I thoroughly enjoy making cards, and have been making my own Christmas cards for years now. Somehow though, I always found I lacked inspiration and confidence for birthday cards. Until recently that is! My lovely friend Cath succumbed to our encouragement and started a blog called Crafty Little Blogger in which she displays her fabulous crafted wares along with tips, tricks and how-to guides which filled me with inspiration.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that men are particularly awkward both to buy presents for and find cards for. You can imagine my consternation when I realised the birthday of Cath’s young son was approaching. Not just a male, but a young boy AND the son of the Queen of Craft! This was pressure! Thankfully I had a fairly simple idea and was quite pleased with the results.
Whenever I’m making a card that requires any cutting out other than simple rectangles or squares, I always make a template from scrap paper first. My rationale is two-fold. Firstly my remarkable propensity for arseing it up is (somewhat) diminished, and secondly, since I keep the template, if I ever wish to make a similar card again, the majority of the work is done for me.
Step 1. Make the template
My idea was quite simple. Young boys should, to my mind, like boats. Boats also require little in the way of artistic skill on my part. 2 right angled triangles of slightly different size work perfectly as sails, a tiny pendant shaped triangle to fly from the mast which I wanted to put his age on (age being of fundamental importance to small people!), and then simply sloping the edges of a rectangle for the body of the boat itself.
This is a sneaksy trick I learned from Cath. Peel-offs can be coloured in with permanent marker. I coloured the words “Happy” and “Birthday” in bright red (leave it to dry for a few mins before using them). I used a vertical peel-off since I wanted the words to run down the spines of the sails, but you could just as easily have them horizontally along the sail bottom.
I have a tragic addiction to buying pretty papers, and by happy coincidence I had within my arsenal a piece of paper that suggested to me turbulent sea with a blue sky above it. You don’t have to hunt high and low for such a thing, you could quite easily use a blue card, or even a light blue card and then dark blue for the waves that we’ll add later.
In addition to your boat pieces, cut a piece of sea the width of your card, and approx 1 inch in height. Cut a scalloped wave-shape edge along the top of the strip.
You can use glue, glue pens, glue dots or double sided tape to stick your boat pieces into position. I tend to favour glue dots since I make less mess, and they’re not impossible to remove in the event of the afore-mentioned arseing up.
Put the larger sail on the right, since it needs to hold the longer word “Birthday”. Use double-sided foam pads to stick your sea on last of all, so that it stands slightly forward from the boat giving a nice 3D effect.
Step 5. Finishing touches
One of my absolute favourite steals from the Crafty Little Blogger is personalising a card with the recipient’s name. It’s so simple to do, and such a lovely touch. I used pre-coloured peel off alphabet letters to add both name and age to the card, and added the Happy Birthday peel off. *Puts on Gordon Ramsay voice* Simple boy’s birthday card. Done.