Toddler Scribble Cards

About two to three years ago while Ada was firmly in the scribble phase of art and Zoey hadn’t quite yet entered the art world I started looking into ways to enable Ada to create cards for the family while also keeping the card defined rather than just random scribbles. I can’t remember what made me think of it but I ended up coming up with a way to use masking tape to create negative space within Ada’s scribbles thus creating a card that came from both of us. I wanted to share this fun way to corral your toddler’s scribbles into something memorable.

Pinterest image showing the finished card cover along with two other in progress pictures.

I started by taking a piece of masking tape and sticking it onto a cutting board. I then chose to freehand the letters, but you could also draw out your design first so you know where to cut. I wanted to cut the letters for “we love you” so I only needed a single long piece of masking tape which I then cut out with my X-Acto knife. I then wanted to add a heart, to the back of the card, that needed to be taller and wider than the width of the masking tape I was using so I overlapped two pieces of tape together on the cutting board before using the X-Acto knife, again, to cut the heart out. Once I was done cutting the letters and shapes I grabbed a U.S. letter sized sheet of computer paper and folded it into a greeting card. I then moved each letter and shape over from the cutting board to the card. I made sure to center “LOVE” on the front of the card before moving “WE” and “YOU” over.

Just a heads up. You don’t want the tape to be too sticky as later on it could pull up the outer layer of the paper when you remove it. Later on I discovered it was easier to pull off the paper if you first remove some of the excess stickiness by repeatedly sticking it against your pant leg or something before using the cutting board to cut the letters and adding the masking tape shapes to the card.

A piece of masking tape attached to a clear cutting board over a black table. The capital letters for "we love you" have been cut out but none of the tape has been removed yet.
After sticking the tape to my cutting board I grabbed my X-Acto knife to cut out the needed letters.
The masking tape is shown on the cutting board with the letters from "LOVE" removed yet the WE showing on the left and LOVE disappearing off the right side. The white card is shown above the tape and the word LOVE has already been moved up.
After cutting out the letters I grabbed the card I folded from a sheet of printer paper and attached the word “LOVE” to make sure it was centered how I wanted it. I used the tip of my X-Acto knife to peel up any letters that were giving me trouble so I could release them from the cutting board. After peeling all the letters and shapes I was able to grab the excess tape to throw out.
Card is opened and inside down so you can see the back (left side) and front (right side) of the card. The back has a heart and the front says "we love you" both in masking tape stuck to the paper.
I opened the card and laid it flat so you could see the front and back. I used a double wide, overlapped, strip of masking tape so I’d have the height needed for the heart on the back.

Once you have the masking tape set up you’re ready for some scribbles. I wanted to keep the inside of the card blank so I taped the card to the table so Ada wouldn’t be able to flip it over. And then it was time for her to shine.

Ada with a green crayon poised about to color on the taped on card on the table. The card is taped to the table underneath her hand with a pile of crayons to the left. Pipe cleaners, inexplicably, to the right along with egg shaped crayons.
Ada coloring on the paper. The tape covers up where the white space should be so when I remove the tape there’s a negative space in the middle of all the doodles.

After Ada was all done coloring I slowly removed the tape. The best part of this is you can easily remove the card from the table when needed (for lunch or something) then reattach it later on to let you child finish coloring. The masking tape was a bit stickier than I expected so it did cause a bit of ripping in the paper so next time I tried to de-sticky the tape a bit by touching it to my clothing a couple times before I cut and added the tape to the card.

Closeup of the heart after the masking tape was removed. Ada had encircled the heart with another heart which causes it to look cooler. You can see where the outer layer of paper is pulled away when the tape was removed.
Closer look at the heart shows some of the paper pulled up.
View of the front and back of the card when laid flat (inside down). All the tape has been removed and depending on the surrounding level of coloring the letters range from easy to read (surrounded by colors) to harder (with minimal crayon marks around it).
View of the card after the tape is removed to show the negative spaces.

I love how if your child is a heavy-handed coloring fiend this would be all you needed to do as the negative space would stand out from the colored areas making it simple to read. In this case Ada had decided to limit her coloring so I was worried the letters weren’t obvious enough to read. To combat this I decided to outline each letter with a fine-tipped black marker. Looking back I wish I had only highlighted the letters by lining the ‘shadowed’ parts instead of fully outlining the letters. For the heart itself I stuck to highlighting and then added some more details.

Closeup of just the front of the card. The letters were outlined with a fine-tipped black marker making them easy to read.
Simple “WE LOVE YOU” springs from the toddler-covered page.
View of both the front and back of the card. The heart has a triangle drawn on the left (for a light spot) and a label "Kards by Kyra & Ada".
The back of the card has a heart and signature while the front has the message.

If I recall correctly I think this card was made for a birthday though it may have instead been a Valentine’s card. I love how you can easily change the occasion of the card by simply changing the masking tape making it great for whenever you might need a card. You could also change out the letters to spell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”, or any other short message so easily. If you have a longer message you want to share you could always put it on the inside of the card so there’s more room for it to fit. I hope this helps you out if you’re trying to come up with your own perfect card. I’d love to hear what you came up with. Feel free to share with us through the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. I hope your card turns out amazingly!

Kyra

My name is Kyra and I’m a computer programmer that decided to stay at home with my two beautiful daughters: Ada and Zoey. I created this website to share with you anything I come across in my day to day life that I think you may enjoy.

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1 Response

  1. November 25, 2020

    […] and my children’s feet and fingers to make winter scenes on the cards. Another year I used masking tape to create negative spaces on cards so they could scribble away and once done I peeled up the tape to make a sense from the chaotic scribbles. Finally I also once […]

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