Stop Buying Birthday Cards! Easy Print Making for Kids

Print Making for Kids from GeekMom
All photos: Kelly Knox

Birthday parties are a happily unavoidable part of childhood, but party after party can add up financially with presents for each of your kids’ friends and classmates. To save money ($5 for a card, seriously!) and add a more personal touch for my 5-year-old’s friends, we draw and write our own birthday cards.

My daughter has been getting bored with making the same old cards lately, so I thought she might enjoy painting a print on her cards. As a bonus, it saves a lot of time to simply paint and press the design to the card! Prints can be used not only for birthday cards, but little notes to say thank you or hello. And if your recipient has a favorite character from a TV show or movie, you can simply trace the design to make the print feature a familiar face. Here’s how we did it:

What You Need

Print Making

  • Styrofoam dinner plates
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paints and paintbrush
  • Blank cards

Get Printing!

Trace the blank card (we used 4-by-5.5 inches) on the inside of the styrofoam plate. Then, cut out the rectangle. Flip the rectangle over so that the inside of the plate is facing the table. The corners on the back should be slightly curved up to help you or your kids remove the little printing plate easily when it’s pressed against paper.

Then, it’s time to grab a pencil and draw! Be sure to draw deep lines in your plate so that the lines show up well when paint is applied.

Print Making

Once the styrofoam plate design is complete, you now have a mini-printing plate to create a practically limitless supply of wallet-friendly birthday cards. Paint the design, flip the plate over, and press to the blank card to print your custom birthday card.

Print Making

If the birthday boy or girl is a big fan of a certain TV show, you can trace an image from a coloring book on top of the styrofoam to make them the perfect card.

Print Making

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Do you have any other tips for saving money on birthday cards? Let your fellow GeekMoms know in the comments below!

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA, where she contributes to local parenting magazines. She also writes for StarWars.com, Geek & Sundry, and more. You can find crafts and art projects for geeky families at her blog The St{art} Button.