Do you know what a "life hack" is? Wikipedia says "Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem of a person in a clever or non-obvious way." A quick Google search will pull up hundreds, if not thousands, of life hacks. Here is a link to the ones I most recently viewed over at Twisted Sifter.
Why am I sharing this? Because I am not sure that today's post is really all that much of a tip, and I don't want to be misleading in my post title, and my OCD self will not let me create a post on Tuesday without calling it "Tuesday Tips and Recipes". So, consider these life hacks my tips for today. You're welcome.
Let's talk birthday cards. If you have kids in school, or know anyone that has a birthday--Do you like how I did that to make sure I didn't exclude anyone?--you probably find yourself buying a lot of birthday cards. While I like the convenience of a store bought card, I LOVE the personal touch of a handmade card.
I have both made and received some beautiful cards. I have used my Cricut. I have used a friend's Cuttlebug. I have used stamps and all kinds of fancy inks and papers. And the cards have been BEAUTIFUL. But they have also been time consuming and not kid-friendly. So, today I am going to show you what has become my go-to card for the kids to make. (And I don't know about your kiddos, but I only have two, and we get AT LEAST one birthday invite per week. We certainly cannot go to all of the parties, but we do like giving a card whenever possible, and who doesn't love a homemade card?)
We were just at a birthday party for twins, and we made these cards for them.
Cute, right? Here's how we did it. (The pics are pretty self explanatory, so I will try not to be too wordy. I said I would TRY.)
You will need some good old fashioned construction paper, markers, scissors, and glue.
For most everything I ever draw, I Google whatever it is I want to draw and try to find a simple image. For most things, a "free clip art" search gets me what I am looking for. For this card, I Googled "birthday cake clip art free", and HUNDREDS of images came up. I scanned through them and found something that I thought I could easily recreate, and I took a screen shot of it with my phone.
You can find this particular piece of clip art here. I like to look at an image and just free hand it. I am not very good at drawing, but if I have a simply enough image to copy off of, I can manage well enough. If you prefer to make a more exact copy, I would suggest printing out whatever image you choose and tracing it using graphite paper. You can buy it at any craft store (or on Amazon) for just a couple of dollars.
I wanted our cards to have a layered effect, so I cut each part out of a different color. (The kids picked the colors and I sketched and cut.)
That was a good start, but it looked a little "blah", so we outlined each piece with a marker in a matching color.
Much better! The next thing we did was just glue the pieces together.
Then we "decorated" the cake with candles and sprinkles. (I apparently don't have a shot of just the front. You get the idea.) For the twins birthday, which was just last week, their mom was like, "PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY PRESENTS!" Their house is very full after Christmas, and she just didn't want anymore clutter. I TOTALLY get that, but we wanted to get SOMETHING! I asked her if we could bring a small gift, and she said, "VERY SMALL!" The kids and I were brain storming what we could give the boys, and we decided we would give them some money so that they could pick out their own gift. The boys were turning six, so we gave them six big ones for their six big ones!
We needed to create a pocket for the back of the card (normally we just write on the back of the card), so I cut the flap off of a card envelope and taped it to the back of the card.
*Note the colored fingerprints on the tape. Our fingers got a bit of marker on them from the outlining process! No worries! It washes right off! ;)
We tucked the "dollars" into the envelope, and we were done! So cute and the kids were SO proud of their homemade cards!
Here are some pics of another version of this card that Morgan made for one of her girl friends.
We added some pretty string and just tied the card right to the little gift.
I think construction paper is so much fun! I really like fancy papers and fancy cutting machines, but there is something so fascinating about just creating with simple pieces and your imagination. And what kid doesn't love scissors and glue?!
What do you think? Is this something you will try with your kiddos, or just on your own? Send me a pic if you do and I will share it!
Stay warm (we are currently at -1, but it feels like -19, and that is Fahrenheit for my international readers!) and enjoy the Son today!