When my kids were small, I was always looking for a take-along activity they could do quietly and independently. Lacing cards were one of the best choices for us, since they could be packed in a plastic pencil box with a handful of ribbons and string and popped into a travel bag. Plus they are a fun craft that the kids can make using images and other supplies you already have at home.
To make lacing cards, you will need:
- colorful images
- sturdy cardboard
- decoupage medium or thinned white glue
- ribbon, yarn or other string
- duct tape
- hole punch
Collect a variety of colorful images to use for cards. Repurpose printables, cut images from magazines, or use copies of family photos. For this tutorial, I used one of my art printables, resized to 5×7″. I like the smaller size for these cards since they’re more portable and easier for little hands to hold.
I’ve included a 5×7″ printable of this image along with this tutorial. (YAY freebies!) Use the link at the bottom of this post to download.
Cut your image and your cardboard (Tip: Empty cereal boxes are great for this project.) to the same size, and use decoupage medium or watered down white glue to attach them together and make a sturdier card. I also add a layer of decoupage medium over the top of the image to protect the card a bit from juice drops and sticky fingers.
Once the glue is dry, punch holes around the image. Use more complicated patterns for older children, and simple lines for younger ones.
Duct tape makes a useful “needle” for the ribbon or string, and keeps the end from fraying. Wrap approximately 1–2″ of the end of the string with the tape. Tie a large knot in the other end to keep the string from pulling through the holes and avoid frustration.
Older kids with more advanced fine motor skills can lace one direction, then go back the opposite way to fill holes and create an outline of the image. Beginners can simply lace in and out of holes. We kept a box of these for our kids to use while their siblings had sports games, and they always drew a crowd. As a bonus, they were inexpensive and easily replaced if needed, making them ideal for traveling.
FREEBIE ALERT!–Start your lacing card collection using the flower printable I used in this tutorial. Download a 5×7″ version using the button below.
Like the art used in this project? Full-size 8×10″ printables in all 4 colors are available in the CSD Etsy shop. Modern Floral Art Printables, as a set or individually.
This super-quick DIY lacing card craft is a part of the Craft Lightning 15 minutes or less craft series. Check out all of the posts on this month’s “recycled crafts” theme by clicking on the image.