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Easy Christmas card ideas

I just love the lead up to Christmas and have always enjoyed the ritual of making cards and sending them out to friends. Here are some easy ideas for making cards with your kids.

1.  The 'stick-on abstract shapes' card

This idea is great for young kids who are able to use a glue stick but are not quite ready for anything more adventurous (or messy!). Even the very young (18 months +) can make these cards if you have are prepared to apply the glue and then hand the shapes over for placement. We used this idea for our cards last year and they were a big success.

You will need

• blank cards
a selection of colourful paper
scissors
glue stick

1. Cut out a selection of shapes from a range of colourful paper. I cut triangles from green origami paper, rectangles from red origami paper and circles from yellow and purple textured tissue paper. I used pinking shears to cut out some of the shapes.



2. Provide your little one with the shapes, a glue stick and a pile of blank cards. For extra bling, let them sprinkle on some small metallic stars or add some christmas stickers.



TIP. Don't stress out if you little one keeps sticking the shapes half on and half off the card. Once they've finished simply trim around the edges.



2.  The 'shower of glitter' card

These cards are messy to make but the effect is spectacular and I guarantee the kids will love it! My ever-practical partner pointed out these cards will probably cover the recipients in glitter when they open the envelope. I accept that he is probably right, but I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. With any luck it will help them to get into the Christmas spirit!

You will need

blank cards
kid's pvc glue
a couple of different colours of glitter
christmas cookie cutters

1. Pour glue into a small container or tray until the glue is about 3mm deep. Make sure that your containers is large enough to accommodate the cookie cutters.



2. Dip a cookie cutter in glue and then use it to make a glue print on the blank card. For best results, leave the cutter in place on the card for about three seconds to allow for the glue to drip down onto the card. Repeat until you have made all the glue prints that you want for that particular card.



3. Sprinkle different colours of glitter on top of the glue prints, making sure to cover all of the glue marks. Then shake the glitter off into a tray and allow card to dry.



3.  The 'always crisp potato print' card

There are good reasons why potato printing is an enduring favourite – it's fast, easy, haps of fun and there are so many different ways to use the same print. This method uses cookie cutters to achieve crisp and striking prints.

You will need

blank cards
christmas cookie cutters
potatoes
knife
acrylic paint and paintbrushes

1. Cut a potato in half and push in a cookie cutter at least 1cm into the potato. Leave the cutter there while you take a knife and make a 1cm slice into the potato, being careful to cut around the cookie cutter. Remove slice, and then remove cookie cutter and you should be left with a perfect christmas stamp.



2. Apply paint to the stamp using a brush (to ensure you get an even coat) and use it to stamp onto your blank cards.



TIP. Let your little one practise on a large sheet on paper to begin with as it can take a while to get used to applying pressure while holding the stamp perfectly still. Use your test sheets as Christmas wrapping paper.

4.  The 'back of a baking tray' card

Older kids will love being taught this method of print-making and once they understand what to do they'll want to be left alone to do it all by themselves. Provide some additional materials such as sponges, toothpicks and a comb so that they can play around with different textures. If they like drawing, encourage them to draw custom images for their friends and close family members.

Of course, younger kids can do this too – but they may not be able to wipe the edges of the print as described above. Instead, just let them print onto coloured paper and then cut the paper to stick on the card.

You will need

blank cards
old baking tray
acrylic paint
paint roller
damp cloth
• cotton buds, toothpicks etc

1. Work out what size print you would like to make and mark out the rough dimensions on the back of a baking try, using sticky tape.



2. Roll paint onto the tray, then draw a picture using your finger, a cotton bud or wooden skewer.



3. W
ipe around the edges of your print  with a damp sponge, using the tape as a guide. Then press the front of the card against the the paint and carefully remove. You should be able to make about three cards from each print. When you've finished, re-apply paint with the roller and do it all again.



WAIT, there's more! For lots more great homemade card ideas visit the Christmas card issue of Kids Craft Weekly. Also, be sure to check out my ideas for simple handmade tree ornaments.



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