Holiday Crafting: ABC Cards

December 2, 2010

Thank you all for the wonderful emails and comments about Rhythm of The Home. I have to admit that Bernadette, Julia and I consider ourselves to be really lucky to work on something that brings forth the creativity of so many talented people. I’m not sure that, besides mothering, we could ask for a better job (although Julia is also a nurse, which really kind of rocks). 

Today I am starting a bit new. Every day, from here until January 1st, I am challenging myself to come to this space and share a small craft, gift, recipe, yoga pose, meditation, etc. I am not forcing it, not trying to get myself to come here just because. Rather, I find my brain full of ideas once again, and my kids very much into wanting to craft and create. One thing that I found myself reflecting on these past few days, as I poured over the magazine, was how much I enjoy the simple crafts, words and projects that can be done as individuals, and as families.

A few weeks back, I saw this gorgeous post from Marina, and the bottom photograph made me stop and take pause. Oh how I love those letters. What a beautiful and simple way to help children learn, and so much beauty in such a routine exercise.

The boys happened by, and immediately asked if we could make a set. I had actually been just about to go and place an order for a set, but I figured that this had to be a great lesson, art project, and family craft all rolled into one.

The nice thing about these cards is that with a bit of paint, some stencils, and a pair of scissors, you can whip them up in no time. It is also a great way for kids to combine education and art into one.

The boys and I started out with 10 pieces of water color paper and paint, and I read them a story as they painted. We made enough to ensure that we could make two full sets of the alphabet cards (one for them, and one as a gift for a good friend).

Sarah Baldwin, of Moon Child blog, has a wonderful article on wet-on-wet watercolor painting that I would highly recommend for anyone who wants more info on this beautiful technique.
Rae, of Morning Sun Rae, also have a collection of ways to re-purpose all of the watercolor paintings that our little ones create (we also seem to have been on the same wave length in terms of the cards :)).

After the paintings had dried, and I had pressed them for a few hours under large books to ensure that they were flat, we then cut them into the sizes we wanted for each set. I used a paper cutter for ease, but a pair of scissors for everyone participating would work just as well.

I had a set of stencils from another project in the art drawer, and the boys love to stencil anything that they can, so they chose to use these for each card. Having said that, these cards are also a wonderful way for kiddos to draw or free paint as well.

52 letters later, we were ready to go. We finished off the cards by rounding the four edges, and then gathered our art supples together. Since we had used a sturdy paper, the boys now had their choice of mediums to create a picture that began with the letter it represented (if you are making these for a gift, you may consider letting the cards stay blank on the back, with a note encouraging the child to create their own pictures).

These cards can be packaged simply with a bow, or given in a small fabric bag carrying case to be taken almost anywhere. Jake and Elwood have spent the past few days creating many games to be played and enjoyed with these cards, and Elwood’s favorite has been a Scrabble like game where each one is given seven cards a piece to start, and then make words that are 3 or 4 letters each (this should be determined ahead of the beginning of play). Each takes a turn drawing a card, and the winner is determined once the deck is gone. The kiddo with the most amount of made words wins.

There is satisfaction in seeing a child make something so useful from start to finish, and for them to enjoy their own creation in many different ways. These cards also make a nice homemade gift that I am hoping the boys enjoy giving, and their friends enjoy receiving.

For more Handmade Holiday ideas, visit Tonya’s beautiful blog.

ABC Cards PDF

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

anushka December 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

ooooh! i love these. must buy stencils next time i see them! : ) excited for your daily posts. happy holidays!

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mommarae December 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

so sweet! i made some similar to these. i wrote a post recently about creative ways to repurpose watercolor paintings! so fun! ;)

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ItsLily December 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

They'll be so proud of their gifts. That makes them doubly cool in my book.

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Shivayamama December 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I love those cards! I just added the link into the post for people to refer to. Thanks for sharing :)
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PlainandJoyfulLiving December 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Beautiful idea. Thank you for sharing.

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kerry December 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

This is a great idea! I think we will have fun making some of these! I am looking forward to all of your upcoming posts.

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Anna December 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I love that the boys wanted to make the cards instead of having you buy them. And even better, I love the game they've created. What a great way to encourage them to spell and create. While I'm not quite as dedicated as you are, I am also trying to write a series of posts on Holiday crafts. I know it won't be every day, but as often as I can.

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Sarah Jane December 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I look forward to this month here!
And awesome letters. You creations are always inspiring!

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Kelly December 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm

great idea!!

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Valarie December 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Oh I love these. It's so great that they made them theirselves. So much creative learning going on. I might have to make a set for the little people in my life. Thanks for sharing.

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Marina December 3, 2010 at 12:32 am

Oh thank you so much for the link love, Heather! I love that you made your own alphabet and I think we're going to need that ourselves :D.

I'm very excited to see the simple nourishing, creative things you share over the next month <3

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Rose December 3, 2010 at 12:34 am

Brilliant!

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agambroult December 3, 2010 at 12:50 am

when I first saw the letter cards i thought, my girls are too old for those, but by the time I finished this post i had a million different ideas for games with them. These might be a good project for us over holiday school break. The links are all great, too.

I hear you, on feeling filled to the brim with ideas. It's this time of year. the busiest, for certain, yet somehow we seem to find extra time to make even more than we normally would. I have a long list of things to blog about over the next month, too. Some months I haven't a thing to say, it seems. I'll be checking back here often to see what you have in store for us :)

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erin December 3, 2010 at 5:23 am

Oh Heather, I just love these!! This is such a great idea for repurposing watercolor paper.

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birdie December 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Heather, they are wonderful. I'm just so in love with your blog! :-) thank you so much for sharing, for all the wonderful ideas!! have a wonderful week end!

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beth December 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

This is brilliant! I love 'em. Beth

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geek+nerd December 10, 2010 at 11:58 am

These are just gorgeous!

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