How to Make a Birthday Card

How to Make a Birthday Card

It’s always nice to make a card for your special friends and loved ones. It takes a little more time, of course, but it pays off when your friend or loved one appreciates your effort. With these directions, you’ll be able to make a birthday card anytime for anyone.


Method One: General Birthday Card

1. Gather all of your materials. Spread yourself out at the table and have everything you need nearby to ease yourself into the creative process. Grab a cup of tea or glass of water while you’re at it.


You’ll need:

  • Construction paper or cardstock and stationery
  • Coloring utensils such as markers, crayons, and colored pencils
  • Glue
  • Stickers
  • Rubber stamps or other images such as photographs, magazine pictures, or images from cards that have already been used


2. Create the card blank. Take a piece of construction paper and fold it into quarters, or use a piece of good quality cardstock (A4 size) and cut the page in half, then fold it down the middle.

  • Of course, if you have an envelope you’d like to use, fold the paper to the size of the envelope. Leave at the very least 1/8″ (.3 cm) on all sides so the card slides easily in and out.


3. Think of the theme. Could you make the card mean more by referring somehow to their hobbies, occupation, their family or anything else significant to them? Does something in particular connect the two of you?

  • Try to turn the card a little graphic novel. Divide the card into different-sized sections and tell a little story in each quadrant.
  • Draw a picture of a person the cardholder admires, or draw a picture of the cardholder themselves. (Alternately, paste a picture of them into the card.) If you want, draw in a thought or speech bubble and say something.
  • Think of a riddle or poem. It can be a limerick or perhaps a riff on the classic “Roses are red, violets are blue…” Be creative, and don’t be afraid to make it funny.
  • Tell an exemplative story about the person. Tell a story about the first time you met him or her, what her your impressions were, and how those changed over time.


4. Add “life” to the card. Be sure to colour, add stickers, and any embellishment you see fit to it. For example, a fisherman’s birthday card could have a stamped fisherman and a piece of string glued to the fishing rod and anchored to the card front with a real fish hook. (Be sure to file the end of the hook off so no one can get hurt by it, if you decide to use a real fish hook on your own card!) Whatever your means, tailor the card to the recipient.

  • You can make your card colourful with pens, stickers and stamps; if the guest of honour would prefer something a little more muted, go for it! Bright colors are vivid and fun; muted colors are classy and more sophisticated. Younger ones may prefer something more fun; older ones will greater appreciate the beauty of the card and the effort it took to make.
  • Use your own handwriting or computer generate a greeting such as “Happy Birthday!” on a different coloured paper. Adding the person’s name makes this more special. Since your card is homemade, you may want to home-make everything.
  • Put a little flair into the card by making it a pop-out card. Pop-outs vary from extremely easy to extremely hard, so be sure to pick a level of difficulty that suits your skills and time.


Method Two: Peekaboo Design

1. Fold a piece of cardstock into thirds. You may want to start off with a sheet that’s 8.5″ x 11″ (21.5 x 29 cm) and then trim down as you see fit. You can always get smaller; you can’t magically make the paper bigger.

  • Make sure to get even, firm creases. Use a bone folder if you have one available. If your creases aren’t even, start over on a new piece of cardstock.


2. Cut a window into the middle panel. This is the middle panel now, but it’ll be the front of your card later. The size of your item to display in the window should determine the size of the window. Generally, the window should be less than half the size of the card.

  • You can simply display another piece of pretty paper or put some embroidery, a doily, or a photo in this window. The limit is really your imagination. As long as it fits!
  •     If you also want to display a ribbon, hole punch in two holes to the middle panel, above or below the window. Thread your ribbon through this and tie into a bow, with the bow facing away from you when you lay the card down.


3. Position the item on the card. It should be face down so the side you want displayed is in the window. Along the edges of the item, adhere it with glue or tape to the card. Make sure the adhesive isn’t placed on the item where it would be visible.

  • Place a piece of double-sided tape below the item and at the edge of the side panel. Fold over the side panel, pressing into the tape. Your item is now sandwiched between the two panels and the middle has become the front. The left side is now the left inside panel of your now two-paneled card.


4. Write in your card. If your item isn’t bulky or adds extra dimension to your card, feel free to write on both sides. If it seems like it’d be hard to write on, keep your message to the right side of the card.

  • Have your message match the feel of the item displayed. If it’s cute and clever, have a cute and clever message. If it’s simple and classic, have a simple and classic message. The tone of your card should be consistent.


Method Three: With Wallpaper

1. Find an envelope, a scrap of wallpaper, and a sheet of cardstock. It’s best if your envelope color matches (in some way) the color of your wallpaper. The size of your envelope will determine how much wallpaper you need.

  • Your wallpaper, when folded in half, needs to be at least 1/8″ (.3 cm) smaller on all sides than the envelope. Or else you won’t be able to take it in and out! On the backside of the wallpaper, trace two envelopes. That’ll be the easiest and quickest way to get your measurements.


2. Cut out your wallpaper and cardstock and fold them in half. If the wallpaper curls, place it under weights over night. Get a piece of cardstock and cut it to just under the size of your wallpaper. Adhere the cardstock to the back of the wallpaper with glue or double-sided tape. Be careful of bubbles or creases. Smooth it out as you apply.

  • If you have the kind of wallpaper that comes with sticky backing, good for you! Take off the backing and smooth on your cardstock, glue stick-free.


3. Add in your message. You may want to include in your message how crafty you are and that you’re free to design their kitchen if they’re looking for a decorator. They may not even be able to tell it’s wallpaper!

  • Some wallpaper is difficult to write on. If you want to write on the front or back, test it out first (on a small, throwaway scrap) before you go to the trouble of making your card and finding out it doesn’t work.


4. Finished.



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