How to Make Birthday Cards

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Think of making a handmade birthday card as setting a stage -- you can create the set ahead of time and leave space for the main attraction -- customizing it later for the intended recipient. Simply create a basic design and adapt it for all kinds of celebrants such as a toddler boy, grandfather, or a special card for mom.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Things You'll Need

  • Blank greeting card, 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches
  • Green, yellow and white cardstock
  • Ruler
  • Cutting knife and mat
  • "Happy Birthday" sticker
  • Glue

The Basic Card

Customize a blank 4 1/4-by-5 1/2-inch card. This clean simple design presents a triple-matted panel with a colorful "Happy Birthday" sticker affixed to the top.

Step 1:

Cut a piece of green cardstock to 2 1/2 by 2 inches and a piece of yellow cardstock to 2 1/4 by 1 3/4 inches. Glue the yellow cardstock centered on top of the green one.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Step 2:

Cut a 2-by-1 1/2-inch white cardstock mat and attach the "Happy Birthday" sticker to it. Glue the "Happy Birthday" message to the green/yellow cardstock. Glue the layered birthday message centered horizontally near the top edge of the card.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Toddler's Card

Step 1:

Stamp each letter of the toddler's name in black ink on colored cardstock, leaving extra space around the letter to punch it out with a circle punch. Add a foam dot to the back of each punched letter and adhere to the card in a carefree arrangement below the matted message. The foam dots “pop” the letters off the card to add texture and dimension.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Things You'll Need

  • Cardstock, color of your choice
  • Rubber stamp alphabet
  • Black ink
  • Circle paper punch
  • Adhesive foam dots
  • Star and truck stickers

Step 2:

Finish by adding a star on each side of the toddler's name and a toy truck sticker near the bottom of the card.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Grandpa's Card

Step 1:

Attach the photograph to two layered pieces of cardstock, picking up the colors in the photograph.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Step 2:

Center the matted photograph near the bottom of the card.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Step 3:

Write Grandpa’s name and finish with a heart sticker to send a strong message.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Things You'll Need

  • Cardstock, assorted colors
  • Photograph 
  • Black pen
  • Heart stickers

Mom's Card

Step 1:

Create assorted flowers and leaves in various shapes and colors:

  • Punch various flower shapes from an assortment of colored cardstock. 
  • Punch small circles, stars and decorative shapes for the centers of the flowers. 
  • Punch different leaf shapes from green cardstock and decorative shapes such as a blue swirl for added interest. 
  • For texture and shadow, chalk the edges of the flowers with a slightly darker shade of the flower. Add white dots to the blue swirl for added texture. 
  • To create a daisy, punch two yellow flowers. Attach one daisy over the other, rotated slightly to spread the fingers of the bloom. Add a small orange starburst to the center. Chalk the edges with a slightly darker yellow shade. 

Note: Every bloom is at least two colors: the petals one color and the flower center another color.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Step 2:

Start to build the flower garden on the card one bloom at a time, just below the matted birthday greeting. Attach the flowers with foam dots.

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Step 3:

Continue layering blooms, and add in leaves and swirls for visual interest. Color captures our attention immediately, and a carefree arrangement of colorful flowers captures our hearts. What could be better than a colorful garden card for mom?

(Image: Leslie Carola)

Things You'll Need

  • Cardstock, assorted colors
  • Paper punches, assorted shapes
  • Chalk pastels
  • Adhesive foam dots
  • Photograph
  • White pen
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