece of string.

DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

Be sure to leave about a foot on either end so that you can tie it off to a hook or nail. We decided to tape ours to the rafters because we’re glamorous like that.

Easy DIY Halloween Garland :: Tinkerlab

Creative Invitations

Creative Invitations like this are a great way to encourage independent thinking and problem solving. The idea is to set up a provocation with some basic materials, and then step back and see what your child comes up with. Our friends at The Art Pantry are hosting an Invitations to Create Challenge this month, and you can find out more about it here.

Halloween Inspiration

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 5.18.49 PM

For more Halloween inspiration, follow our Halloween board on Pinterest. You might also like to see one of our most popular Halloween posts: 50 Simple Halloween Activities for Kids. You can also follow Elmer’s on Pinterest for lots of gluey inspiration.

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Disclosure: Elmer’s sent us materials to create this project, but all opinions expressed in this post are our own.