Holiday craft project: Handmade Christmas cards

My four-year-old, Liana, was home sick today, and she really wanted to use her down time for arts & crafts. We decided to make Christmas cards for family and friends – and they came out so cute! This was a fun, low-key holiday craft project to do together with my preschooler. I even found myself cutting and gluing things while she snoozed on the couch!


  • pre-made blank cards (like these) – or fold paper and make your own
  • colored paper (smooth craft paper is more vibrant than construction paper)
  • cupcake liners
  • glue sticks
  • markers (we like Crayola’s “ultra-clean” washable markers for our kids since they are so easy to wash from skin and clothes)
  • child-friendly scissors
  • shape punches
  • embellishments: googly eyes, pom-poms, bells, pipe cleaners, etc. We didn’t have these for our unexpected sick day project – but some would have been cute additions!

Handprint Reindeer Card

Handprint reindeer Christmas card

Handprint reindeer: I love toddler handprint projects. We were inspired by this sweet ornament project. To make the reindeer, we traced around Liana’s hand in pencil on brown paper, then cut it out. We glued his head to the thumb, then embellished with antlers and a tail. The inspiration project included pipe cleaner antlers and a jingle bell harness. We didn’t have those materials on hand, but we used our handprint punch to make his antlers, and that ended up being adorable, too.

Christmas Bauble Ornaments Card

Christmas ornament greeting card

Christmas ornaments: For this one, we used our circle punch to make the ornaments, then cut out little bits of aluminum foil to adorn the tops of the ornaments. Since the glue stick didn’t stick well to the foil, I used a dot of tacky craft glue for that part. We also found this similar project online that makes use of colorful cupcake liners for ornaments.

Handprint Christmas Tree #1: “The Cactus”

Handprint Christmas Card - Cactus

Christmas cactus: Who can resist another toddler handprint project? We were inspired by this example. We traced around Liana’s hand again, this time on green paper, to make the tree. A brown paper trunk and gold star complete the look.

Handprint Christmas Tree #2: “The Palm Tree”

Handprint Christmas tree card - palm tree

Christmas palm tree: Having the “needles” point up gives the “cactus” look at left – but we also experimented with having the needles point down (for more of a “palm tree” look). Both seemed to work!

Cupcake Liner Snowflake Card

Snowflake holiday card

Snowflake: Liana just loves making fold-and-cut paper snowflakes. We adapted that classic project into a greeting card by cutting the snowflakes out of paper cupcake liners. The cupcake liner paper is thin enough to be folded-over many times, making delicate little snowflakes. To attach our snowflakes to the cards, we smeared glue stick all over the card and pressed it on, then let the glue dry (since it was quite sticky!)