Patterned paper banner birthday card

I’ve seen a few cards online which showcase a single piece of patterned paper (such as here and here), and if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll realise that I’ve recently built up a little stash of pretty paper and am just itching to find ways to use it! I recently made good use of some on these paper covered pencil pots, and now I want to use some more on a card!

I liked the idea of having a simple sentiment on top of the patterned paper, but rather than just writing in a square, I decided to use a banner going across the card. And this is the result!

DIY happy birthday banner card

I have to admit that the banner is not my idea, nor my design. I got it from The Postman’s Knock, one of my favourite blogs. Lindsey is a very talented calligrapher and letterer and has loads of very inspiring tutorials for cards and illustrations, alongside calligraphy tutorials and tips. In this tutorial, she goes through in detail how to draw a banner, so I just followed her tutorial to draw my own banner.

After a couple of practice goes, this was what I came up with:

Happy birthday hand drawn banner sketch

I wasn’t confident that I could write a nice calligraphy phrase on my banner (like Lindsey did), so I chose to write some simple tall thin letters instead. To make it a little more interesting, I thickened the verticals.

As you can see in the picture above, I drew it in pencil and then went over it with a pen. This was so that the lines would be clearly defined, which is important because I then traced it onto coloured paper in black pen. I used a light box, but you could hold the paper up to a window instead, so that you can see the writing on the paper behind.

Once the banner was complete I cut a border around it in the same way that Lindsey did because I liked the effect.

Then I simply mounted my patterned paper onto another piece of coloured paper and mounted that onto my card blank, and then glued the banner across the front. Simple but effective!

Tutorial hand drawn banner card

Patterned paper birthday card

Do you like this style? Have you made any cards with patterned paper yourself? I’d love to hear more ideas on how to use it!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Hand lettered triangle stamped birthday card

So it would seem that I’ve been making a lot of cards recently! I’ve recently published a layered name card, this washi tape bunting card and a whole bunch of different designs with masked letters (here, here and here). And I’ve got one more design for you after this one!

This time I was making a birthday card for my brother so I needed something not too feminine, and as usual I didn’t have much time to make it! And this is what I produced:

easy and simple modern birthday card tutorial

I think this was the quickest card I’ve made recently (maybe apart from the washi tape bunting one). I thought I’d try my hand at a bit of hand lettering, and it came together really quickly. Hand lettering is something that I’d really like to get more into – I think it makes a big difference on cards especially. I’ve dabbled a bit with calligraphy in the past (such as with these Christmas cards, and this family tree) but I’d definitely like to take it further in future.

Anyway, I had a vague idea that I wanted the hand lettering to be made of quite round serif letters with thick sides and thin lines elsewhere, and after a couple of practice runs I just sized it to fit onto the card, drew some guidelines and drew the letters in pencil. I made the middle of the letters 10mm high, and the ascenders and descenders were 8mm high, which fitted really well on this DL card blank. Then I went over the outlines with a gold pen and filled in the thick sides with squiggles. I think I may have left too much space between the letters but overall I’m quite pleased with it.

triangle stamped DIY card

To make the triangles, I cut a triangle shape into the end of a pencil eraser and randomly stamped the triangles above and below the text using ink pads. These two colours are the only two colour ink pads that I have but I think they work well together!

pencil eraser triangle stamp

I think the card has quite a modern look and it came out better than I was expecting!

hand lettered birthday card

Have you tried hand lettering? What’s your favourite style? Please share your designs below, I’d love to see them!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Easy DIY paper covered pencil tins

I think this is the easiest craft I have ever done! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have recently built up a small collection of pretty paper and I’ve been looking for crafts to use it on! Plus, I love the idea of recycling things that would normally get thrown out, so I’m happy to find a use for these tin cans! And they turned out pretty nice :)

DIY paper covered pencil pots

The paper I used is ‘Into the Woods’ by UW Scrapbooking, which I bought at Popular Books (in Hong Kong). Isn’t it pretty?! The paper only measures 15cm by 15cm which isn’t long enough to wrap all the way round the cans so I had to use two pieces of paper for each can. This means that there are two paper seams, which isn’t ideal but I’ll survive ;)

Easy recycled tin can craft

The cans that I used were ones that had a ring pull on top, so the lid came off in a smooth circle. This meant that I didn’t have to file any rough edges which I would have had to have done if I had used a tin opener to open the cans.

To cover the cans, I first measured the distance between the metal strips at the top and bottom of the cans and cut paper strips to that width. Then I stuck them onto the cans by gluing the back of the paper strips with a glue runner (I put the glue around the edges and then in stripes over the rest of the surface) and then very carefully stuck the strips to the cans. I tried to make sure they were as straight as possible!

My favourite one is this one with the fox paper – so pretty!

Fox paper pencil pot

I was really pleased with how they came out, and now they are sitting in pride of place on top of one of our bookcases – where the pens are in easy reach for us but not our young children!

Have you done anything similar yourself? Please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Layered name DIY card

One of my friends recently had a baby and I wanted to make a card for them with the baby’s name on. I really liked font I used for my niece’s birth card (which you can see at the bottom of this post) but I wanted to do something different with the card itself. I’ve recently bought some pretty paper supplies so I thought I’d put them to good use! And this is what I came up with:

Layered paper card tutorial

Isn’t it a cute name?

Whilst this card was pretty straightforward to make, I was surprised by just how long it took. There is a lot of cutting out! But I love the layered effect, so I think all that cutting is worth it.

If you’d like to make something similar yourself, read on for the tutorial…

Firstly you will need:

  • Card blank
  • Paper in different colours and patterns
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Glue (I used a glue runner but pritt stick or any glue suitable for paper will do)
  • Pencil
  • Printer (optional)

Firstly (and this is also the fun part), decide what colour papers you will use and in which order. I always find it quite difficult to find colours and patterns that match together well!

Once you have picked your paper, you now need to pick your lettering. You can either use a font or draw the letters yourself. If you are drawing the letters, then simply draw the outline onto your paper. If you are using a font, then you need to choose your font. I used Marcelle, which is free on dafont.com (this font has a textured appearance but since I only wanted to use the outline and not the printed letters it didn’t matter). I typed the name I wanted to use on the card in Word, did a ‘print screen’ and pasted it into Paint, where I flipped the image backwards using the Rotate > Flip Horizontal command, and saved it as a jpeg.

Reflect the image in Paint

I then inserted this image into a blank Word document so I could size it to fit my card blank. And then I printed it onto the back of my patterned paper (which happened to have a different pattern on the back).

Backwards print

If you know a quicker way of doing this, please let me know! It was a bit convoluted, but it worked.

I then cut around the text with a pair of scissors. I filled it in where the text didn’t quite join up and made some of the thinnest parts a bit thicker so the papercut would be easier to handle. I’m not very skilled with a craft knife which is why I used scissors, but I used one to cut out the holes and the fiddly bits. If you are better at cutting out curves with a craft knife than me then you might want to use one for the whole thing!

Next, glue your papercut onto your next colour/pattern paper. I liked the idea of having the text in a pattern and using plain colours for the rest of the layers, but that’s just my preference. Using a pencil, draw around the text layer, trying to keep your line a certain distance away from the text at all times. I smoothed out many of the features of the text but kept some of the major indents and shapes.

Drawing the next layer

Now cut out along the line you have just drawn. Erase any pencil marks still showing. Stick this layer onto your next layer of paper and repeat until you are happy with the overall look and size of your piece. Mine had 4 layers in total.

Papercraft lettering card

Now you can glue it to your card blank and you are done!

Baby name card papercut

Luckily, my friend loved it :)

P1090229

I was a little disappointed with the contrast between the name and the next layer. I think I should have used a darker coloured pattern for the top layer. I also made this card for a little girl’s birthday using the same technique, and I was much happier with the colours.

DIY layered birthday card

Do you like this layered look? Let me know if you have a go at something similar yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

DIY washi tape bunting card

I love cute card ideas, so when I saw this and this very sweet washi tape bunting card on Pinterest I knew I wanted to have a go myself! It was really quick and easy to do and it came out so nicely that I ended up making three of them…

easy washi tape bunting card

I don’t really need to give a tutorial for this, you can just copy the look yourself. I cut a length of baker’s twine and cut short lengths of the washi tape, folded it in half with the twine at the fold and then cut each one into a triangle shape (this makes it neater than trying to cut the triangles first!). Then tie a bow at each end of the twine and glue to your card blank – I just used a blob of white glue for this.

glue bunting to card

For the text, I first wrote it in Word with this font and printed it out on a piece of paper. The long tails at each end of the text are the ( and ) symbols for this font.

happy birthday shorelines font

I then placed the printout behind my card blank and traced over it with gold pen using a light box, but you could also just hold both pieces up against a window and trace it that way if you don’t have a light box.

simple hand lettered card

I was so pleased with how this card came out that I made two more in different colours! Those two have already gone to some lucky birthday ladies, now I’m just waiting to send this one off soon!

easy garland birthday card

Do you like using washi tape on cards? I’d love to see your designs if you do, it’s so great to see how creative people can be with it! Also, please let me know if you try this washi tape bunting design!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

DIY glitter glue card with masked letters

I’ve already shared with you two ways of making cards with silhouetted letters – stamping paint with a pencil eraser and using an ink pad and a patterned stamp. This week I will share the final way that I have used this technique, and it’s a bit brighter and bolder! This time I used glitter glue!

Happy birthday silhouetted letters card

If you want to make a card like this, then you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is DL size)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Glitter glue (in a selection of colours)

I covered the method for making the letters (from post-it notes) and aligning them on the card in this post, so I won’t repeat that here, just head on over to the post and start from the beginning until you have something that looks like this:

using post-it notes for temporary masking letters

All I did next was to carefully cover my letters with glitter glue. I found that squeezing some out of the tube onto the card and then spreading it out with the tip of the tube worked really well. As you can see, I used a range of colours to make my design really bright! Then all you have to do is peel off the post-it letters and leave the whole thing to dry.

Glitter glue birthday card

I found that the glitter glue made my card a little bit wrinkled, but I guess that’s unavoidable unless you use a really thick card blank.

Bright and sparkly card tutorial

Glitter glue masked letters DIY card

What do you think? Will you have a go yourself? Maybe you could do a pattern in the glitter glue, such as circles or waves?! That might look pretty cool. Let me know what you come up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

DIY ink stamped card with silhouetted letters

At the beginning of January, I showed you how to make a paint stamped card with silhouetted letters. I really liked the way the letters were blanked out in the design and I wanted to make another card using the same method for the letters but a different method for the background. I decided to use an ink stamp this time, and see how that came out. My Mum’s birthday was coming up – the perfect opportunity!

Now, I know some people have serious collections of stamps and ink pads, but I am not one of them. I do have just a few stamps with pretty patterns, so I selected one of them and used a purple ink pad. And this is what I came up with:

using stamps to make a unique card

If you want to make a card like this, then you will need:

  • Card blank (mine is DL size)
  • Post-it notes
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Stamp
  • Ink pad
  • Coloured pen (optional) – mine is gold

I covered the method for making the letters (from post-it notes) and aligning them on the card in this post, so I won’t repeat that here, just head on over to the post and start from the beginning until you have something that looks like this:

using post-it notes for temporary masking letters

Now comes the fun part! Take your stamp and stamp away over the letters. How you stamp is totally up to you. As you can see, I chose to make my pattern of stamps roughly regular with similar spacing between all the stamps, but you could overlap them if you like the look. I was trying to make my stamp pattern very neat and even but it was very difficult! (maybe a more experienced stamper would be better at this than me)

Tip: When making each stamp impression you need to press down hard so that the ink goes right up to the letter edge. Otherwise, because the post-it letter is slightly raised from the surface of the card, there will be a gap between the edge of your letter and the start of the stamp impression, which will make your letters less clear.

DIY stamped silhouette card

I have to admit that I wasn’t very happy with my stamping. Some of the stamps didn’t come out that well (especially the ones in the middle) and this meant that the edges of some of the letters weren’t very obvious. It also looked a bit boring in monochrome! (you could avoid this by stamping in more than one colour)

So I decided to draw in some more detail in my pattern with a gold pen. This really elevated the card and made it look more interesting and more special, in addition to making the letters more clear.

adding detail to a stamped card

Finally, peel the post-it letters off, and admire your card!

lacy stamping and blanked out letters

Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t 100% happy with this card. I think the stamp is very pretty but it is too delicate. The letters would have looked a lot better if I had used a stamp which had more inked area so the edges of the letters would have been much clearer.

But I’m sure you could do better! Do let me know if you have a go yourself, I’d love to see what you come up with!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel