I’m always looking for cute greeting card ideas for my kids to make. There are so many fun cards out there that creatively use kids’ hand and footprints. Although cute, I always had trouble getting one decent hand or footprint for a greeting card. Not to mention the mess it makes.
As soon as my son was old enough to paint, I had him “paint” with cotton swabs, instead of paint brushes, so he could easily dab the paint onto the paper. This kept the paint really confined but still allowed him to create artwork. (Sponge brushes and foam stampers are great for making cards with toddlers too.)
As any toddler’s paintings would be, my little guy’s artwork was very abstract.
I was having him make birthday cards for all of the August birthdays in my family. Yet, rather than give messy toddler paint prints, I thought of a great way to showcase his art but to also turn it into a nice-looking greeting card.
So after my son did a little painting, I did a little cutting and gluing – and voila! Don’t the birthday cards look nice?!
Materials for Making Greeting Cards from Toddlers
Making these greeting cards is so simple. The materials are so easy too. Most likely, you will even already have all of these things.
- Card stock – I like having toddlers make artwork on card stock because it is so thick. When they layer paint on paint on paint, the card stock works really well. 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 making greeting cards with these 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 for the birthday cards.
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 birthday items that I cut and glued them down to the card.
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 for Toddler Cards
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.
The greeting card turned out so cute that I wished I thought of it sooner 🙂
As far as the shapes, I free-handed them as I cut. You could certainly draw on the paper and then cut.
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 birthday card looked a little plain.
A Personal Touch
Last, to give the greeting 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 making birthday cards.
I just love how the birthday cards turned out! My son got to be as creative as he wanted with no restrictions (like finger prints or footprints), and I got to help my toddler create something to give to others that was refrigerator-worthy.
Even though I used birthday shapes for this batch of greeting cards, 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. Now that’s a win right there 😉