A Home Business for Kids: Handmade Stencil Stationery

When this 10-year-old wanted a new bike, she created a home business and earned it by selling her own handmade stationery.

| November/December 1989

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    To decorate her stationery, Leah needs only a glass of water, a clipboard, paper, stencil, paints, brushes, and a towel.

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Have you ever wanted something so badly but not had the money to buy it? Well, that was the situation I found myself in about five months ago. Not having a bike was getting to be simply horrible!

I decided to do something about it. I knew earning money was not going to be easy. I began to look through hobby books for ideas, but nothing suited me. Then a family friend suggested stenciling stationery.

You may want to try it, too. If so, here're the supplies you'll need:

Paper: The best size for stationery is 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. I bought 1,000 sheets for $8 at a local print shop. If that price is too much for you, ask the printer for any available scraps (I lucked into some lavender paper with matching envelopes!). If the scraps are too large, ask the printer to cut them to the right size.

Envelopes: You can buy a box of 100 envelopes (3 5/8 by 6 1/2 inches) for approximately $1 at any discount store. WARNING: You should buy the envelopes before the paper. This is why: Most printers have different colors of stationery, but a discount store will probably have only one. So buy your envelopes, then take them to the printer and pick paper to match.

Paints, brushes, and stencils: These can all be bought at art or craft stores or through craft catalogs. You will need acrylic base-coat paints. A two-ounce bottle costs from $2 to $3.

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