Arts and Crafts

Reindeer Thumb-print Cards

Today I was babysitting my nieces, which seems to always turn into craft time.  They were getting tired of just making collages (one of my favorite things to have kids do, because it’s simple and creative. :))

So, I got out a craft magazine that had some instructions for simple Christmas cards, and I pulled out some craft items that made their eyes POP out with excitement.

In the magazine, there were three thumb-print reindeer, Rudolph in the middle.  Each one had mini googly eyes and a miniature pom-pom for the nose.

I had neither googly eyes, nor pom-poms.

I asked the girls what they would do to finish out the project.  I love making crafts in which I don’t need to follow every detail of the template.  You get the most creative ideas that way from the kids, and they feel empowered to create!

So, here is my attempt at the card (are you ready for cheesy?)

Outside of the card

Inside the card (click on file to see more detail).

Other ideas for Rudolph and friends?

How about ideas for thumb-print cards?

(I saw some really cute snowman thumb-prints once.  I’ll have to replicate here sometime.)

Arts and Crafts

Magazine Envelopes

When I first went away to college,  I wrote letters to friends all around the world who had gone in different directions – school, missions for our church, work, etc.  This was in the days before e-mail (were there ever such days?). I got really creative with the materials that I used to write those letters, because, let’s face it – “poor college student” is a cliche after all.

One of my favorite things to create was the envelope.  I made them out of magazine pages.  Really.  And I sent them all around the world, from all over the world.

So today, I’m going to show you a fun project to make when you come across a magazine add, picture, or page that you just can’t part with.

Magazine Envelopes

Materials that you will need:

  • A page from a magazine
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • white paper or address labels (as needed)

Instructions:

1. Find a page from a magazine that is mostly a picture.

A boy in nature

2. Turn it to the backside and fold the bottom 3/4 of the way up and the top 1/3 down over the bottom.

(And by the way, I hope you are enjoying my creative solution – these gorgeous hand drawings – to show you step by step how to make the envelopes.  Sure, I could use fancy computer graphics or photography, but I think that childish hand drawn items are coming back, I really do!) 😉

3. Fold side edges 1/2 inch.

4. Now it gets a little tricky, so I will try to describe it, but leave it to your cleverness, the diagram, and an interpretive dance number (that I will create later) to figure out what I mean.

Cut the bottom 1/2 inch edge fold off of your envelope.  Also, cut  the top 1/2 inch edge fold, leaving a small triangle in each corner.

5. Glue along the sides that you left in the 1/2 inch fold, but only up to the bottom of the triangles.  Fold the bottom 2/3 up and attach to the glue.

6. Cut triangles off of the top 1/3 of the envelope and fold down to meet the main body.

7.  Insert letter inside and paste shut.

This looks funky, I know, but the white part is the letter going into the envelope.

8. Address the front.  I use a piece of paper and then tape it on, but I’m sure you could write right on it as well.

I usually use clear packing tape (my favorite :)) to make sure that the sides are tightly shut – especially if it is going out of the country.  Yes, amazingly these really do work, and make it through the mail.

For this particular magazine page, I had to make the backside upside down, so that more of the part of the picture that I liked was showing.  It’s a fun project and hopefully can help you introduce the Art of letter writing to your family.

I also found this link to a post called “Dressing up” your envelopes that I thought was really fun (though there was a shocking lack of

hand drawn diagrams.)

What other ideas do you have for creative letter writing, envelopes, etc.?  Please, feel free to improve upon this idea and tell us about it.