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As you can probably tell by the nature of My Mom Made That, I love the homemade.  I love giving the homemade.  I love receiving the homemade.  To me it feels like sending a little piece of your hear[, filled with love, off into someone else’s house.  I know that the homemade isn’t for everyone, but luckily enough, it’s also something that my wonderful Mother-in-Law loves too.  It was her birthday last week (Happy Birthday Nana!), and the Little Boys and I made something special for her– decorated cards.  I want to show you how easy it is to turn a storebought card into a personalized and special Birthday gift.

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmiles

I have found that sending decorated cards is a great way to send a “semi-homemade,” but very personalized gift to your loved ones.  What’s even better, there is a nice selection of “bargain” Hallmark cards that are now available at Walmart that serve as a great template for your birthday greetings!  Walmart is the only store in the nation that has Hallmark cards for just $0.47!  (There is also a wide selection of $0.97 cards as well.)

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmilesI picked up a selection of cards in the greeting card section of Walmart.  (The cards that are $0.47 and $0.97 are clearly marked in the card department.)  While I was at Walmart, I also grabbed a selection of decorations for me and the kiddos to use when decorating the cards.  I selected some Hallmark wrapping paper for myself, and allowed the Little Monkey to pick out some Hallmark stickers that he liked.  (Notice that he selected two of his favorites!)  The rest of the supplies I already had at home.  That’s the great thing about this project.  With these Hallmark cards that start at $0.47, you can make wonderful homemade gifts with simple supplies that you may already have in your house.  Because of the great selection, I also picked up a Get Well Soon and Thank You cards for a couple of people who I needed to write!

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmiles

Once I was at home, I gathered up the supplies that I would be using from my craft collection:

  • Stamps
  • A Black Ink Pad
  • Washi Tape
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
  • An Exacto Knife
  • A Brayer
  • Tissue Paper
  • Baker’s Twine
  • My Multicolored Felt Tip Pen collection– this is one of my most favorite, and prized pen collections, I use it for everything!

I started by creating an envelope liner with the reversible wrapping paper to make the envelop even more luxurious and special. To line your envelope, you’ll need to careful slit apart the envelop seams using your exacto knife.  Then trace the envelope as a template.  However, you need to make the liner a bit smaller than the envelope so that you can still use the envelope seal.  I cut about a quarter of an ink inside the envelope outline.

Next, I covered my envelope lightly with my glue stick, and placed the wrapping paper in place on top of the envelope.  Using my brayer, I smoothed the wrapping paper into place.  I then folded the envelope back together, smoothing the folds with the brayer and using the glue sticks on the envelope.

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmiles

Once that was done, I went to town with my pens, washi tape and stamps. I love sending decorated cards to people, so I have a lot of stamps that are designed for letters. They say things like “Special Delivery,” “Winged Post,” and “Snail Mail.”  I also used my multicolored felt tip pens to write a decorate message with notes and doodles on the card.  I used Washi Tape to decorate both the card and envelope.

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmiles

After I had personalize the card, I did one last special touch to make the card (that cost me just $0.47) even more special. I used a piece of tissue paper and a bit of baker’s twine to wrap the card before I placed it in the envelope. That way, it looks a bit like a wrapped gift when it is opened by the recipient.  Once the card was in the envelope, I sealed it with Washi Tape and put a few cute stamps on it, along with a few doodles.

My Mom Made That: Turning Cards into Handmade Gifts #SpreadSmiles

Decorating your cards like this is such a quick and easy way to make a simple birthday card become a handmade gift. Here are a few ways that you can have your kiddos do their own personalized cards:

  • Cover the envelope and the card with stickers that are special to the child (remember those stickers that the Monkey picked out– well now he can decorate his own card).
  • Instead of signing their names, trace your children’s hands inside the cards.
  • Allow your child to cover the envelope and card with colorings, and then use labels on top of the drawings to address the envelope or for a note.  The coloring then becomes a part of the card.

I do hope my mother-in-law will like her birthday cards.  Who in your family could you send a personalized card from Hallmark?