This time of year is what I have lovingly dubbed “The Birthday Season” at our house. As you can probably guess, we will be celebrating birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays in the coming weeks: husband, son, mom, sister, niece, cousin, and a couple of friends. Here is one of the birthday cards I designed for this year’s festivities. I’ve made it in several different colorways to match the personalities of the recipients.
I’ve included a free Silhouette cut file below with everything you need to make your own 5″ x 7″ card. Simply cut each banner letter from regular cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper, glue to a contrasting cardstock background, then thread them together with regular sewing thread. Glue each end under two hole-punched circles, and you have a free-hanging “Happy” banner. Look at that thing a-flappin’ in the breeze.
I varied the texture a little by cutting “Birthday” from adhesive vinyl (sometimes glossy, sometimes glitter), but you can also cut it from cardstock or use sketch pens to write “Birthday” instead.
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What you need…
- Cardstock in coordinating colors (I used Michaels Recollection brand 65lb)
- Adhesive vinyl – temporary or permanent
- Transfer tape (low tack) or drywall mesh
- Needle & thread
- Zig 2-Way Glue PenGlue #1 – or similar quick-drying, non-wrinkling cardstock adhesive
- Aleene’s tacky glue – or similar thick, quick-drying glue to hold the thread & dot to the card base.o glue the thread & dot to the card base.
- Silhouette Machine – My Cameo is powered by Silhouette Studio Designer Edition version 3.3.638
- ¼” hole punch
- This free cut file ↓↓↓
Silhouette .studio3 Happy Birthday Banner Card File HERE
Silhouette LEGACY v.2 Happy Birthday Banner Card File HERE
Personal Use Only
Choose coordinating colors of cardstock & vinyl. To get “Birthday” to show up well, skip the big bold patterns for the card base and go with a small scale pattern instead. The letter pennants and pennant backgrounds are great for using up scraps (recognize the squiggly pink piece from the Easter bunny banner?).
Two sets of colors = making two cards at the same time. That’s how I roll in birthday season. If you’re making a single card, you need only one set.
The card base…
The free file above contains two rectangles, one inside the other. The small rectangle is 7″ x 10″. Once you cut and fold it, you’ll have a 5″ x 7″ card.
If you’re using pre-printed cardstock or scrapbook paper – Ignore the large rectangle and cut the small rectangle.
If you’re using digital papers (which is what I did) – Ungroup the rectangles (select them, right-click then choose “Ungroup”), fill the large rectangle with your digital paper pattern and print it on white cardstock. Then cut the small rectangle (you can find a refresher on how to use digital papers HERE). This gives you extra patterned area, to avoid the white stripe you’d get along the edge if the cutting lines don’t quite line up with the printed edges.
Yup, I love me a fudge factor.
The “Happy” banner…
I did “HAPPY” in Trawll font. I found it a bit smunched together for my liking, so I dragged the side of the selection box to stretch it out a bit.
STEP ONE: Cut the pennant and pennant background rectangle pieces from cardstock. When cutting a bunch of small things, I like to do them all at the same time. Simply line up the cardstock pieces on the physical mat with where the design parts are located on the screen mat. This is what my mat looked like when cutting the pennants & backgrounds for my two cards.
To get nice clean cuts in the corners, turn on Line Segment Overcut (set at 0.1 for start and end) in the Cut Settings window. It’s a pretty cool feature. I talked in detail about Line Segment Overcut here if you’re curious about how it makes a difference.
STEP TWO: Weed the cardstock. Start by peeling off the outer edge. Then flip the mat and roll it back on itself to release the pennants & letters. Use your fingers or a little craft spatula if they need coaxing. Removing the mat from the cardstock this way prevents the cardstock from curling like you get if you try and remove the cardstock from the mat.
STEP THREE: Glue the background rectangles to the back of the pennant letters (this is where I used the Zig glue).
STEP FOUR: Thread the pennants together using a fine needle and coordinating thread. For each one, go down through the front then up from the back. I found I got a cleaner hole if I poked the second hole through from front to back before actually inserting the needle from the back.
STEP FIVE: Use a hole punch to punch two circles from a matching scrap of vinyl or cardstock. Dab a teeny tiny dot of white glue near the left corner (I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue because it’s thick and dries fast), lay the thread across it and top with a hole-punched circle. Repeat for the other side.
For “Birthday” I used Master of Break, a free font from dafont.com. I sized it and welded the letters together, so it’s all ready for you to cut. You can cut it from any kind of adhesive vinyl…temporary, permanent, glitter, holograph, heck, even Con-Tact paper will work. Cut & weed “Birthday, then apply some low-tack transfer paper to it. You don’t want the transfer paper to be too sticky or it’ll wreck the card base. I reused a piece of transfer tape I’d used a few times on another project. You could also use drywall mesh, which has a great low-tack. Peel off the backing paper and eyeball the placement on the card. Lightly press the lettering, but try to keep the transfer tape off the card base. Gently remove the transfer tape and press down the lettering well with your fingers.
And yo, you’re done.
You can see how the larger, busier pattern affects the contrast with “Birthday”. This combo actually looks better in person than in the photo, but next time I’d reduce the scale a little more.
And one with a little glitz. Check out the glitter adhesive vinyl on this puppy.
Edited to say: Thanks to a reader’s suggestion (Hi, Debbie!), I’ve created a “Merry Christmas” version of this design. ← Click there to find it.
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