I don’t know if you are like me or not, but I can’t seem to bring myself to throw away all the Christmas cards people send me each year for the holidays. I’ve been saving them for years–but a bit unsure why! This year (finally!) I came up with a fun way to use them in the classroom–to help prompt kids to make their own unique holiday cards. This idea is perfect for DIY Christmas cards or DIY holiday cards–it’s easy for kids, for it takes the fear out of having to come up with what to draw for a holiday card, and the results are certainly keepsake-worthy!
DIY Christmas Cards: Using old holiday cards
First, let’s start with those old Christmas cards that have built up over the years. Start by tearing off the covers of cards that have interesting images on them. Then you’ll want to look at each card and determine what part of the card would make an interesting image for students to work with. You will be giving these to your students as a starting point for their DIY Christmas card designs. Sometimes you can get many different images from one card. Cut about 1″ x 1″ pieces. The idea is for these small pieces to serve as creativity sparks for the students. The students will then come up with (and draw) a complete picture that builds from the starter image.
When you have gone through your old cards (or all those Christmas catalogs that come in the mail in triplicate) and selected interesting bits, you’ll have something that looks like this…
Then you’ll want to get a piece of paper (I used 8″ x 11″) and fold them in half like this.
Now glue the little “starter” piece on your DIY Christmas card. You can let your students select their own image and glue it onto their own card (wherever they want). To save time, you can pre-glue them down for your class to use.
Now the fun can really begin (not that you didn’t have fun looking back through your old Christmas cards!). Have your students finish drawing the image that is on their cards. Encourage them to be as creative as possible–there is no “right” way to do this.
You’ll also want to encourage them to add a greeting on the front of their DIY Christmas card and write a message on the inside and, of course, add a beautiful signature and the date! Your students (or your own children) can then select a special family member to give their card during the holidays.
Here are some of the cards that a group of creative 4th graders that I worked with created!
Thanks for reading and for making art with your students – Happy Holidays!