a special game of memory

Country Living featured this version of a homemade memory game in the December issue.

Since my little potty-mouth loves playing games, I thought it would make a special christmas gift.  After thinking through different objects I could use on the cards, I decided on a photo of each of the kids in our extended family. Then I figured I should create a game for each of the families and the idea for cousin memory was born.

There are 11 cousins {with one more on the way} so I used a photo of each little darling on two cards each.

A combination of photoshop, illustrator and digital printable papers {plus the cousins’ cute faces} made for a colorful and special memory game.

I followed the instructions from Country Living {printed the images, cut to size, used spray adhesive to attach to mat board}. I probably should have sealed them with mod-podge, but I didn’t finish the games until the night before our family christmas celebration, so I skipped that part.

The kids think it is fun to see their faces on playing cards.

You could do a similar project using any image or clipart that is meaningful to you:

memorable locations {first date, vacation, first house} for a special game for your spouse

favorite toys for your kids

items around the house to help a toddler learn objects



gardening images for a gardener in your life

I could go on and on. But I’ll stop.

All to say, it is a simple and inexpensive project that makes a delightful gift.

You can read the original Country Living article here.

38 Responses to a special game of memory

  1. Tami March 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Just stopping by to let you know that I’ve featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I’d love it if you would submit them. :) If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

  2. Marisa February 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    My husband, 4 yr old son, and I just moved cross country away from all of our families. This would be a great way to prove to the doubtful family members that he isn’t going to forget them!

  3. Karena Kreger February 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    This is so great!! I came from a very large family – roughly 50 cousins on each side of the family plus second cousins galore! When we traveled back home for the occasional visit as kids we never remembered who was who. I’m just laughing at the thought of playing this game to have a quick memory jog before the awkward biannual visit – that would have been hilarious!! And it would have been a long game to play! :)

  4. Tricia Lynn February 2, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    This is such a great idea for kids (or a gift for someone with kids)! Letters, numbers and colors would be great for babes and you could even do simple and advanced shapes for geometry! The opportunities really are endless… sweet! Thanks for this tutorial (and for being one heck of a mom from my vantage point)!

  5. charis February 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    that is so cute! i want to make it!!

    my recent post:

  6. CaroleB February 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    So Darling…I’m going to make one for my grandchildren. I love your great ideas. :)

  7. Leslie February 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I am a preschool teacher and we’ve made a set of class cards for each of my classes. The children love to play memory with their friends’ faces and it helps them learn each others’ names.

  8. Catherine at Design Editor February 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    This is precious! My girls are really into doing “roll call” and naming everyone in our extended family-this would be so fun.

  9. Mary-Frances Kenney February 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I LOVE this idea! My husband’s family are spread out and the kids don’t get to see each other very often. I would love to make this for all the kiddos. Your link for digital printable papers isn’t working though…help?

    • emily February 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Sorry about that. You can click on the shop menu item and the papers are in there. I’ll go fix the link now.

  10. Brianne Hanson February 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Good idea. My son has been enjoying matching games on our computer, but I would much rather have him play it with something real. I love the personal touch it adds to put loved ones on the squares. I will have to give this a try.

  11. Meg February 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    This is going STRAIGHT to my pinterest board!

  12. Jaclyn Bishop February 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    such a great idea! i love this blog!

  13. Christene {Author of Nowhere Else to Run} February 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    What a beautiful idea! I’ve seen things of this nature before, but they still strike me the same. Most of our cousins are far away on the east cost (we’re in Vegas) and we miss the pleasure of close relations for our little ones. This is another great way to keep loved ones close and make them more familiar for when we do get to meet up. Lovely!

    • emily February 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      One set of the cousins live in San Diego and so I love the my kids can still see their cute faces even if not in real life.

  14. Maren February 1, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    This is such a great idea! There are 30+ cousins for my kids to get to know and sadly we are able to get together only once every couple of years. I’m going to make this our “off year” project so that each of the families still have a way to remember their cousins :)

  15. Chantalle February 1, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    So clever! I love it. Can’t wait to whip one up myself!

  16. Kim February 1, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    This is beyond brilliant!

  17. {darlene} February 1, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I love this idea! Such a special way to keep your family on your children’s hearts throughout the year.

  18. Seriously Sassy Mama February 1, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    That is too cute!

  19. Hayden February 1, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    My little guys would love this! They love seeing pictures of their cousins, aunt, uncles, and grandparents. Might have to give this a try!

  20. MelissaJane February 1, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    WOW, I pinned this on Pinterest before I even finished reading the post! I love this – and it’s what my boys and nephew are getting for Christmas next year!

  21. Aja February 1, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    What a fun idea! And as always, I love the way yours turned out! :) Super cute.

  22. rachel in Cali. February 1, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Suuper cute! What type of cutter did you use to cut the foam board?

    • emily February 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      The matting is thick, but i just used my regular paper cutter and it worked great.

  23. Mary February 1, 2012 at 9:19 am #


    There are 19 cousins (and one on the way) in our family. This would be so fun to make and keep at Grandma and Grandpa’s. As always, everything you do is so beautiful!

  24. Kacey February 1, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    This is too cute!

  25. Tara February 1, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Love this idea! My son only has one cousin so maybe we’ll reinvent it with all the members of our family. Thanks for the idea!

  26. Lynne February 1, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    You always make me smile!
    Too cute!

  27. Kandi February 1, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    LOVE! What a wonderful idea! My sister lives many states away and I worry than my 2 year old and 4 month old (eventually) will not know their cousins by names and faces…I will definitely be doing this. And I agree with the Mod Podge idea, my kids are hard on things. :)

  28. Spark*Amy February 1, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    What adorable cousins! Such a great idea for all of them! And you have a built in gift/project every couple of years as they change!

  29. Sarah B Design February 1, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I think this is a fantastic gift idea! I dont think anything beats a thoughtful, homemade gift and this one could be altered to fit any occasion or be a gift for anyone you love! This might be something I do for my fiance for V-day

  30. jordan February 1, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    this is so cute and thoughtful! I bet your siblings thought so! How many siblings do you have?

    • emily February 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      I have two sisters {one older, one younger}. I grew up with my cousins being like siblings too. Only one of the cousins has kids so far, so his are included.

  31. Mandy February 1, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Your game is adorable! I did something similar s few years ago because I had a great coupon for a website that sells playing cards with photos on the front. They had the option of leaving off the numbers so one side was blank and the other I included a bunch of random photos of family. I think I paid $5 a piece for them and there were 52 cards, of course. That’s a BIG game of memory. This past Oct. when my papaw died, we found the set we made to keep at his house tucked in a drawer. I wonder how often he looked a them? What a great keepsake this makes.

  32. Katy February 1, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    ADORABLE! I used to love playing this game as a kid. Definitely a great project to make for my son!

  33. Andrea February 1, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    What a great idea. My little one would love this!

  34. Ktez February 1, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Delightful!! I shall be making these as a gift for my little nieces. Many thanks Emily for all your creativity xx

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