Crafty Cards
July 3, 2004 1:32 AM   Subscribe

Ideas for birthday Cards. I'm pretty clumsy, and have little / no artistic ability, but I like to make my birthday and (in five months time) christmas cards. Does anybody have any simple / easy recipies for good birthday cards.

I tend to make really tiny cards with either bits of magazine pictures or small leaves stuck on them. It's all getting a bit boring, so would love some new ideas.
posted by seanyboy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
I was going to recommend the magazine route. Well, you could mix it up some... make a collage out of the magazine pictures. Add some text. I like to make mine as cryptic as humanly possible and then make the text inside very banal. It really gets people to wondering why the hell you went to the trouble to make a personalized birthday card and put a bloody eye and a bottle of Jack Daniels in the collage. That's just what I do.

Also, I have made my own wrapping paper out of blank white paper and put phrases on it like, "Hope you don't die on your birthday" or "Hope you don't get cancer on Christmas"... you could transfer that idea to a card. It's very unsettling for the recipient, but no one can doubt your motive since you are wishing against catastrophe.
posted by pissfactory at 3:56 AM on July 3, 2004

Here are a couple of ideas for what it is worth. People like pictures of themselves and their friends and family. You can make cards for them with their own picture or pictures that they might like. Also, I have seen some fantastic homemade cards where the base was homemade paper and then bits of nature were pasted on it, like leaves but also flowers small sticks, rocks, sand, etc., sometimes in freeform, other times to make a picture along with some painting or line work. Rather than make the paper you can buy something similar.
posted by caddis at 5:46 AM on July 3, 2004

With no artistic ability myself, I would think rubber stamps and stencils would be the way to go - still homemade but easy. Also paper punches that do cutout shapes. Something like a birthday cake or candle stamp with paper-punch stars cut out around it, and the inside of the card showing color through them, would be cute and super-simple.

My sister makes her own cards by cutting out pieces of colored card stock, gluing it to the card in a picture, and drawing in a couple details, like kindergarten construction paper projects for grown-ups. For Xmas cards she had a cutout green tree with a cutout yellow star on top; Thanksgiving was two brown circles with five different color feathers to make a turkey. Simple, very nice effect - spare but pretty.
posted by Melinika at 8:03 AM on July 3, 2004

Very simple: 2 different colors of card stock plus one photo. Glue the photo onto one color and cut a small (1/4 inch) "frame." Glue that to your folded card stock, and you have a nifty card. Use photos of people, like caddis suggested, or whatever. Take pictures of the plants in your yard. Of your city. Of your house all dolled up for the holidays. .....etc.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:01 AM on July 3, 2004

I've been making my own Christmas cards for years using large sheets of oragami paper, xmas cookie cutters, pre-folded blank greeting cards from the craft store (bought mostly because they are a standard size and include the envelopes) and glue.

Just trace the cookie cutters on the oragami paper and cut out the traced image, then paste onto the card. Embellish with other bits of oragami paper (for things like Santa's beard or a Rudolph's nose) and occassionally some other stuff like sticker stars or strange little flat-backed 3-D penguins that I got ten for a dollar. Its fun, and if done with a bit of care you can invoke a great "made by a kid yet not South Park" esthetic.

I've also been known to use rubber stamps, etc., but I find that I get tired of using the same exact image over and over and never get my money's worth out of the stamp. The two stamps I've continued to use over the years are a large star and a tiny snowflake. Mostly all the others are gathering dust.....
posted by anastasiav at 12:20 PM on July 3, 2004

Keep a shoebox of bits of pretty paper, magazine/catalog cutouts, recycled tissue and giftwrap etc.
-Take old photos, cut in strips and weave loosely.
-Rubber stamps, various bits of differently textured/colored paper. Sometimes you can get small rubber stamps for kids that are quite inexpensive, and who doesn't love dinosaurs?
-Pressed flower or leaves glued on paper, put a single layer of facial tissue on top, brush with a mix of 50-50 water and white glue - dries all pretty. You can do this on top of waxed paper for a translucent effect.
-Cut out snowflakes, glitter.
posted by theora55 at 12:36 PM on July 3, 2004

Thanks for the ideas.
posted by seanyboy at 6:27 AM on July 6, 2004

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