Okay, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit. I didn’t exactly compile 14,000 projects, but would you really want that many to sift through, anyway?
Although there probably are at least that many projects you can make with blank index cards, I came up with 10 good, solid activities to begin with. We love blank index cards almost as much as printer paper for quick projects, and the scale and weight of the cards makes them perfect for experimenting with different media, brainstorming ideas, messing up, starting over, playing, and feeling confident because of the small size.
1. Doodle on the cards. Here we broke out the Ultra-fine point Sharpies, drew lines intersecting each other over the entire card, and then doodled to our hearts’ content in the resulting shapes. These 3×5 cards are the perfect size for involved projects like this one.
2. Index card sculpture! Cut them, bend them, fold them, glue them all over a larger piece of colored card stock.
3. Sharpie tie-dye: Draw circles on the cards with Sharpies (we used fine point), then drip rubbing alcohol on them; set aside to dry. The purple one has more alcohol dripped on it than the green one.
4. Just grab a small stack of these and staple them together for an instant mini-book. You know kids can’t resist the mini-book; they’ll fill them with stories, drawings, and stickers for hours.
5. Silhouettes– instead of cutting out the black paper and mounting it on white, we cut out silhouettes from the index cards and mounted them on black. Draw them first with pencil, or have fun by cutting free-hand silhouettes.
6. I found this awesome idea in the new Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids book, and we broke into the striped paper straws for extra coolness. Just cut the straws down to smaller pieces, snip slits in the straws, and use folded cards to create an architectural masterpiece.
7. Practice those watercolor techniques! Each little card is the perfect size to mess around with a new idea. The two outer cards are wet watercolor dripped onto wet watercolor. The middle is the salt-technique.
8. But, wait! We couldn’t stop there… if you cut each card into 4 strips the long way, and tape the ends of 5 strips together, you can weave other strips through.
We just trimmed up the edges to make a square. Now that I look at this, I bet you could slap a couple coats of Mod Podge on for some sweet coasters.
9. We couldn’t resist breaking out my favorite wax sticks from Wax Works and having another go. Again, the size of the card made this a tolerable-and-stillcool-looking project. Just break off a bit off wax, form it into a ball between your fingers, and smoosh it on the card.
I’m finding it hard to find the correct product online- I bought these at Blick, but they aren’t showing the right ones anymore. I think I’ve seen them at Michaels, if you have one of those nearby… Otherwise, here’s a link to the Chenille Craft site where they show the exact product. We used the Hot (neon) colors, with a few of the bright ones mixed in.
10. Spiralize the cards- cut some strips and wrap them around pencils. We used colored pencils, since they are actually round, unlike writing pencils. We covered the card with a layer of Mod Podge, and that did the trick to hold the spirals on.
Remember our way-cool staple project? We used index cards for that one, too. Need some supplies? Amazon has most of what you’ll need.