All you need to give Dad a personalized, handmade card this Father's day are a few craft supplies and some plants from your own yard. Kids of all ages can participate in making these cards, although the little ones may need a helping hand.
To make your Father's Day cards you will need: blank cards / scissors / glue / colored paper / pencils / pens / paints / dried elements from your yard or garden. Look for leaves, small twigs, ornamental grass or anything from dad's favorite plant. You can buy blank cards with precut windows, or you can cut your own windows into your cards. We suggest creating your colored paper by painting it for extra texture, but you can use colored cardstock or construction paper.
Tracing the Window
Begin with a blank, folded greeting card. If it doesn't already have a window, cut one in the shape and size of your choosing. Trace this window onto the inside of your card. This shape will allow you to know what will show through when the card is closed.
Write Your Message
Once you have your window traced, it's time to write your message. You can fit all or part of your message carefully in the window, or let parts of it overlap so the window only shows a preview. Use pens, pencils or paint. Don't worry about getting it perfect, let your personality show through. Kids' handwriting is especially sweet peeking through the window once the card is closed!
Creating a Frame
Once the inside of your card is finished, place a colored piece of paper inside and trace the shape of the window again. Use this guideline to create a frame for your window. Cut the window shape out of the paper, leaving a frame the size of your choice intact around it.
Glue the Frame
Glue your frame onto the front of the card, surrounding the window. You can cut multiple frames in different colors and layer them to create a dimensional effect. Your frames don't have to be perfectly straight—try cutting wavy, uneven frames for a more organic look.
When the frames are dry, you can add your natural elements. You'll need a liquid glue or hot glue for this part—a glue stick won't be strong enough, but a regular school glue will work just fine.
Twigs are a great, simple decoration for a card. If your dad likes things clean and straightforward, this might be perfect for him. You can use the sticks to accent the frame, or try something more unusual. Look for twigs of different colors, textures and sizes so they don't all look the same. Be sure not to choose large or heavy ones or your card won't be able to hold the weight.
If twigs aren't quite right for you, try using leaves to decorate your card. Look for additional items from your yard that contrast with the leaf color and texture. Thin, ornamental grasses go well with the dark, purple leaves on this card because together they create interesting texture.
Hiding the Glue
If you're gluing something delicate, like grass, you may find that the glue clumps and shows. This is the perfect place to use something larger, like a leaf, to cover any imperfections.
Leaves are easy to use for this project and you can find really interesting colors, even in the summer. Look for unusual color or texture. Sometimes the most beautiful leaves are the ones that aren't quite perfect! Set your leaves in a cool, dry place until they are completely dry. Don't press them, but let them curl up into interesting shapes.
If you want to give your gardening dad an extra special gift, pull some of the weeds from the garden or yard to use for your card. When dried, some weeds can be really beautiful, and he's sure to appreciate your hard work!
If you want to protect your card, you can use a sealing spray on the front once the glue is dry. You can use a spray from the arts or crafts store, but cheap hairspray will work as well. Use a hairspray containing acrylate and no added conditioners. Set your card outdoors to spray it, and leave it outside until it is completely dry. Then you're ready to pass your beautiful creation on to dad.