Thursday 27 December 2012

Kids Co-op - Tin foil Thank you cards

Its Kids Co-op time again. If you have any posts to link up please do, and check out what others have been up to over the festive season (older posts also welcome). This week I am linking up the following:
(Goblin is 38 months)

I first saw hot glue gun foil art at Art club blog, who found it at Make it a wonderful life. I have been meaning to try it with Goblin and thought we could use it to make our Thank you cards for our Christmas presents. I wanted to make sure it was the kind of thing a three year old could actively participate in so last night I tried it myself. I concluded it wasn't suitable for a three year old, but for a slightly older child this is a great activity.
I'll show you what I did and explain why I decided it wasn't suitable for Goblin and you can make up your own mind whether your child could manage it.

My concern was not to do with the glue being hot - let s face it the glue doesn't really get that hot and even a three year old can be shown how to hold the gun so it doesn't get burnt. The problem is my gun takes quite a lot of pressure to actually get the glue out. The combination of squeezing and guiding the gun to make a picture is quite tricky. However if you aren't aiming for a master piece and don't mind a bit of mess your three year old might be able to manage this bit, like they did at Making boys men.
Once I had the glue on the card (I used cut up Christmas cards) I covered the entire thing with glue stick glue - I'm not convinced this is absolutely necessary but I thought I'd make extra sure the foil stuck. The next tricky bit is applying the foil. I used a stiff paintbrush. With my first attempt I brushed the foil onto the raised glue, but this seemed to cause ripping. So with the next attempt I used more of a stabbing motion and this worked really well to push the foil down between the raised glue profile. Again this was a bit fiddly for many three year olds but if yours is less heavy handed than mine/me they might manage it.
Once I'd folded the edges of the foil down at the back of the card I took a different paint brush and applied black boot polish (I was slightly amazed to discover we actually had any in our house as I don't remember the last time I polished a pair of shoes). Your three year old could probably do this but you will want to bear in mind that most boot polish doesn't come off with soap and water so unless you have paint stripper or Swarfega in the house I'd do this bit yourself. 
Then I took a spong and sponged it all off - you need to do this quite efficiently or the recipient will get blackened fingers. The boot polish accentuates the raised effect and also dulls the foil slightly to make it look more metallic.
Finally I stuck a piece of white paper on the back of the card to write our thank you message. I think it makes a pretty cool card even if Goblin wasn't able to do most of it.

And now to the linky
I'm sharing this at


  1. Thanks for the link back to my blog.:D
    A couple of things- if you use a cotton swab to push the foil down next to your raised glue lines you'll get crisper edges to your design. You didn't add the textures by drawing with a dull pencil-it's another step, but most kids love the feel of writing or drawing on the foil once you've put it on the cardboard. (I love the feel of it too!) :D Thanks for sharing your artwork!

  2. I saw your cards on Google+. They are so creatively wonderful.

  3. I just found your site and linked up for the first time. I put your button on my hops & linkies page. I host a Saturday party & would love to have you come by and share your ideas. Thanks!

  4. Yours look awesome! Thanks so much for the link to our much less professional version! My glue gun is a super cheap one and doesn't get too hot either so Champ was fine with this at nearly 3, but our designs are a bit more, how can I put it..... Abstract! Aka big splodgey dollops of glue, but we did have fun although I'm not sure ours would make good thank you cards. Happy New Year


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