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Creating Your Own Cards is a Joy to the World

By Dena Hirschberg

Family traditions can start overnight; ours started when I was 12. For my birthday, my mother created a card and glued a single item on the front – a pink velvet heart. Then, for each subsequent birthday in our household, the last person to receive the card would add just one special thing (a drawing, photo, design or word) and pass it on to the next lucky person. So, when I gave the card to my dad, an avid duffer, Iadded a picture of a golf club I cut out from a magazine. And so it went throughout the years, adding one special touch at a time until decades later that card became a beautiful collage of our family’s unique story.

Of course it was meaningful to carve out a new tradition, but it was magical doing it by sharing in the creative process together. I’ve tweaked this tradition with my own daughter; encouraging more than a once-a-year engagement with creativity.Consequently, we’re always cooking up something together: playing with paint, inventing new songs and, our favorite, card-making. My daughter has always preferred making and sharing her own cards to buying pre-made ones at the store, particularly at holiday time. I love watching her adorn them with her unique designs and words; specially and thoughtfully crafting them for family and friends.

QuoteWatching her, I realize that it’s truly the process of creating, and not the final product, that’s so satisfying; the freedom and happiness inherent in constructive, yet unfettered, self-expression. Like a conductor leading an orchestra, she ardently directs which art supply goes where – cotton balls for really big, fluffy snowflakes, cut-up pieces of old fabric to make a landscape, leaves collected at the park, arranged just so, to make a loveable creature. My favorite cards she made were the holiday cards that doubled as hand-puppets. A set of three was sent, each with its own “dialogue” so the lucky recipient could perform a show that re-enacted my daughter’s last week of school before winter break!

It’s no surprise I co-founded a company that’s dedicated to encouraging little hands to engage in the wonders of creativity. Our Make-Your-Own™ Cards kit is a great way your child can create and share unique expressions of joy and gratitude this holiday season. The kit contains over 600 Pop-Outs!™, an awesome array of geometric & whimsical pop-out cardboard shapes. They're perfectly die-cut for little hands so kids can create easily and independently. There's no cutting, no mess; just hours of innovation.

Menorah CardBut you don’t need a kit; just look around your home for inspiration.Gather up the construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, cardboard, old newspaper (colored comics are always fun), magazines, postcards, photos, and scraps of fabric.  Cut them into a myriad of shapes and designs. Then arrange and glue them onto a folded card anyway you fancy, realistically or abstractly. Try cutting out individual words or letters from magazines and newspapers. Intersperse family photos with images of famous paintings. Add buttons, yarn and, of course, those wonderful cotton balls.

For added magic this season, walk past the greeting card aisle and treat others to a new family tradition. Engage in the creative process with your children and make your own holiday cards. A hand-made gift will be long remembered by those who receive it and even more so by those who’ve created it together, as a family. Finally, don’t be daunted by the “blank page.” Never think you’re not creative -don’t say it; don’t believe it. Creativity is just a way to look at the world, not whether you can paint, write poetry or dance. It’s what lets those cotton balls be really big snowflakes!

Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Dena Hirschberg, co-founder of Made By Hands™, is a marketing consultant specializing in creativity and strategic innovation and participates in idea-generation sessions for new product development, brand positioning and naming. Her seven-year old daughter, Marlee, is acting Vice-President of Sales for several playgrounds in the Chicagoland area.

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