Scratch Off Fun!
Yesterday after school I held a short workshop on creating your own scratch off cards. What a blast! The process is incredibly simple.
First, you create the "card" on the computer. While you can use just about any document, graphic, or presentation software, we used Microsoft Word. It was great because I was able to show the teachers how to use shapes, WordArt, clipart, and textboxes. We also ordered, grouped, copied, and pasted. After creating a sheet full of cards, we printed them out, then the real fun started.
To make the "scratch off" part, you simply cover that area of the card with something clear and smooth. You can use packing tape, but in our case I had purchased some self-adhesive laminating strips that we cut to size. Then, make a paint mixture consisting of two parts acrylic paint to one part dish washing soap. Apply the paint to the covered area. You'll need several coats so don't worry if the first coat doesn't cover the hidden text. We discovered about 3-4 coats works best. After the paint is fully dry (at least overnight) your cards are ready for scratching!
Some of the teachers made "Bonus Point" cards for extra points on exams. Others made "toy" giveaway cards. Our school nurse even made scratch off cards for her students that remember to come to her office for their meds. Too cute!
A few helpful hints we discovered...
- You can make an area "inside" the card your scratch area (like the "Wired Wednesday" cards pictured above at right) or you can have a whole section of the card your scratch area (like the "Bonus Bucks" at the left). Making an inside area takes a little more patience since you have to cut small squares of laminate to cover the area and you have to be careful to "stay inside the lines" when you paint. If you choose the other method, the painting process is easier since you will end up cutting the cards anyway. (I hope that makes sense).
- When you create the "reveal" area text on the computer, use a light font in the same color as the acrylic paint you plan on using. This way it gets covered up by the paint easier.
- My sister offered me this advice: Print your cards and laminate the whole thing. Then you can apply the paint wherever you want. The bonus? After students scratch them and hand them in, you can re-apply paint and use them again! Genius!