It seems the birthday party competition is on. Anymore, Happy Meals and orange drink at the local McDonalds play area doesn't even cut it. It's the inflatables party, the gymnastics party, the trampoline party. But I'm a fan of home birthday parties. You know, the kids come to the house, they play hide and seek in the closets and Legos in the family room, you fill them with pizza and cake and ice cream, they watch the birthday child open presents, and then you send them home. But no birthday party is quite complete without some sort of craft or game, right?
And so as my daughter's last birthday approached, I scoured the web for some interesting, not too messy, but not too boring kids crafts that would keep a few elementary age kids interested. And I found a definite winner: do-it-yourself scratch off bookmarks.
This craft does need a little prep, so it might not quite be one of those spur of the moment things. But it's a lot of fun, and with a little supervision kids from preschool age and up can do this. It's a two step process- great to start, say, before lunch, and then complete after you've finished eating.
What you need:
patterned cardstock, cut into strips the size of a bookmark (I used 2" x 8")
clear Contact paper, cut 1" larger than the cardstock (3" x 9")
acrylic paint of the desired color(s)
paintbrush or foam brush
bamboo skewer, sharpened pencil, or chopstick
polyurethane or hairspray
What to do:
1. Cover the patterned side of the cardstock with the Contact paper
and fold over the edges. I found that it helped to put a second piece
of Contact paper, cut slightly smaller than the cardstock, on the back
side to help keep the edges from peeling. This is also a great time to
write your name or put a to/from message on the back.
2. Mix 2 parts paint to 1 part dish soap. Paint over the patterned side
of the bookmark. Let dry- it could take up to an hour for the paint to
dry completely. Lunch time!
3. Using the skewer, pencil or chopstick (or another semi-pointed
object), gently scratch off the paint to create designs. This is best
done on a paper plate or over newpaper, as you get paint pieces all
4. Once your design is complete, cover with a light coat of polyurethane or spray well with hairspray. This will prevent more of the paint from accidentally being scratched off.
5. Mark you place in your favorite book with your new bookmark!
This technique could be used for so many other things also! Anything you can cover with contact paper can be painted and a design scratched off. Use it to make chore or prize lottery cards, create a custom picture frame or photo mat, or a personalized greeting card. The possibilities are endless!