Make somebody happy today

Rainbow. Pictures, Images and Photos

When was the last time you used a box of colours? Yes—those little sticks called crayons—either wax or plastic that come in little boxes, meant for little children? Or Sketch pens? Or colourful markers? If you don’t have children, chances are you have used them in your childhood. Most adults have happy memories associated with crayons or colours.

Speaking for myself, I simply love colours. Just looking at them gives me so much joy. As children, we all have the same ability to express ourselves through pictures. Having worked with children for many years, I have noticed that at age 3 or 4, most of their pictures are mostly alike. (Except maybe one or two exceptionally talented ones). By the age of 10-12, there is a marked difference in abilities. As adults, there are ‘Artists’ and ‘I-can’t-even-draw-a straight-line’ kinds. It is sad that our education system takes away so much creativity in an attempt to churn out ‘Achievers’ usually judged by how well you do academically.

Yet in most of us, there is that little child, who still loves colours, and who finds immense joy in creating. A friend of mine, a CEO of a large organization, who has a very high pressure job, that involves a lot of travel, had a fantastic way to de-stress. He would colour pictures in printed colouring books with his six year old daughter. Side by side, they would sit, working on adjacent pages, silently, sharing a bond, sharing love, sharing happiness in a quiet contented way. He loved it. When I went to visit him once, he showed me proudly how well he had coloured, and he told me how good it made him feel as he cannot draw at all, but this gave him a nice chance to dabble with colours.

Years later, when I worked with street children (I had been volunteering with an NGO that works with under-privileged children, teaching them English and Math) I thought of my friend. These children had taught me a wonderful pattern, which was so simple, yet so beautiful. My CEO friend would have loved to make it.

Whenever I feel down, creating something perks me up instantly. This weekend I showed my seven year old daughter how to make that same pattern and stick it on handmade paper, (I love handmade paper—it makes anything look so pretty) and make a wonderful card. Her brother was in a school camp, and her dad is travelling. So she made it for both of them. (Yes ,the card you see was completely made by her) I am going to share it with you, step by step.

Step 1: Use a black marker or sketch pen and make a grid of dots--8X8 (Use a scale if you want to space them perfectly.We did not bother to)

Step 2: Make crosses as shown above.

Step 3. Complete the pattern as shown below

Step 4: (This is the best part) Add colour!! Stick it on handmade paper (which you have cut and folded to make a card) and trim the edges with a craft scissors if you like...and Voila--you have your own hand made card! :-)

Tempting, right? Buy yourself a packet of sketch-pens or marker pens and let your creativity go wild .You can fill the pattern in any way you can think of—with hearts, dots, squiggles or even glitter, if you like to jazz it up. You can even cut and paste photos in the little squares in the centre or around it. Just add imagination and see how it takes shape. Write a personalized message inside. Give it to that special someone and tell them that you made it for them. It will make them really happy and put a big smile on your face. (For those who don't have a special someone give it to your parents or anyone who means a lot to you. They will be delighted.)

Oh yes—and don’t forget to thank me for sharing.:-)

It will put a big smile on my face too :-)


  1. This is a piece that needs to go straight to the Times Of India! We get so busy with living our life that we tend to forget the little somethings that gave us immense joy as kids. If even remembering those days makes us ecstatic, what would reliving those moments today do to us :-)
    A thought provoking article once again by a person who can say it the best :-)

  2. Wow that is lovely. I do have D's i go to make one :-)

  3. Wonderful Idea. :)
    And I totally agree with you, PS.
    A friend of mine got crayons for himself recently. I implored him to draw something for me. He turned out to be one of those 'I can's draw a straight line' types, but I pasted the picture on my wardrobe..and his face lights up every time he visits :)

  4. I am doing this today evening on getting back

  5. that is lovely... i think I will make one soon... actually my ann is coming and I think i will make one for hubby :)

  6. WONDERFUL is the word for it:)
    im one of those I-Cant-draw-a-line type of people..and your card have perked up my enthusiasm to no extent:)
    not to forget the beautiful thought behind it as well:)
    way to go!!!

  7. This is actually so simple yet beautiful. I am the one of the people who can't even draw a straight line even with a ruler...
    But still I remember our Arts teacher used to teach me a very beautiful way of creating things...I still remember a pattern he taught us of creating a rose. I might be posting on it soon... Thanks for inspiring. :-)

  8. guess what.?? am just done with making 7 candles with my sis. they look really gud. and just finished a new clay photoframe yesterday. its some new kind available in market wid white balls bein a main attractive ingredient. hobbyideas rocks !!

    talkin bt colours, they are adorable. n when u talk abt creatin somethin elevates u when u r down, thts a very natural phenomenon. it simply gives you sense of doin somethin creative and constructive. like you ve added some positive, constructive thing to this world. tht feelin s great.

    wont bore you much. keep writin colourful posts.

    P.S. bought a rainbow coloured shoe yday :P they are lovely.

  9. If I draw this this will be my third painting :D
    I know to draw a cat, the mountain-sunrise-river scenery and now this.

    Post step 3 and pre 4,the pic gives me a 3D feel. :O

    Hey! I am good at engineering drawing. :)

  10. Anonymous3:34 PM

    am gonna get a box of crayons :)

    thnks for sharing...

  11. amazing
    simply amazing

    you write so simply and yet it alaways manages to make me smile

    p.s am constant viewer of your blog
    though this is the second time am commenting

  12. oh yes...and kudos to Purvi. Thats a very neat piece of work. Good job :)

  13. Luvly work :)

    m sure..She must hav enjoyd a lot!!

    I will try this for sure :)

    You know I bought some crayons from the same Crossword store...but I am that "I-can’t-even-draw-a straight-line" type :D...wud draw somethin now :)

    .. I luv drawings paintings sketches..they cheer me up everytime I am a bit down...

    You know...I found most of the under-privileged/street children are really very creative (I teach only English :) )..and so selflessly they gave me some of their beautiful work..I know what that big smile feels like

    PS1: All those beautiful paintings are very proudly put up in my
    cubicle :D

    PS2: I am the man of my dun worry abt the gift :)

  14. The last time I did something like this was for my friend two months ago. I wrote a hand written letter and sent it along with a greeting card for his birthday. He simply loved the gesture as hand written letters are rare these days.

    I make all kinds of patterns and colour them when I send greeting cards. One thing I don't do is create something from scratch just like you have done. I buy greeting cards and then play with it. I will definitely try this out next time.

    Even though I do not consider myself an artist, I always loved colouring, painting and stuff like that. I have tried my hand in painting walls too :).

    I normally don't waste any opportunity to make my near and dear one's happy. This one is a great idea that I can try :)

    I had written something vaguely similar few months back.

  15. First of all, as you have demanded

    Thank you for sharing.


    Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for sharing this piece of work.Its lovely. Those three words on the card conveys so much.

    As I am trying my hands on brushes and colours( Until I have courage to say its painting or art) I know how good you feel when you play with colours.

    Good to know you are encouraging your kids in activities apart from academics. A big hi to your kids.

    Keep smiling!!!!

  16. delightful and so pretty :)


  17. This is such a lovely trip down memory lane for me. Every Diwali, we adults would get the kids of our complex to comeut with their colors and do the decorations for our building...and I know what you mena, by the love for colors. They would simply glow ....and I realised, the moms would be the ones who'd finally stay on, 'cos they had begun to enjoy it as well...

    Colors do bring out fun...

    Are the two men back into your life now???


  18. A lovely post:-)
    U recent post & urs are on the same subject but we are on opposite sides....not for anything but sheer lack of awareness from my side;-P.

  19. This was one of my favourite rangoli patterns :)

  20. When I was in schools, I used to keep a seperate note for drawings. Drew cartoons natural scenaries and played with colors. But, as time goes by the interest in drawing fade out. This post made me nostalgic. And sure will draw something. Want to see how I'm now in drawing.

    This card is just fantastic simple but too good.

    And Thanks for sharing it.

    Cheers :-)

  21. This card reminds me of Rangoli..(or Kolam in Tamil).I used to love love love pencil sketch/coloring when I was young.During my school days almost all of my notebooks were filled with 'eyes' or 'faces' or 'scenery' along side the notes from class(ie except for those books which need to be submitted).This was the case even when I went to college!!Somehow my son is not that interested in it.I sometimes feel sad..He excitedly participates in coloring competitions at school..but doesnt want to color at home:(

    Anyway nice post..YOU surely made ME happy:)


  22. great idea - I often color with my daughters and find it very relaxing.

  23. Cool blog - another discovery, yay! Will come back for's welcoming. :-)

  24. wow..took me back in time reading this post...i absolutely loved a kid most of my uncle's or aunt's used to gift me a box of crayons or water color coz they knew I loved it so much...i used to draw with crayons and then use a blade to scrap of the top layer and create a smooth layer which looked amazing...:-)

    truly agree with you..its a big de-stresser...and a going back to childhood which we forget to do in our times!!

  25. u make me WANT crayons PS! n im not even an artist

    Nothing is as good as Handmade cards...A frend of mine frm school..used to gave me handmade cards for every B'day n the lasy one i got frm her was on my wedding day... o so tresure those cards..that has remained my fav gift for yrs now!

    n yes thnx for xplaining how to do it..think i'll surprise the hubby with a handmade card for Christmas:)

  26. Colours, imagine a life with out it, infact colours bring life into things. colours meant different things at different ages.
    On lighter side, In college days Colors meant girls :) (P.S not to affend any gender nor am making sexist comment)

  27. Hey - wonderful post! I am making couple scrapbooks right now of childhood pics for my family/friends and will use some color after reading this :) Thank You!!!!

  28. wow, thats very creative, I do something similar to ur CEO friend, I take printouts of coloring pages from the web and ani and myself sit and do coloring. the final version is stuck on the fridge to be shown to everybody...

  29. Hey Preeti,
    You know wat i have always fallen into the ‘I-can’t-even-draw-a straight-line’ kinds category... :((
    But I always want to draw... even joined some classes to learn.. but i think i have no painter artist in me... :((
    This one was a great idea...will definitely try and make it. :)

  30. Awesome post...Its been ages since I actually drew a card or made a book-mark... Reminded of art class in school...

  31. Nice post.One of the most creative ones i have come across in recent times.Vivid and colourful with a touch of innocence.It's our perspective that can make the simplest of things look special.long live your perspectiveness.!!!!-:)

  32. Thanks a lot Preeti for sharing.... its wonderfully easy.....I'll make my daughter try this. She sits with her Ajjoba (my father) and both of them color away in her coloring book. Next time, I must join her and experience this joy myself.


  33. ohh i just love colours too and love drawing....there was a time wen i used to do a lot of things with my hand....i used to make lots of handmade cards for my parent's birthdays and aniiversary etc;.;;put in a nice pic, write meaningful words colour, uses all kinds of markers and alll..heheheh...i guess in my friends circle they do know me for the writings and pics i put into a card and all...heheh...
    now i dont do that anymore, but would love to....i have been thinking abt starting oil painting and all, but havent got around to it yet...

  34. I do it ALL the time...I cannot resist any new coluring book my daughter gets...and we often do this colouring together...I love crayons! :-) Thanks for the pattern..will show it to her today and we'll make a card! She got a card making gift for her birthday a week back. It's so amazing..It's got glue, glitters, sequins, sketch pens and nicely shaped colorful cards on which she can make her own design and give people...we have been playing with that all these days... I wish we had these stuff when we were small... I used to love making cards!!! :))

  35. so so true PS! we recently gave a chart paper to Cubby to just scrible on with colour pencils and i have to say i had more fun! and yes, i come into "i cant draw a straight line even with a scale" variety! one step further! hehe!

    and when i saw Cubby had loads of booties which he never used or was gonna use. i stuck them up on char paper, added some pld greeting cards and put it up in his room! brightened it up instantly! :)

    and i love the card!! someday when i have the patience!

    right now, know what I am doing? you remember those mgic colouring books that show up pics when you move your pencil on them?! i am doing that book! :p

    lovely lovely post yet again PS!



  36. thanks for sharing :-)

  37. thanks for sharing your idea :) i do agree with you about colours making you happy. i remember as a child, i was never an artist, but i would look all these cartoons/pictures made by others and duplicate them very well. somewhere along the line of excelling in academics that skill just faded away.....

  38. Thats a cute little thing you have come up with !! Looking at this piece, I feel like pulling out my paint set which is collecting dust somewhere .. Thanks so much for the inspiration ...

  39. I too used to paint when I was in high school. After class 10, I forget it all. An artist inside me died to make way for an engineer...

  40. my son made his parents a 'i love you mom and dad' card today... it was not as well-planned or colored... but it sure was still as effective :)

  41. :)
    Btw, it's not just this post, each and every post of yours brings a smile to my face and even when there is a tear, the smile's not far behind :) Yes, thank you for sharing this...I'll teach my nephew.
    Tell your daughter the card is BEAUTIFUL! :)

    P.S: There, my biological clock is ticking over time now :D

  42. Love the simple card! great way to teach kids to draw. I used to make all birthday (and other) cards for friends and family until almost after college. But over time, they got busy and stopped acknowledging it and I lost interest ... maybe I should get back to it. :)

  43. Hi di..
    Took me back to my school days when I used to make hand made cards and send it to friends and relatives for deepavali and new year..
    I used to even make my own personalised post cards(drawing on plain post cards with small messages)
    soon my sister picked up the trend.
    Some of my cards have still been preserved so lovingly by a few relatives.
    Seriusly, nothing beats a hand written message and a hand drawn greeting card.

  44. Swathy: i used to do that too!

    Bindu: me too..Now the KVIIT water thing is officially confirmed!! :-) I have seen your sketches.They are really good.

    Still thinking: tick--tick ..TICK (get it?) :D

    Guru: :-) Sweet!

    Neo:Awaken the artist sometimes.Dont let him sleep too long!

    Ashwini:Happy to help!

  45. Ranjini:Thanks! Not my idea though--those street kids taught me.Me too used to do loads of 'copying':-)

    Rm: :-)

    Mama-Mia: you are balm for a wearied mother's soul :-)

    Wannabewriter: I want the card making kit too--and I want it NOW!!!

    Enigma:Even i used to do that--and I stopped doing it! I still use oil paints.

    Sushma:Its great fun.

  46. Sushobhan: thanks!

    Siddharth: I used to love Art classes in school.

    Chirpy Paro:If you post a pic I'll come and look :-)

    Priya rajesh:Nice!!

    Shachi: i love to make scrap books too.

  47. Sunny Raju: no offence taken :-) Girls do bring colour to life;-)

    Pavi: if you put up a pic of what u made,[yeah yeah--outer only!;-)] I'll come and see.

    Mathew: even I know that crayon trick! It gives a super effect.


  48. Pink dogwood: i guess people with kids have fringe benefits to help them cope :-)

    Geetha:Thanks!! Actaully I did not know it was a kolam pattern.

    Karthik:Thank you!!

    SMM:I did not know it was a rangoli pattern!

    Reflections:Must come and read yours.

  49. Prats: yes!!Fringe benefits of parenthood are sweet indeed! One man is back.Other is still in Aussie land.

    A: thanks!

    Maddy: Thank YOU!

    Varun: have mailed you. Pls see!

    Prakhar: nice! Which orgnsn in Blr do you work with?Have U heard of Unnati?Heard about them. I feel happy when people take initiative like you and DO something.And yes--I do know that you keep up your words. you proved it.

    Meira:Will tell her.:-)

    Depshikha:Happy it motivated you enough to leave me a comment! ;-)

  50. Tessie writes: thanks!

    Nikhil: Oh!I am so familiar with eng drawing--God!You are good at them!! Its so darn difficult for me to be that precise!

    phoenix:Yes!! me too loves hobby ideas.We too made candles some weeks back.

    Prats from pune:Let me m know when u post.Will read! :)

    Santasising:Try and tell me:)

    Monika;Initially I wondered who ann is--then i relaised you were referring to your anniv! :-)

    Aathira: Did you?

    Meira: i can relate so well to how your friend must have felt :-)

    Stillness speaks: thank you thank you!

  51. I m working with Hippocampus (thru Teach India program)

    Just checked Unnati's site ..nice work ..seems they are working in Gujrat and Rajasthan... You work wid them?

  52. Prakhar: nopes-Used to work with Akanksha.I used to frequent Hippocampus when i lived in Blr.I think you looked up some other Unnati. The one I am referring to is this:

  53. Got it! :)
    Don’t scare me now; I’m sad all over again :( Sigh!!!


  54. Alrite..ya I looked up some other Unnati...This one is also pretty good...I like their vision...apart from donation...any other way to contribute towards the cause?? I dint find any..

    These centers should be in other cities too..

  55. Thank you so much. Your daughter too :-). I am an adult and still use crayons and color pencils and sketch pens whenever I feel like cartooning, which like your CEO friend I am quite bad at! This post can make anyone happy :-) and so will the picture-gift. I am gonna make lots and keep with me, I will give each out when I find a friend unhappy.

  56. Hi Preeti,

    I am speechless. You always have something seemingly simple to share, but yet having a telling effect your readers bringing about a smile, make the heart feel lighter, opening the mind to a world which is much bigger and beautiful than the one we are living cocooned in.

    If my thanks can bring a smile on your face, i feel i am still doing too little for what you do with your posts. THANKS VERY MUCH

  57. when my son was here, he used to love to paint on my empty i used to set him with the easel, brushes and selected colors ( by him) on the palette...he uses mostly black....paints these heavy tht hes in india, i plan to incoorperate those lines into a painting...

    u r rite...theres nothing like painting to relax...and doing it with a child is perhaps more rewarding

  58. That's fabulous!!! n i m gonna show this to my 6 yr old who loves such stuff..... we surely gonna have a great time together...
    yes i must thank you for this...

  59. I loved making such cards when i was a kid but don't do much of it these days ... but i'm trying to show all my creativity in my pictures...


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