Monday, 18 January 2021

Old cards, new scenes: an activity for rainy winter days

 Old cards and new scenes
a festive activity for a rainy winter season

Having a bit of a fidget?
Nothing to do?
And it’s raining again?

Why not dig out some old greetings cards from the bundle at the bottom of the cupboard, or stealthily purloin one of last year’s Christmas cards, or the birthday cards you don’t quite want to throw out, or use a cereal packet (good card for making and folding, just maybe not as exciting in images as cards)

Make a little winter a scene to hang on a tree, a branch, a hook on the wall to stand on a shelf, or make a box to put that extra special present  

 (or maybe just the key that makes it go) in

We call these storyboxes as they almost always seem to end up encouraging little stories…

  • of Santa’s Present Dog who runs away with gifts and ties to eat them,
  • of the owl who had hiccups
  • of the hare who could run faster than even the wind and ended up running across the sky and was lost in the stars

Instead of reading the guide below, you might prefer to watch a short film....

You will need: 

a card or two

sharp scissors

a ruler, pencils or pens

glue (PVA is good here) and glue spreader

stapler or paper clips

bradawl (or something for making holes – a pair of compasses would work) 

a small lump of modelling clay

thin string

1. Cut the card in half along the fold – keep the “plain” half, you will need it later

2. Using the picture half of the card, on the reverse, draw a margin maybe 2 cm from each edge of the card

3. Where the lines cross at the corners, carefully cut along one of those lines to the point where the lines meet (we cut the scribbled lines)

Before you fold the box into shape, 

  • you could make two holes in the top side of the box for some string (easier when everything is still flat). Sit the spot where you want to make a hole on the modelling clay and pierce with the bradawl or compasses point
  • If you might want a branch reaching across the top part of the box (or maybe a flying reindeer) use a craft knife to make a careful slit where you would like a branch to go


4. This card usually folds quite sharply, so now (use the ruler for a straight edge if you want to) fold up along each of those lines and where you have cut in, fold the short bit to make a corner

5. Before glueing it all together, decide: if you are making a scene, keep the picture on the inside of the box. If you are making a box: you might want the picture inside or on the outside (you could always line the inside with some spare wrapping paper, or make a bigger box to become a lid.). Reverse the folding if you want to change the position of the picture

6. Making sure the sides of your box are sharply upright, glue the corner tabs onto the next side. A staple will hold it all in place. If the outside is too plain, you could colour it in or add some coloured tape. Or sprinkle it with glitter!

Glitter: plastic glitter is one of the ongoing irritations and challenges of an environmentally responsible life. There is however biodegradable glitter available (and other glitters are sold as edible) ...go hunting for some

 While the glue dries, prepare the scene to go in the box. Using the other piece of card (from stage 1 above), you could make a little tab to fix a figure to (we used some “embellishments” bought cheaply in a local craft shop), or you could draw your own character. Fix by glueing the tabs into the main scene. Again a staple might help. You might want to colour the tab so it fits into the background of the scenes. Some extra glitter might help again.

A branch can be pushed into place through the slit you made in #3 above and a tab glued into place on the outside of the box

Think about what is going into your scene: could the pieces and the picture become a story?

8. Thread a piece of glittery string or ribbon through the holes, knot it and hang your scene.

Experiment with papers, colours, tapes, sequins. 

Try different places to hang them: from your ears? on your fingers (and create a fabulous dance around them)? a snowman’s nose?

Send us a picture and

we’ll post a gallery of scenes!