Kids Crafts: Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards

I’ve been playing around with some printing techniques I learned recently and together with my son we’ve made some fun Christmas cards with bubble wrap which are just a bit different to the usual. These Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards are simple to do, but really look the part.

A little while ago I went to a gelatine monotype printing workshop with my friend Sarah at Crafts and Makes in Didsbury. The workshop was run by John Pinder and he taught us some basic printing techniques. I really enjoyed the workshop, but I’ve not yet had the time to make a gelatine plate to print on.

At the workshop we played about printing with different textures. One thing I especially liked was bubble wrap, it makes such a pretty pattern that I knew I could create something similar at home with some poster paint and blank card. The results are pretty good and would be good fun for kids to do in the run up to Christmas. Imagine Uncle David’s face when he opens his Christmas card to see this masterpiece?

Kids Crafts: Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards

These Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards are really simple to do, you might need to help/supervise/stop smaller children painting their faces/walls/the cat, but you probably do that anyway when you do crafts.

Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards

You will need:

Some blank greetings cards
Bubble wrap
Thick cardboard
Selection of post paints
A paintbrush

How to make your Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards:

Firstly, put newspaper down on the table you’re using, this could get messy. Cut a piece of bubble wrap to the size of the front of your greetings card. Squirt a blob of whatever paint colour you want for your background onto a plate and using the paintbrush apply an even layer of paint all over the bubbly side of the bubble wrap.

Kids Crafts: Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards

Carefully lay the painted side of the bubble wrap onto the card and press it down all over. Peel it back, there will be enough paint on it to print another one or two cards. Ideally, leave the cards to dry before printing the next stage. Mine took about 20 minutes.

While you’re waiting for your cards to dry, take your thick cardboard and draw some simple festive shapes. I did a wonky star and a Christmas Tree. Cut out your cardboard templates. Once your bubble wrap background is dry, liberally cover one side of your Christmas shapes with paint. Press the painted side of your shape on the front of the card, carefully removing it so the edge don’t smudge too much.

To print the next card you’ll need to add more paint to the shape. Leave your cards to dry. If you feel it needs it, you could touch up the shape with some extra paint. Leave them to dry properly, maybe overnight, and then write them and send them to your favourite person.

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Kids Crafts: Bubble Wrap Printed Christmas Cards

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Last year I went to a string art craft class and properly fell in love with this kind of craft. We took blocks of wood, nailed a pattern into it and wove coloured thread around the nails. I loved it and promised myself I’d try it at home. More than a year later I still haven’t done it. Instead I’ve been dabbling in a smaller kind of string art. I’ve been making little greetings cards with them.

They’re quite simple to do and I’m usually really pleased with how they turn out. This week I needed a get well soon card for a family friend, so I got my kit out and set to work. An hour of pretty restful sewing later, I had a nice card to send to a nice person.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

You will need:
One blank card and envelope
A pin
Coloured embroidery thread
A template shape
One pencil
A needle
Coloured paper
A glue stick

How to make your own String Art Greeting Cards:
Take your blank card and think about what shape you want to make with your string art. I chose a star shape and used a star shape cookie cutter I had. Using my pencil I drew around the cookie cutter on the inside of the card so the pencil wouldn’t show on the outside.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

Once I was happy with my shape, I took my pin and pierced the card around the edge of my pencil shape at regular intervals. I went with about half a centimetre intervals.

The next step is the thread your needle with your chosen embroidery thread. Although I originally chose yellow, I eventually chose purple thread. Embroidery thread is usually made up of six strands, I separated a length so I threaded two strands onto my needle.

With a small piece of sellotape, I stuck the end of my thread to the inside of the card and started sewing the star.

It’s better if you choose a regular pattern of holes to sew, rather than just doing it randomly. For this card I went almost diagonally across and moved two holes clockwise each time I moved across the star (if that makes sense). After a while my star started to take shape and I was happy with the pattern it was making.

Once you come to the end of each thread, sellotape the end to the inside of the card and start a new thread. Use as much or as little embroidery thread as you need and think is best. It just depends how it looks and if you think it needs more.

Once you are happy with how the string art looks, turn your card over and make sure any loose ends are taped down. The back might look a bit messy, which is why we cover it with some coloured or patterned paper.

Cut the coloured paper to size and stick it over the back of the string art star (or other shape) you’ve made with the glue stick. Leave it to dry and it’s ready to be written and sent to the lucky recipient.

Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards

String art greeting cards are really easy to do and great for doing when you just need to sit and do something without having to think too hard about it. Sting art was so big in the 1970’s and it’s really due a revival. It’s a brilliant craft and I urge you to give this mini version a try.

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Crafts: Make Your Own String Art Greeting Cards