Scratch Art Christmas Cards

Dec 8, 2015

Kids love to be involved in Christmas festivities. A fun way for kids to help with holiday preparations is to make Christmas cards for relatives and friends. 

Today, I’m going to show you how kids of all ages can use a really cool art technique called scratch art to make your family’s cards for the holiday season.

Scratch art is one of those classic art techniques that you may remember from your own school days. Young children find the process quite magical and older kids are always mesmerized by it. You may even want to make a few cards yourself, because the process is so much fun!

Let’s gather our supplies and I’ll show you how it’s done.

You Will Need:

  • white card stock (or poster paperboard or cardboard)
  • brightly coloured crayons
  • black tempera paint or poster paint
  • craft stick or wooden skewer
  • coloured card stock
  • glue
  • craft jewels (optional)


1. Cut a Christmas tree shape out of card stock or poster board. A simple triangle will do.

2. Have your child colour the entire surface of the tree with crayons. Make stripes and blocks of colours, mixing the colours up as you go.

Choose bright colours like lime green, orange, turquoise and yellow so they’ll really pop in contrast with the black paint.

A child colours bright stripes on a piece of paper with crayons.

3. When the tree has been completely coloured, your child can give it a coat of black tempera paint. Brush the paint over the crayon wax until all of the colouring has been blacked out. Allow the paint to dry.

A child paints with black paint.

You'll Also Love: 14 Ornaments Kids Can Make

4. Now it’s time to scratch some art!

With a craft stick or skewer, have your child “decorate” his or her tree. Using the craft sticks as pencils, we scratched Christmas lights and garlands into the black paint.

A child scratches through black paint to reveal colourful crayon drawings.

Magically, the crayon colours are revealed as you scratch away the paint. 

I love this process because children of all ages can produce beautiful results. A toddler’s scribbles will be vibrant and lovely, while an older child can work on detailed, colourful designs.

5. Glue the finished tree onto a piece of folded card stock, lining up one edge of the tree with the fold.  Then cut around the tree, leaving a border all the way around.

Christmas trees glued on to magenta cardstock.

We topped each of our trees with a sparkly craft gem, but this step is optional.

Have your child finish by writing a message across the bottom of the card.

A finished Christmas tree scratch art card.

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.