Making your own greeting cards has exploded in popularity over the last few years, mainly through the advent of stamping. But we sometimes forget that making your own greeting cards has been popular for decades. As a bookseller I have the privilege of coming across a wide variety of books; my latest treasure I just discovered on my shelves is “How to Make and Have Fun with Greeting Cards” by Joseph Leeming published in 1960. Now Mr. Leeming didn’t have access to the same technology and materials that we do, so he had to be, in my personal opinion, much more creative in his ideas.
In this article I will describe four kinds of greeting cards you can use to give gifts of money. The first three greeting card ideas focus on gifts of paper bills (or checks or gift certificates) while the last greeting card idea can be used to give coins. These kinds of cards would most likely be used for birthday cards, but they could be modified for any money gift giving occasion.
Pot of Gold Birthday Card
This birthday card idea is centered around the legend of the leprechaun’s pot of gold found at the end of the rainbow. Take a piece of white construction paper (or card stock) and fold it length wise into three equal pieces. (I recommend sizing your paper and folds so that your card would fit into a legal size envelope.) You will now have a card with a front that opens up into three inside panels. On the front at the bottom draw or paste your picture of a leprechaun. Above his head paint or color a rainbow arching and write “Happy Birthday.” On the inside three panels paint or color a rainbow arching across the length of the card and ending in a pot of gold in the last panel. To create the pot of gold, cut out the shape either in gold paper or white paper colored or painted in gold, then carefully glue it to the card just around the side edges so that the top part of the pot is open and separated from the card. Fold your paper bill so that it you can tuck it into your gold pot and be secure for mailing, but also be easily removed by your birthday boy or girl.
Instead of a paper bill, of course, you could also tuck a folded paper check or gift certificate into the leprechaun’s pot of gold.
Bird’s Nest Birthday Card
This birthday card idea is very similar to the pot of gold except it focuses on the phrase “Here’s something… to help feather your nest.” This can be made with a simple vertical fold card. On the front draw or paste a picture of a bird and write “Happy Birthday Here’s something.” On the inside front panel write “to help feather your nest.” On the inside back panel draw or paste a picture of a nest. On a separate piece of paper (like with the pot of gold) draw or past a picture of a bird and carefully glue it to the card just around the side edges so that you have a slit for tucking in the paper money. To make the picture more fun and realistic, consider gluing one or more feathers to the bird. Fold your paper bill so that it you can tuck it into your nest behind the bird and be secure for mailing, but also be easily removed by your birthday boy or girl.
Instead of a paper bill, of course, you could also tuck a folded paper check or gift certificate into the bird’s nest.
Piggy Bank Birthday Card
This birthday card idea is similar to the first two but it focuses on the phrase “Here’s a little something” (written on the front of a folded card) “For your Piggy Bank” (written on the inside of the folded card). You could draw or paste a picture of a present on the front to add some extra interest. Inside, as with the pot of gold and the bird on the nest, you will want to draw or paste a picture of a piggy bank on a separate piece of paper, then glue the bank to the card (just along the edges), so you have a slit to tuck in your paper bill.
Instead of a paper bill, of course, you could also tuck a folded paper check or gift certificate into the piggy bank.
Coin Bouquet Birthday Card
In 1960 it was not unusual for a child to be given birthday money in coins (specifically using nickles or dimes). Today, with inflation, if you’re going to use this card idea you would probably want to use quarters, half-dollars, or dollar coins, so as not to disappoint your birthday child. Also, because of the weight involved, you would probably not want to try to mail this card, but rather reserve this birthday card idea for a birthday party where you can hand deliver the card.
The basic concept around this birthday card idea is to create a coin bouquet and attach it to heavy card stock with Scotch tape. To make each coin flower first wrap the coin in tin foil, colored cellophane, or tissue paper, twisting it so that parts of the wrapping sticks out like flower petals. (You can also glue on petals made from other materials or paper colors separately or go all out with this idea and glue the wrapped coins to the centers of fake silk flowers.) Create stems by wrapping one end of green-covered florist wrire around the bottom of each flower, attaching green paper leaves as desired. Wrap the stems with wire and/or green florist tape to group the flowers together. To add that extra touch, you can pass the stems of the flowers through a paper doily and add a ribbon bow.
I hope all your birthdays are happy!
Joseph Lemming. How to Make and Have Fun with Greeting Cards