Homemade birthday cards are a family tradition that I grew up with, and am happily continuing with my kids. I have to say, the cards my kids were making were sweet, and included lots of wonderful sentiments, but the visuals were generally lacking. So, now that they're just a bit older, I decided to use the birthday card making as a little design lesson, by starting with a short discussion about birthday cards in general, and then a discussion about using the blank page as a canvas.
Here are some of the questions I asked:
- What makes a great birthday card, and what are the components of a birthday card?
- What should the cover of a card communicate versus the inside?
- Using a letter sized piece of paper, how many different ways can we fold the paper to make a card?
- Should we plan our drawing before we start in order to achieve results we'll be happy with?
- Does how we choose to fill the space with our drawing make a difference?
After this discussion, the kid decided to make slim horizontal cards (for their brother), and I think they did a great job of using the space— my son pushed the limits of the space with his eight-shaped chicks in birthday hats, and my daughter centered her adorable Ed Emberly inspired design in the middle of the card. The top card is more successful color-wise, so next time we'll have to have to focus on the idea of using color to enhance a design. There are so many things to teach our children when it comes to design, some people are naturals, others can learn!
After this design exercise I was thinking that one could certainly use adorable kid's artwork to make printed invitations or even stationary and blank notecards to give as gifts. Don't get nervous, this doesn't have to be time consuming or costly, check out these great deals on Vista Print products, and get started! Upload a scan of the artwork, and in a few simple steps make gorgeous printed pieces from the heart.
Note: There are two ways to go in terms of using your kid's artwork to make printed cards. If the drawings are made on white paper, to be printed on white, you'll have to remove the background, even though it's white, using a setting on your scanner (possibly?) or using a photo editing program. Alternatively, bring the scan of your photo into any program and add a colored border around the illustration so that removing the background won't be necessary. Don't have a scanner? You can have the drawings scanned for you at digital photo store, or printer, and if you just don't have time to leave the house, so taking a photo of the drawing in bright daylight (on a white surface) isn't quite as polished but could work too. Have fun, your kids will love seeing their efforts in print!