Happy Birthday CANDLES Card for Dad

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

My dad is turning 86 this week. He’s a punny guy with one of the sharpest senses of humor of anyone I know, so I know he’ll get a good laugh out of this card with 86 candles.

Usually, the projects I post here are my own design, but for this one I started with a Silhouette Store file and customized it to say DAD. I’ve got the links to where you can buy the Silhouette Store file, and the DAD customization as a free download below. ‘

Make no mistake, although this is an easy project, it is time consuming—the more candles you need, the more time it takes to assemble—but it’s super fun and well worth the effort.

Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I will earn a small commission for referring you, at no extra cost to you of course. Read my policy here.

What you need…

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.Free Download
Silhouette .studio3 Dad for Candles file
Silhouette Legacy V2 Dad for Candles file
SVG Dad Candles file
Personal Use Only

The design…

#116100 at the Silhouette Design StoreThe main design is design #116100 from the Silhouette Design Store. Isn’t it awesome? As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one for my dad. I preferred DAD instead of WOW for the word on the front, so I swapped out the lettering (the replacement lettering is in the free download above)

The designer has a great tutorial on her website, with tips and design choice advice. I referred to it frequently while creating my card.

Quick tip from whatchaworkinon.comIf, like I did, you decide to use different colors, I strongly recommend writing them down, especially when it comes to the HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the last page. It’s very easy to get mixed up and cut the wrong color.


Follow your color list and the instructions in the file to cut enough pieces of each element.

Once my card was assembled, I found the front panel with the word to be a little floppy, so I cut an extra DAD background and glued it to the back of the first one, which solved the problem.

The regular Silhouette mat will work just fine, but with so many pieces, I decided to save some time by using my 12″ x 24″ Silhouette mat to reduce the number times I had to load & unload the mat and start new cut jobs.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

The pieces are all simple, nothing too intricate. However, if you need help figuring out good cardstock cut settings for your machine, check out this post on cutting gift tags. The pieces should easily fall off the mat…no chads, no X-acto knife required.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

For HAPPY BIRTHDAY, be sure to choose colors that contrast well. I thought the green would go well with the ombre main color, but when I put them all together, it just washed out…there wasn’t enough contrast. Because I was assembling at the lake without my Silhouette and couldn’t recut it, I omitted the center piece (the ombre) altogether. It still looked good.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

When it came to flames, I cut the large size flame shape from ombre cardstock and omitted the two smaller flame pieces. It seemed much more manageable to glue 86 flames pieces instead of 286 flames pieces (3×86), and I loved the varied effect.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

Here’s looking at it from another angle where the flames are easier to see.Free DAD file for candles accordion card.


I generally followed the assembly order in the designer’s tutorial. First, I assembled the DAD letters & letter background. I used the thick side of the Zig 2 Way Glue Pen to draw a bead of glue around the edges with a few dots in the middle.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

I also put together the HAPPY BIRTHDAY right away since I knew I would use the default size. For this piece, with narrow cardstock sections, I used the point of the Zig pen to tap a series of dots. Once applied, the dots spread out to give good adhesion without leakage around the edges.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

My table looks funny in this picture because I have a glass cutting board under the cardstock. No glue on the table, and the glass is easy to clean. I keep a glass cutting board in my studio specifically for crafting with liquid (it’s great for painting, too).

The words looked like this all assembled:
Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

Then the candles…

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

I found it easiest to line up each candle along the bottom and kind of roll the rest of it in place. Even with 86 candles, this part didn’t take very long.

Then the flames…

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

A quick stroke with Zig glue pen on the flame background made quick work of the flame gluing.

As you can see, this panel is missing the last two candles and flames. It’s the last panel in my card (the 86th candle is the last one on the right), so I cut off the extra flame background areas. Later, I ended up cutting off the extra candle background as well. Leaving it there seemed rather odd, but more than that, with the way the folds worked out, this page would end up facing forward. In other words, looking at the card you would be able see “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. If I had added a blank panel and applied HAPPY BIRTHDAY to it, it would end up facing the other way and be hidden from view. See the completed card below for what I mean.

Then attach all the panels together. I used two strips of 1/8″ Scor-Tape double-sided tape on each tab because that’s what I had, but a single strip of 1/4″ or 3/8″ would work as well. Adhere the 86 and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and yo, all done.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

Free DAD file for candles accordion card. Free DAD file for candles accordion card. Free DAD file for candles accordion card. Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

Happy Birthday, Dad! You da best. :^)




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Free DAD file for candles accordion card.

Photo Credit: Wow card image is from the Silhouette Design Store


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4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday CANDLES Card for Dad

  1. Love this card! I made one last year for my mother-in-law on her 100th birthday and used all the flame colors! She saved the card and this year, on her 101st birthday, she asked me to add another candle to it!

    1. Good on ya, Jackie, for gluing all 300 pieces! LOL… I just looked at all those little itty bitty pieces and then the ombre looked so good without all that extra fiddling, and the ombre won out. What a great idea to add another candle! Now I’m wishing I didn’t cut off those two last candle places. Hee.

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