These cards are so quick and easy to make, and I think they’re really fun! The inspiration came out of a moment of desperation since I’d forgotten to buy a card for a child’s birthday party (and it’s so hard to find nice cards in Hong Kong!) and we needed to leave soon for the party itself! It took me about 10 minutes to make the card (but I did draw my number freehand), so hopefully it should take you about the same amount of time.
You could totally adapt the design with the recipient’s initial, or even a name or words like ‘Happy Birthday’. It’s so easy to do – I think it’ll take me longer to write this tutorial than it will take you to make the card!
For this tutorial you will need:
- Card blank
- Paper and printer (0ptional)
- Brightly coloured felt tip or marker pens (I used highlighters)
- Pencil eraser
1. Find an image of the number that you want to use and copy it into Word, or you can use wordart to create the number that you want in Word (I did the latter). I’ve decided to do a ‘2’ as my twins have lots of friends who will be 2 in the next few months so this card may well come in useful!
2. Adjust the size of your number until it is almost as big as your card blank. For example, the card blank that I am using folds into an A6 size, so I made my number a little smaller than one-quarter the size of the A4 Word document (the lines you can see on the picture below are the ones I drew so I could see how big one quarter would be). Now print it out.
3. Turn your paper over and use a pencil to scribble over the outline of the number. If you can’t see the number through the paper, you could try putting a white piece of paper underneath so it shows through better, or you could put it on a window (which will make it really easy to see the number, but you might get arm-ache!). Scribble quite hard so that there is a thick layer of graphite over the number outline.
(Note: my printed number did transfer a little onto what was underneath when I did this so make sure you’re not leaning on anything too important!)
4. Now turn your paper back over so that the printed number is facing up and place it over your card blank. Line up the number so it is sitting in the middle of your card (unless you don’t want it to be in the middle, of course!). Now trace over the number with your pencil. Don’t press too hard because you don’t want to indent the card, but you do want to transfer the graphite on the back of the paper to your card so you can see a faint outline of the number on the card (I didn’t take a photo of this because the pencil line was too faint to be seen in a photo!). If it’s not working, you could try pressing slightly harder, or turn the paper back over and scribble harder on the back before trying to trace again.
N.B. An alternative method to steps 1-4 is to draw the number freehand on the card blank using pencil. This is a lot easier and quicker but does require you to be able to draw freehand block numbers, which I am not very good at!
5. Choose a few coloured pens – 3 or 4 is a good number. (I used highlighter pens so that my designs would be really bright – after all the card is for a 2 year old!) Starting in the middle of your number, draw a diagonal stripe, stopping at the edges of the number. Change pen colour and draw another parallel stripe next to it. Repeat, cycling through the colours. It doesn’t matter if your lines aren’t exactly parallel, or the same distance apart – it’s supposed to look hand-drawn!
6. Continue until you’ve filled the whole number. Now erase the pencil outline and you are done!
I liked the way this card came out so much that I did some more using different patterns. You could do swirls or shapes or patterns – the sky really is the limit with this! As long as your design is relatively dense, it should look great.
I like the one on the left the best – it looks like cake sprinkles!
So simple, eh?! Why don’t you have a go yourself? Do let me know if you do, I’d love to see how yours turn out!
Thanks for reading!