After Christmas, it always seems a shame to throw away old Christmas cards
that can be reused. Either the cards can be processed by charities to make new cards, or they can be cut
up and made into fantasy Shoebox Fun Scenes. I loved making these as
child and I have made them on many occasions when baby sitting for friends.
I recall posting this idea many years ago on the mostly American Fibercrafts
CompuServe forum and none of the very craft oriented Americans there had
ever heard of it. But I'm sure many people have done this before.
I believe the idea we used, came from an American sugarcraft egg my aunt was
given by a G.I in the Second World War. The crystal sugar egg had a
scene inside and once a year it would be brought out at Easter so we could
all marvel at it. The scenes made in shoeboxes are similar in concept.
Children invariably can find loads of old birthday, Easter or Christmas
cards if you ask them to look and will happily give up that old shoebox they
use to store secret items if they think you will actually spend the time to
make something with them. Just make sure you have a glue stick in your
All types of greeting cards even gift tags can be used to make such boxes.
You can take a very artistic view and make them all of one type such as a
winter wonderland scene with snow scenes and skaters only. Or you can
do as I have (much easier readers) as in my example and just mix up the Xmas
images, including one of everything that children associate with Christmas
such as a nativity scene, father Xmas, a decorated tree, 3 Kings, gift
wrapped boxes, stars, holly, maybe a reindeer grazing, a snowman and
candles. Children are more than likely to add any and everything
anyway. You can do amore sophisticated decoupage version if
So to make the box you need an old shoebox, with or without a lid.
A glue stick such as a Pritt stick
Some gift wrapping paper
Some clear plastic film such as overhead projector film
Tissue paper as an alternative lid.
Possibly some aluminium foil
Lots of unwanted Christmas or other greetings Cards
Several small pairs of scissors such as pointed nail or embroidery scissors
Cutting the Cards
Before you cut your cards do make sure that the children understand that
every card must have a lip of about 1cm below the motif selected, so that it
can be bent back and stuck to the shoe-box base.
Let the children cut out the card shapes whilst you deal with the box.
Deal With The Shoebox
Next cut an oval out of the shoe-box lid for light. On the inside of
the lid use a glue stick to stick down some OHP film.
Method 2 For a box without a lid
you can cut a square out of the one short end of the actual shoebox and
either leave open or add OHP film to the opening. The no lid shoebox
will finally be covered with white tissue paper.
Next, line the inside of the box with aluminium tinfoil, or if you have
several of one kind of card such the Victorian skating scene I used, line
the box with the one type of card.
Now put gift wrap on the outside of the box. Next cover the lid,
but clip the paper up to the cut oval. Neaten it inside with another
piece of paper.
Assembling Your Scenes in Your Shoebox
Now gather together all the cut shapes such as
poinsettias. Bend back a lip and just roughly arrange
them in the box with the tallest pieces of card at the back and the
smallest units at the very front.
Stick them down using a glue stick.
If you used method 1 add your lid to your magic box. If
you used method 2 now cover the box with a very thin sheet of white
Admire your work as you hold it up to
the light. In the picture below there are no lights in the box,
but the floor of the box is lined with foil which does make a shimmer.
The scene in method 2 is slightly harder to view, but has a magical
quality to small children - Ok even my husband!
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