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Dec 16

Home-made Christmas cards for young children

Spoiler alert for Grandparents and other friends and family lucky enough to receive a card from Roo!

The annual making of the Christmas cards has been a tradition for me ever since I can remember. For a while I gave it up – whilst I like to think I am a bit creative,  I am not remotely artistically talented. When a relative once questioned whether I had made that year’s Christmas card offering or whether I had enlisted the help of a small child, I decided enough was enough and that the thought alone obviously wasn’t enough once a grown adult!

Now I have the excuse of two tiny tots and I can not only get out the craft box again but also retreat to my favourite (and probably safest) position of  Christmas Cards Creative Director, whilst letting the girls get stuck into the artistic side which frankly, with a humble collective age of under 5, they do significantly better at than their artistically disaster-prone mother.

Roo is fond of sticking, so for this year’s Christmas cards we raided the larder and made use of rice and spaghetti to make our Christmas tree cards. The rice works brilliantly for Christmas trees as the grains look just like pine-needles. I don’t know how it has taken me so many years to realise this! We also tried out using finger-print painting and scrumpled up tissue paper to make different versions of the same card.

Here are this year’s Christmas cards and how we went about making them. Do feel free to link in the comments to your own Christmas cards and Christmas crafts – I’ve been having so much fun this year finding things to make with the girls online, although these cards we conjured up unaided.

Rice & Spaghetti Festive Tree Christmas Cards

You will need: White rice, spaghetti (use wholemeal for extra authentic colour without mess), green food colouring (natural one worked best for us), glitter, glue, gold stars (optional) brush and card.

Super-easy store-cupboard Christmas cards!

Super-easy store-cupboard Christmas cards!

First, I did a bit of prep and put the rice in a bowl with about 3 drops of green food colouring and some gold glitter. I used the natural ones which worked really well. I tried normal food dye for a later bunch and it came out a bit vivid and wet and took a long time to dry, so less is definitely more if you go that route.

I also tried painting our spaghetti with brown dye but this was a disaster – it didn’t soak up the colour and just made a big mess on the card so I’d just use wholemeal spaghetti or paint it with normal paint if you don’t like the natural colour. Either that or skip it completely – the trees still look pretty without a trunk.

Next, fold your card to the size you want. A quarter of A4 is good if you want to fit it in a normal envelope.

Next, paint a triangle Christmas tree shape of glue onto the middle of your card.

Sprinkle on some of the rice and press down into the glue gently with the back of a teaspoon.

Shake the card gently over some newspaper to get rid of the excess rice.

Paint on a rectangle of glue for the trunk under the Christmas tree shape.

Break up spaghetti to the right size and stick on to make the tree trunk.

Add a gold star on the top and any other finishing touches you fancy and you’re done!

Tissue paper festive tree Christmas cards

You will need: card, glue, tissue paper (whatever colours you have), paint, brushes.

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This is a great version of the card for young kids who like to be in control of every stage of the card making process. If you don’t have tissue paper, try ripping up small bits of wrapping paper instead to make a collage.

To make this, fold you card to the right size. Paint on lots of glue into a triangle Christmas tree shape.

Next, tear up small bits of tissue paper in whatever colours you fancy and roll and crumple them into small balls. Stick onto the card, covering all the glue to make your Christmas tree.

Paint on a tree trunk if you want or cut out some gold or coloured paper to make a pot instead.

Fingerprint festive tree Christmas Cards

You will need: Card, paper, paint, scissors, glitter (optional), glue.

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Fold your card to the right size. If your card is dark or if you kids are really little and liable to miss the whole idea of making a Christmas tree shape entirely, then I recommend using a separate piece of paper to do the finger-printing on.

Next, load up a plate with some green paint  – we mixed up a few different shades to provide variety.

Let your little artist loose on dipping their fingers in the paint and stamping them in lines on the paper to make a triangle shape. If they are tiny then don’t worry- you can cut their creation to shape afterwards.

Sprinkle with glitter whilst the paint is still wet.

Once dry, cut around the Christmas trees and stick onto your card. You can paint on trunks or stick on colour card to make pots if you want. We added gold stars on top to ours.

All done! If you’ve got siblings, making two different trees on the same card is a nice way of reflecting their relative sizes and capturing tiny fingerprints for posterity. For wriggly baby brothers and sisters, why not try and use their fingerprint to make the star on top?

Have fun with your Christmas creations and let me know if you have any other ideas for variations on the Christmas tree Christmas cards theme!

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