A Cute Birthday Card Using Two Fun Techniques

A cute birthday card featuring a baby duck image and 3-D painted flowers on embossed background. The background was embossed with another favorite paper crafting tool, the Sizzix Big Shot.

A cute birthday card is almost always appropriate for young women. In this case, the card was for an 18-year old. Cute knows no age limits!

I fell in love with this sweet digital stamp years ago when I was on a card-making design team. Now, as often happens, blogs and stamp companies come and go, and I’ve discovered, sadly, that many of my favorites don’t exist any longer. But I’m delighted to say that this digital stamp, created by the talented team over at Some Odd Girl  is still available! You can find it here.

Charming and sweet – with an easy background

Close up of colored image and embossed layer
Texture… color… and plenty of both

Isn’t that just the cutest face? This is a fun image to color, which I did using Copic alcohol markers. But I needed a background. It wouldn’t have made sense to let little ducky float in a sea of white.

There are many ways to create backgrounds, but if you’re in a hurry, one of the best ways is also one of the easiest.

Enter Fun Technique #1:  I airbrushed it!

But wait! How do you get the background there without messing up the image? I’m glad you asked. You can color the background either before or after coloring the image. I usually do it after, though honestly, if I made a mistake on the background after spending two hours coloring the image, I’d probably tear my hair out. Hmmm…Maybe I should rethink my coloring order.

To protect the colored image, I cut out a separate version using my Silhouette Cameo. The main image has a nice, crisp outline, and the Cameo can be set to “print and cut.” This means I can print the image outline (which I did on lightweight copy paper) then cut it out.

I adhered it with a teensy bit of snail adhesive to the colored image and airbrushed all around it.  I also adhered a few cloud-shaped masks, then used a very very light gray Copic marker to add some accents.


The outline of the stamped image used as a "mask" for airbrushing purposes.
Only the outline is cut – no need for the inner details

I had to create a scene

No, not that kind of scene.

After airbrushing, I stamped some pine trees using a set of old rubber stamps to create a more lifelike scene. Can’t just have Ms. Duck on a plain blue/green background. Let’s make a scene!

I used the smaller tree stamps and created a sense of distance using the “stamping off” technique. This is where you stamp the image on scrap paper first and then stamp again on the image. The faded stamped trees, plus the different sizes, make some of the trees look far away.

Angled image of the birthday card
Trees and flowers make a nice scene

I added a few “blades of grass” with a green Copic marker, then I added the tiny flowers. I wasn’t satisfied with their original pale pink color and wanted something a little brighter to complement the red greeting. Well, half-greeting. The other half… but I digress.

This is Fun Technique #2: I painted the inner petals with red homemade shimmer paint. I love shimmer paint. You can see the before and after here.

Close up of tiny paper flowers, some painted, others not
Shimmer paints add life to fairly dull posies

Custom details add pizzazz

These are among my favorite flowers for cards. They’re called “Sweetheart Blossoms,” and you can get them from the gals over at Really Reasonable Ribbon. Check their store out – they are a fabulous source for ribbon and embellishments!

For the record, I custom color nearly all of my flowers. They look much more interesting that way.

I cut the center panel using graduated oval sizes. The turquoise layer was run through the Big Shot using a dotted swiss embossing folder.

Close up view of the greeting which was cut using the Silhouette Cameo
A custom design/cut using the Silhouette Cameo

Speaking of customizing, I also customized the greeting with my Cameo.

I used a suitable font and then melded the letters to form a single cut file. Then I cut it out. I always get tickled when I do these greetings. I doubt if I’ll ever buy a metal die for greetings. Why would I, when I can just create my own in any size I need?

Here’s a look at the inside. Sorry about the message, I forgot to take the photo until after I had written it, and it was too much to photoshop out cleanly. But it does help to illustrate how a cute birthday card can be ideal for “grown ups.”

The inside of the birthday card showing the rest of the custom designed/cut greeting
The other half of the custom cut greeting

I just love the fact that you can meld letters together on a Cameo, because there’s no way I could attach them individually in a straight line. No way.

Now it’s your turn to make a cute birthday card

Or, if there are no birthdays in sight, make something cute and adorable and squee-worthy for some other occasion. Then share it on Facebook so we can admire it! Make sure to share any creative details or techniques you used!

And if you’d like to see a couple of other examples of this darling ducky, here you go:

Another Copics Ducky – very similar design, different colors, different embossing folder
3-D Ducky – Printed on designer paper and “paper pieced” (same blog post as above, just scroll a little further)

Another angle of the cute little birthday card
Everyone deserves a little cuteness now and then

You might also like…

A Simple Yet Effective Anniversary Card
Glitter Crafting After a 5-Year Drought
A Feminine Card Colored with Copics

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