Quick and Easy DIY Memory Cards

Image of Scripture Memory Card Box
This pretty memory box? I love it. We call it our “Treasure Box” because we use it to hide God’s Word in our hearts like hidden treasure. It’s from Simply Charlotte Mason.

A couple of notes to begin. . . I love that you can find Scripture Memory Verse Cards for free at Simply Charlotte Mason and other places on line. I see beautifully illustrated poems and verses available on Etsy to purchase.

But I much prefer to make my own.

We use 3×5 index cards for memorizing Bible verses and poetry. It took a while to figure out the quickest and easiest way to format and print them out at home.

Almost all downloads are available as 8.5 x 11 PDFs (oh, the poor souls who live in A4 countries!). This means besides printing them out, you’ll need to take time to cut them. I hate cutting things out and I can never do it straight — even with a paper cutter!

Similarly, to make them durable you’ll either need to laminate them (more time!) or print them out on card stock (harder to cut!) Who has time for that?

I’ve found that formatting memory work and printing them directly on 3×5 index cards (or metric equivalent) makes them more durable than plain paper, more biodegradable than laminated cards, and looks neater than my lack-of-straight-lines cutting. Printing on index cards is usually less expensive than card stock or laminating, too!

How to Print Out Memory Cards

Note: Screenshots are available after these step-by-step instructions.

  1. First, double check that your printer will print on 3×5 cards. Most will, but some models won’t. You don’t want to take your time formatting if you can’t print them.
  2. Open your word processing software. I’m old school and still use Microsoft Word, but the same principles listed should work for Mac or Google Docs.
  3. Go to Layout.
    • Select Size, click on More Paper Sizes, and enter Custom Size of Width 5″ and Height 3″. Apply to Whole Document.
    • Select Margin, click on Custom Margin, enter .4 for top, left, and right. Enter .3 for bottom. These margins provide plenty of room for the Bible verse as well as enough white space to not look crowded.
    • Double check what it looks like on your screen. It should look like a horizontal index card.
  4. Select font.
    • Go to Home.
    • Set font Georgia.
    • Set size to 11 pt.
    • Of course, you can play around with various fonts and sizes, but I’ve found this to be a good balance between easy to read and fitting enough text on a card.
  5. Other settings to check.
    • Single space.
    • Left justify.
  6. Type your memory passage.
    • I bold where the passage is found on the top left hand. We memorize in ESV usually and so I only mark the version if it is something other than ESV.
    • Use a page break between cards to keep the formatting for each card from running into the next one if you go back later to edit.
    • When a passage is long and might take more than one card, I still put a page break between each card. One the second card I’ll add something like Proverbs 23, p2 .
  7. Do a test print.
    • Do a trial print of just one memory verse to verify whether you load your index cards vertically or horizontally. You don’t want to print 20 cards and then discover they are misprinted!
    • You can get 3×5 cards that are blank on both sides, or print them on the blank side of lined index cards. We use index cards for a LOT of things, so I have both on hand.

Throughout the week, I’ll jot down Bible verses or poetry that I want to add to our memory work. When I do a bit of life admin, I can quickly open up our memory work document, type out the verses I noted down and print them out. Having this system and a pre-formated document makes this a quick and easy task.

Screenshot Directions

Screenshot of how to set page size to print index cards in Microsoft Word.
To size your document for 3×5 index cards, under the Layout tab and select Size. Then click on More Paper Sizes, and enter Custom Size of width 5″ and height 3″. Apply to Whole Document.
Screenshot of how to set custom margins in Microsoft Word.
In the Layout tab, select Margin, click on Custom Margin.
Screenshot of how to set margins in Microsoft Word for Memory Verse Cards.
Select Margin, click on Custom Margin, enter .4 for top, left, and right. Enter .3 for bottom.
Screenshot of Memory Verse Cards in Microsoft Word, including font and other formatting.
In the Home tab, set your Font and Font Size. I prefer Georgia font at size 11. I recommend you bold the Bible reference or poem title.

Always Learning

Like with many things in life, things that I begin for my children end up benefiting me. Even though I memorized a lot of Bible verses as a child (on my own, at school, through Awana and Sunday School), that practice didn’t continue.

I wonder. . . friends, what have you found that works to continue your Scripture memory or other spiritual disciplines? Have you been able to continue habits and disciplines you began as a child into adulthood?

I don’t know that I would have the regular discipline of memorizing Scripture right now, if I weren’t doing it regularly with the kids. But with the beautiful Treasure Box and the spaced-repetition habit established with the kids, I can see this habit continuing and growing even as the children grow and leave home.

Sample of SCM Bible Verse Packs
These are what the Bible memory cards from SCM look like if you purchase them. My DIY ones have a different font, size, and margins. These are readable, but I like mine better. LOL!
Sometimes I’ll just handwrite a memory card. When I’m doing homeschool admin, I’ll add Bible or poetry to my memory card template and print.

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