Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last-minute greeting cards

Okay, so the package to the Lazy Grandparents needed to be in the mail today, and Lazy Kid wanted to make a Valentine's day card to go with it. Glitter glue wouldn't dry in time, so I hauled out Plan B: punching designs in cardstock with a hammer and nail.

1. Put a piece of corrugated cardboard on a solid surface (one you don't mind nicking up a bit if someone gets a little too excited with the hammer), then put the paper to be punched on top. I used regular cheapo cardstock for Lazy Kid's card, and some commercial blank greeting cards for my versions. Make sure you're looking at the inside of the card, poking the holes toward the outside of the card.

2. Use a lightweight hammer to force a thin nail through the cardstock into the cardboard (but hopefully not into the table under it), punching a small hole in the card. Repeat the process, placing holes no closer than about 1/4" apart (much closer together and the paper will tear, and then the kid will cry, and that's not the point of this, now is it?). You can lightly trace a design for the child to follow, or tape a pattern to the paper and remove it when all the holes are punched, or just let them wing it. Or, if you're really dumb, you can hold the nail while the kid hammers, which lets you control where the holes will end up, and also really, really hurts. Don't ask how I know this.

Lazy Kid's card, made with me aiming the nail (ow)
The bumps made by the nail pushing through will be different sizes depending on what size nail you use and how deep it penetrates, so if there's a specific look you're going for, play around with it on a piece of scrap paper before you let the kid go to it.

One of my cards - the outer heart followed a pattern, the inner one was done freehand

If you use a fairly large nail, you could even glue or tape a piece of colored paper behind the holes so the color would show through (and your traced pattern would be covered up), but it's really the texture of the holes that makes this so fun. I've made a bunch more this morning, whenever I could wrest the hammer away from my daughter. I love that our craft session included the sentence, "I want to make another card - where's the hammer?"

No comments: