Skip to Content

What to draw on birthday cards?

Finding the perfect birthday card can be a fun but challenging experience. While there are plenty of great greeting card options available in stores, creating a homemade card is a thoughtful way to make someone’s birthday extra special. If you enjoy being creative, designing your own birthday card is a great way to add a personal touch.

Deciding What to Draw

When making a homemade birthday card, one of the most important decisions is figuring out what to draw on the front. The illustrations you choose will set the tone for the entire card and should connect to the recipient in some way. Here are some popular illustration ideas to spark your creativity:

  • The person’s zodiac sign or astrological symbols
  • Their favorite animal or pet
  • A caricature portrait of them
  • Their hobby or interests like sports, music, cooking, etc.
  • Their age or a representation of their age (10 candles for a 10th birthday, for example)
  • Meaningful symbols like hearts, stars, flowers
  • A favorite place like the beach, mountains or a city skyline

Think about the personality and tastes of the birthday boy or girl when brainstorming what kinds of illustrations will have significance and make them smile. If you need inspiration, look back at photos of the person or inside jokes you share.

Incorporating Creative Materials

Homemade cards don’t have to just involve paper, markers and crayons. You can get creative with different materials to make the card more multidimensional. Some unique materials to try include:

  • Fabric, ribbons or lace
  • Glitter, sequins or confetti
  • Buttons or beads
  • Stickers
  • Magazine or newspaper clippings
  • Photographs
  • Leaves, flowers or other natural items

If you want to make a pop-up element for a fun surprise, try using cardstock, paper fasteners and adhesive foam dots. You can find popup card templates and tutorials online to guide you through the process.

Choosing a Message

Along with the illustrations, the message you write inside the card is key to making the birthday wish heartfelt. Tailor the message to your relationship with the recipient and what you want to say on their special day. Some message ideas include:

  • A short poem or funny limerick
  • Song lyrics from their favorite band or artist
  • Inside jokes and references to memorable moments
  • Sentimental memories you share
  • Reasons why you appreciate or admire them
  • Well wishes for the year ahead

For inspiration, look up birthday wish quotes and sayings. Adding a personal note about how much the person means to you will make it even more meaningful.

Presentation Ideas

Once your card is complete, think about how you will present it for an extra wow factor. Elements like envelopes, wrapping and decorations can turn your homemade card into a gift. Try these presentation ideas:

  • Make a coordinated envelope out of patterned paper or fabric
  • Tie ribbon around the card or put it in a gift bag
  • Include tissue paper or shred inside the envelope or bag
  • Attach a gift card or small trinket to the card
  • Display the card with balloons, flowers or candles
  • Frame the card after they open it to cherish

With thoughtful illustrations and a heartfelt message, your homemade birthday card is sure to be a hit. Have fun getting creative and making someone feel special!

Birthday Card Ideas for Different Ages and Relationships

The type of card you make can vary depending on who the recipient is and how old they are turning. Here are some birthday card ideas tailored to different ages and relationships:

Recipient Card Ideas
Kids under 10
  • Cartoon characters or superheroes
  • Animals and pets
  • Sports like soccer or ballet
  • Princesses and unicorns
  • Outer space and dinosaurs
  • Pop singers or music references
  • Emojis
  • Inside jokes
  • Friendship bracelets or hearts
  • Glitter, sequins and fun textures
  • Gift cards
  • Movie, TV show or video game references
  • Music lyrics
  • Funny memes
  • Favorite snacks or drinks
  • Pop culture references
  • Quotes about their hobbies and interests
  • Boozy or sassy greetings
  • Travel destinations
  • Career or college milestones
  • Milestones like marriage or a new home
  • Pictures of their family or children
  • Nostalgic memories
  • Wine or cocktail motifs
  • Relaxation or self-care themes
  • Funny slogans about getting older
  • Luxury motifs and gifts
  • Sentimental throwbacks
  • Travel adventures
  • Hobbies and bucket list goals
  • Nostalgic pop culture references
  • Family photos or grandkids
  • Comical gifts about getting older
  • Bucket list or retirement dreams
  • Milestones and words of wisdom
  • Tropical getaway or cruise motifs
  • Classic songs, movies or cars
  • Photo collages over the years
  • Sweet sayings about lasting love
  • Words of encouragement and praise
  • Family photos
  • Appreciation for what they’ve done
  • Inside jokes
  • ticker tape paper
  • Glamorous or luxurious motifs
  • Romantic song lyrics or poems
  • Wedding photo
  • Loving message
  • Tickets to favorite show or event
  • Decadent desserts
  • Quotes about friendship
  • Funny shared memories
  • Photos together over the years
  • Movie marathons or cocktails
  • Celebratory emoji and phrases
  • Apple or school bus motifs
  • Thank you for teaching message
  • Book quotes
  • Drawing of classroom
  • Gift card for school supplies
  • Work cartoon or office reference
  • Funny or sarcastic work phrases
  • Recognition of their work contributions
  • Gift card for coffee or takeout
  • Office supply motif

Tailoring your card’s design, wording and presentation to the recipient’s age, tastes and your relationship will result in a keepsake they will always remember. Have fun celebrating their special day!

Creative Materials to Embellish Cards

A fun way to personalize a birthday card is to embellish it with decorative materials. Here are some creative ideas to make your card pop:

Material Uses
  • Outline letters or images
  • Coat card background
  • Fill in designs
  • Glue on top of paper shapes
  • Space out to form designs
  • Cluster in patches
  • Outline images or messages
  • Accent envelope flaps or edges
  • Sew in clusters
  • Outline or border images
  • Spell out names/words
  • Decorate envelope flaps
  • Tie bows around card
  • Make into flower shapes
  • Trim envelope edges
  • Weave through eyelets
Tissue Paper
  • Layer different colors
  • Scrunch into paper flowers
  • Use as gift wrap
  • Line envelopes or bags
Die Cuts
  • Dimensionally frame images
  • Elevate pop-up elements
  • Accent letters or shapes
  • Embellish envelope flaps
Washi Tape
  • Outline illustrations or messages
  • Decorate envelopes
  • Create colorful stripes
  • Use alongside ribbon
Paper Shapes
  • Create patterns as accents
  • Use punches to make confetti
  • Layer to make flowers
  • Cut fringe on circle for pom pom
  • Seal envelopes
  • Embellish messages
  • Personalize with their name
  • Accent illustrations

Getting creative with materials can take your card to the next level. Layer, cluster and combine for unique textures, colors and dimension they will love.

Inspirational Ideas for Kids’ Birthday Cards

When making a birthday card for a child, it’s fun to add playful elements they will enjoy. Here are some inspirational ideas for kids’ cards:

Element Description
Die-cut shapes Use dinosaur, animal or transportation die-cuts to accent card
Stickers Pick their favorite characters, animals or objects
Washi tape Bold patterns like polka dots, stripes, stars
Glitter Add sparkle outlines, shapes, letters
Rub-ons Quick, mess-free way to add images
Eyelet trim Fun way to accent edges; weave ribbon through
Ribbon Make into bows, rosettes, lacing, etc.
Tissue paper Scrunch into flowers, ruffles; line envelopes
Buttons Sew into clusters, shapes, designs
Trees, grass Make scene with pop-up card
Fringe Add to edges or shapes for texture
Pom poms Glue on for fun, fuzzy accents
Crayons Melt on card for colorful designs
Confetti Sprinkle inside card or sealed envelope
Gift bows Attach bows to envelope or corner

Let your imagination run wild and make it as playful as possible. The brighter and more whimsical, the better for kids’ birthday cards!

Creative Handmade Birthday Cards

If you enjoy arts and crafts, handmaking a birthday card can be a fun, rewarding experience. Here are some creative DIY card ideas to try:

Watercolor Background

Using liquid watercolors, brush a colorful abstract background on cardstock. Let it dry completely before adding words with markers or die cuts with dimensional adhesive.

Patterned Papers

Collage different patterned scrapbook papers onto a card base. Add photos, die cuts or