A Handmade Birthday Card

DIY Extra Large Birthday Card

Extra large birthday cards can be extra hard to find, and extra expensive. So when a friend of mine was having trouble finding a really big card for a special birthday, he ended up asking me for some help. I’m the type who hates to spend money on cards, they get looked at for a couple minutes and tossed in trash. I’d much rather spend a little time and make one myself. If you’re looking to make you’re own big birthday card, this post’s for you!


The Materials

To make this extra large card, I used all materials I had on hand. If you’re looking to make one for yourself, here’s what you’ll need:

  • a thin piece of poster board
  • multi-color pack of construction paper
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • paper cutter
  • glue
  • letter stickers

The Mood Board

All my projects start with research. I like to gather some inspirational images to help formulate a plan, to know what direction I want to go in, and to see what other people have done that really works. I often create a mood board like the one below, which helps with picking colors and themes.

Left to right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

I want the card to be cheerful and funny, which led me to choose the bright colors. The card is intended for a someone with a good sense of humor, and a lot of people are going to be signing it.  I especially love the “I lost count” card from Zee Bee Market which has the perfect mix of humor and good design.

The Process

After creating a mood board, it is time for the fun part. I started by cutting out 1/2 inch stripes of construction paper on my paper cutter. Once I had plenty of long strips in every color, I cut those pieces every 2 1/2 inches to create the base on the candles.

To decorate the candles further, I cut small strips of paper by hand, and used a hole punch for polka dots, then glued those small pieces on top of the candle base as seen below.


Once all the candle bases were finished, I moved on to the flames. These were cut free-hand out of yellow, orange and red construction paper. There’s no need to worry about making these perfect, the variations add to the authenticity of the flames. Also, if the paper layers don’t line up, you can always go back and trim it into a better shape after the glue dries.


The next step was to create a pleasing layout. I put a plate in the center to create a perfect circle to work around, starting with the flames. Once the flames were in place, I laid out the candle base next to them. I moved and adjusted the bases a lot to make sure the colors and designs had a balanced look.


I decided to have the candles burning at both ends, which adds a bit of metaphor and worked well in the space allowed. I filled in the white space with hand-cut confetti, by simply hacking up the extra strips I had already cut and gluing them down. I used a vinyl cutter for the letters, but if you don’t own one, letter stickers are available at any craft store and online.


The Results

Here is the finished card, all trimmed and ready to go. The inside has additional vinyl letters with a simple “Happy Birthday, we love you!” and plenty of white space for people to write there own messages.


I hope you enjoyed this DIY and feel inspired to create your own big ass birthday card!



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