Handmade card tutorial – birthday candles

I’ve seen a few examples of handmade cards with repeated designs in different colours or patterns so when my friend’s 30th birthday came round last month I though that 30 candles would be a nice idea! In the end it turned out just as well that she wasn’t any older than 30 as I wouldn’t have been able to fit more candles on the card ;)

Candles card

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is C6, white)
  • Coloured or patterned paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pen for writing greeting

1. Pick the colours or patterns of paper you wish for your candles. I chose to have 6 different colours to give a nice range, therefore I knew I would have 5 candles in each colour.

2. Decide how big the rectangles for the candles need to be – mine were 0.5cm by 2cm. Measure and mark out the candles on each piece of paper and cut out.

Measure rectangular candles

3. Measure and cut out the flames. I used a gold paper for these. I cut a strip of paper 0.8cm wide and cut the flames freehand from the strip (this made sure they were all the same height). If you really don’t trust your cutting abilities you could print off a clipart flame shape and use that as a template instead.

Cut out flame shapes

Look at all the pieces ready for sticking!

Cut out candle pieces

4. Use your cut pieces to decide on your spacing. I decided to have one candle every 12mm, which made 3 rows with 3.5cm spacing between the rows on my C6 card. The third row had fewer candles on to allow space for a greeting.

5. Stick your candles on, starting with the rectangles. I was originally going to make a mark to show where each candle would be, but I actually ended up simply making a small mark at each end of each row to align the bases of the rectangles. Then I placed a ruler against the 2 marks and used the measurement marks on the ruler to work out where to stick each rectangle and made sure the rectangle was set against the ruler when sticking in place.

Sticking the candles on

I used pritt stick glue as I thought PVA would make the paper go wrinkly. However, I didn’t really like the pritt stick very much – it was a bit lumpy. Does anyone have any better suggestions?!

Update: on the suggestion of one of the commenters, the next time I made this card I used double-sided sticky tape instead of pritt stick. I simply stuck the tape to the shapes before cutting them out and then peeled off the backing paper to stick them to the card. It worked really well! (although the backing paper was a bit difficult to remove)

6. Stick the flames on top of the rectangles.

Sticking the flames on

Once you’ve finished it should look like this:

Card ready for greeting

7. Your candle spacing should give you space to write your greeting in the corner (in my case “happy 30th birthday”). I just wrote it freehand but you may wish to print off the greeting in a font you like and trace this onto the card (by scribbling pencil on the back of the printed paper and then going over the font on the front with a hard pencil/pen, like I used when decorating mugs) – then you can go over your pencil marks with a nice pen.

Finished candles card

Et voila! A simple but effective card design, great for those milestone birthdays or any celebration!

Update: I recently made this card for my husband’s birthday. I used a DL card and made the candles slightly longer. I like the improved layout!

30th birthday candles card

Thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “Handmade card tutorial – birthday candles

    • Double sided tape is a great idea, I have some of the normal stuff, not the repositionable type. Would it not be fiddly to cut round all the shapes with it though?

  1. Pingback: DIY wall display | the Little Koo blog

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