DIY Christmas Cards for Your Classroom
I don’t know if you are like me or not, but I just 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!
And if you DON’T save all your cards like me (I’m jealous) but still want to do this activity with your students, I have you covered there, too. I’ve made a fun, easy, and inexpensive resource that you can use right away to do essentially the same thing with your students. I call this idea “Holiday card stARTers“ and it’s available in my Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ll explain it more in detail later in this post but first take a look at what the final outcome can look like… it’s been kid tested and approved!
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 are going to 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 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) or 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–their 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 as well as to 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 to during the holidays.
Here are some of the cards that a group of creative 4th graders that I worked with created!
DIY Christmas Cards: Holiday card stARTers…
If cutting out old holiday cards (or catalog clippings) isn’t really doable for you, or you don’t want to spend the time doing it, don’t worry because I have you covered! I’ve developed a set of card templates which include small creativity-sparking starter images already on them. Students can use this resource to create their own keepsake Christmas/holiday cards in much the same way I’ve described above. Kids love to draw but often times they just don’t know quite how to get started or what to draw. My card stARTers will take that fear away for them and get their creative juices flowing at the same time. As one teacher said,
I am so grateful for this resource. This will help kids (and adults) who have a fear of drawing. I love the idea that it is incorporated into a writing activity. Awesome, as usual.” ~ Lisa F.
You can find my Holiday Card StARTers Resource in my TPT store.
I’ve made this video to show you how my DIY Christmas Cards – Holiday Card StARTers work. Keep scrolling to see examples from what it looked like when a classroom of 4th graders and I did this project together!
For example in the images below, students were given a portion of a snowman (left) and a portion of a stocking (right). It was then their task to finish the snowman and stocking for their DIY Christmas Card.
This project opens up the world to your students to be as creative as they possibly can be. Each student will design their cards differently–even if given the same starter image.
No matter which of these two ideas you decide to go with I hope your DIY Christmas cards are a huge success in your classroom this year! I’ve love to see what your students make so don’t forget to tag @artwithjennyk on your favorite social media accounts – Facebook, IG, Twitter and Pinterest!
Thanks for reading, and for making art with your students – Happy Holidays!