Invisible Ink Father's Day Card
By: Bonnie Schiedel
Age: 6 and up
Parental supervision is recommended
Does your dad like jokes? How about magic or science? Make a fun Father's Day card using "invisible ink" from ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
What you'll need:
- One piece of white cardstock, 4.5" x 3.5"
- One teaspoon of lemon juice (either fresh-squeezed or from concentrate) OR one teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one teaspoon of water
- Small bowl
- Small paintbrush or cotton swab
- One piece of colored cardstock, 5.5" x 8.5"
- Adhesive such as glue stick, glue or scrapbook mounting squares
How to make it:
- Place lemon juice (or baking soda and water mixture) in a small bowl.
- Dip the paintbrush or cotton swab into the mixture and use it as "invisible ink" to draw a picture or write a message to dad on the white cardstock. (See photo.) Allow the cardstock to dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the baking soda mixture is dry, brush off any excess soda. (Whichever "ink" you use, you will be able to see a very faint image on the white cardstock.)
- Fold the colored cardstock in half. Glue the white cardstock to the front. (See photo.)
- Use the marker to write "Happy Father's Day!" inside the card.
- Give the card to Dad on Father's Day. Wait for him to try and figure out why the front of the card is blank. Then tell him it's written in invisible ink and that he needs to iron it to see what it says. (See photo.)
- Have Dad or another adult heat the iron to the "cotton" or highest setting and iron the front of the card. (Don't use the steam setting.) After a minute or two, your picture or message will gradually appear! (See photo.)
- It can be a little tricky writing using ink you can't see! Practice on a scrap piece of paper first.
- Fresh lemon juice makes a lighter brown ink. Lemon juice from concentrate, or the baking soda mixture, results in a slightly darker brown ink.
- To make your card look like a treasure map, have an adult carefully burn the edges of the white cardstock before you draw on it with the invisible ink.
- You can also hold the cardstock carefully over a heat source like a light bulb to make the message visible.
- Come up with some funny magic words, and tell Dad he needs to say them while he's ironing in order for the message to appear.
- Decorate the colored cardstock (the frame around the white cardstock) with markers, crayons or small stickers.
Bonnie Schiedel is a freelance writer.