Crafting Greeting Cards into Placemats

by Henry L. on April 8, 2008

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What can you do with old greeting cards? I bet you are thinking: “make Christmas ornaments!” That’s fine for Christmas cards but what about those all purpose cards and birthday cards received throughout the year? And what can you do with that pile of your children’s birthday cards that are collecting dust in your drawer? It would be such a shame to throw away greeting cards after receiving and reading them, so let their beautiful designs and colors inspire you to use them in creative ways.

One thing that you can do with your children is collect all the birthday cards they receive and make placemats. This would make a great gift for any family member and this activity will spark your children’s creativity, making them use their noggins. It is also a great geometry lesson!

You will need old birthday cards (or really any kind of all purpose cards), scissors (child-safe please!), construction paper, glue, and either a laminator plus laminating paper or clear contact paper.

First, help your children cut out different shapes from the greeting cards. Then have them lay out the shapes on the construction paper so they can measure their picture before gluing (I warned you this would use math!). Once they have decided on the picture they want, glue the different shapes onto the construction paper. If there is room, they can write a message to the person to whom they are giving the placemat or they can just embellish their picture. Finally, either run the placemat through a laminating machine (most office supply stores will laminate for you), or use clear contact paper to cover the placemat so it can be wiped clean.

And there you have it….a great gift for anyone in your child’s life, created by reusing personal birthday cards and all purpose cards! Come to think of it, using old Christmas cards would also make your holiday table look great too!

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