There are so many cards out there that creatively use kids’ hand and footprints. Although cute, I always had trouble getting one decent hand or footprint from my son.
As soon as my son was old enough to paint, I had him use cotton swabs, instead of paint brushes, so he could easily dab the paint onto the paper. (Now I use paintbrushes, sponge brushes and foam stampers for making cards with toddlers).
As you can see, his paintings are quite abstract:)
With all of the August birthdays in my family, I wanted to give them each a card that my toddler painted for them.
Yet, rather than give his messy paint prints, I thought of a great way to showcase his art but to also turn it into a nice-looking card. Doesn’t it look nice?!
Materials for Toddler Cards
Materials are so simple. Most likely, you will even already have all of these things.
- Card stock – I mostly used this bright color pack. The brighter the colors, the better the cards turned out. (Looking at the purple card (below), I wished I used a brighter color for the actual card.)
- Kids paint – I love this washable Crayola paint. Lots of color choices keep my son very interested in painting!
- Paintbrushes – sponge brushes, cotton swabs or stampers work too! My son loves foam painting stampers. He has this farm set, but they have transportation ones, animal ones, sea-life ones, and even holiday sets too! He only uses the paintbrush for so long, but the foam stampers keep him interested for longer
- Scissors – just the regular ole pair you have laying around the house 🙂
- Glue – or even tape 🙂
- Sharpie/Marker (if needed) – I used a sharpie to add the balloon strings. You could use ribbon too!
- Stickers or embellishments (if desired)
Making Cards with Toddlers
After my toddler painted on the card stock papers, I let them dry for a few hours or so. Then, I cut his paintings into shapes – cupcakes, presents, balloons, and layered cake. .
I then took a new piece of card stock (a contrasting color), folded it in half, and trimmed off the top (unless I was going for a tall card – like the balloons and train). After, I took the pieces that I cut and glued them down.
I even did a train cut-out for my train-loving dad. I used a nearby water bottle cap to trace those perfect circles 🙂
Using Patterned Scrapbook Paper
After making cards for all the August birthdays, I was running low on paintings, so I substituted printed scrapbook paper (here is a similar one) that looked like a cupcake wrapper.
It turned out so cute that I wished I thought of it sooner 🙂
Free Birthday Shapes Printable
As far as the shapes, I free-handed them as I cut. You could certainly draw on the paper and then cut.
Or, you could even use my free printable here. Just cut the shapes out and use them as stencils.
While making cards with toddlers, you can dress up the cards by adding some embellishments to the front of the card. I added the word happy with letter stickers because the present card looked a little plain.
A Personal Touch
Last, to give the cards just a little more of a personal touch, I had my son decorate the inside. He colored with his crayons and picked out stickers. This gave him another opportunity to be creative with his cards.
I just love how they turned out! My son got to be as creative as he wanted with no restrictions (like finger prints or footprints), and I got to create something to give to others that was refrigerator-worthy out of it.
Even though I used birthday shapes for this batch, you could easily alter the shapes for holidays too.
Making cards with toddlers is a win-win for everyone involved. Your child gets to do a fun activity, you get to save some money with homemade cards, and your family members/friends get a creative, cute card, showcasing your child’s work.
And, the best part is that there is no need for hand or footprints 😉