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Kids' Four Patch Birthday Cards
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Kids' Four Patch Birthday Card

What you will make:

This craft project is a kid version of the grown-up Four Patch Greeting Cards Tutorial. See how easy it is for kids to make birthday cards from simple materials. The cards are made with construction paper and are decorated with crayons, colored pencils or markers—samples of each are shown in the project.

The cards feature four patches of fancy paper that the kids make, and are finished off with a hand-drawn cartoon stick figure and a message balloon. Every card is unique and showcases the creative ideas of the child artist! Of course, the card can be made to suit any occasion by changing the message balloon.

This project is great for family, classroom, or group craft time. It requires no patterns and uses basic craft materials. The craft can be done in one or two sessions, depending on the time available.

Related craft: See the Simple (not just for) Father's Day Cards and Easy (not just for) Mother's Day Cards craft projects for more card-making ideas just for kids!

Here's what you need:
  • Colored construction paper, 9" by 12"
  • White construction paper or drawing paper, 9" by 12"
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or paper trimmer

» » Everything you need is in the Basic Craft Box! « «

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Four Patch Birthday Cards for Kids

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Pre-cut the paper. Cut the 9" by 12" colored construction paper in half to make two 9" by 6" halves. Cut the 9" by 12" white construction paper or drawing paper into quarters that are 4½" by 6". Each card requires one of the 9" by 6" colored construction papers and three of the 4½" by 6" white papers.

Tip: The cards can be made with letter-size paper—colored paper cut in half and white paper cut in quarters. However, for a sturdier card, use colored cardstock for the card.

Step 2: Fold

Fold the 9" by 6" colored construction paper in half. This is your card blank. Set it aside for now.

Tip: Plan ahead. Will the card be presented in an envelope? If so, check the card against the size(s) of envelopes you have. Cut the card down a bit, if needed, to fit inside the envelope—do this before gluing the patches on the card. See Aunt Annie's Envelopes to Make project for printable envelope patterns—the Invitation envelope pattern fits a 4¼" by 5½" card.

Step 3: Make Fancy Paper

Decorate one of the 4½" by 6" white papers with crayons, colored pencils or markers. One idea is to fill the paper with zigzag or wavy stripes in three colors that go together with the card's color. First, use your pencil to draw lines across the paper, spaced ½" or so apart, then color the stripes with alternating colors.

Of course, you can color your fancy paper creation any way you like. It's best if you use just two or three colors that look good together and keep your shapes large and simple.

Step 4: Cut Four Patches

Cut a ¾" strip off the side and another off the top of your fancy paper. Set the strips aside to use inside the card.

Cut the paper in half lengthwise. Stack the two pieces evenly and, while holding them firmly together, cut horizontally about 1/3 from the top. Now you should have four patches of fancy paper.

Step 5: Glue Patches

Arrange the four patches on the card to your liking. To make a card like the example, lay out the patches on the card like they were before being cut. Separate the patches with equal spacing both horizontally and vertically. Glue in place.

Step 6: Cartoons

On another 4½" by 6" white paper, draw a funny stick figure of yourself. Color your hands, shoes and clothing in the same colors as the fancy paper. Write "Happy Birthday" and draw a cartoon message balloon around it. Add stars and confetti, if you like!

Cut out the stick figure and the message balloon, leaving a small white margin around the shapes. Glue the cartoons onto your card.

Step 7: Inside the Card

Cut ¾" strips off the side and top of a 4½" by 6" white paper. Glue the strips cut from the fancy paper to the top and bottom of the white paper. Trim the strips as needed.

Write a message on the white paper or draw a picture, if you like. Try something like, "Wishing you a very happy birthday!" or "Hope your birthday is as special as you are to me!" Keep in mind the person getting the card, and what you would like to say to him or her.

Glue the paper with your message inside the card. Add any other decorations that you like.

That's it! Your birthday card is done!
Kids' Four Patch Birthday Cards

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Kids' Four Patch Birthday Card - crayon

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Tip: Make fancy paper with zigzag stripes using three colors of crayons. Make sure one of the colors matches the color of the card and that all the colors go together.

Kids' Four Patch Birthday Card - colored pencil

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Tip: Use colored pencils to draw wavy stripes. You might fill some of the stripes with lines, dots or checks.

Kids' Four Patch Birthday Card - markers

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Tip: You could also decorate the fancy paper with squares of lines drawn with markers.

Kids' Four Patch Birthday Card - inside

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Tip: Use the strips cut off the fancy paper to decorate the inside of the card.

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