An Easy Masculine Birthday Card with Rich Detail

Masculine birthday card with rich color and manly embellishments

This masculine birthday card may look complicated, but it’s a snap to put together!

Hello! Today I’m pulling from the photo archives because I’m on a long-weekend bike trip to Hot Springs and Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I’ll share the adventure when I return! In the meantime, let’s explore one of my favorite manly cards.

Start with the focal color

Do you worry about choosing colors for masculine cards? Do you get bored with black, brown and beige? Fret no more because I’d like to show you that rich color is PERFECT when you’re making cards for guys.

When I’m making a card for a man, I usually start with choosing the color. Colors can set the mood, and in this case, I wanted a subdued, almost regal, feel. 

Note: cards for guys can use “shades” of every color in the rainbow.

What is a shade? It’s a color to which a little black is added. Whereas a “tint” is a color to which white has been added. Take red, the base color (hue). Pink is a tint of red, maroon is a shade, but they both live in the red family.

The colors of the rainbow just opened up, yes?

Every now and then, I’ll make a card in monochromatic colors. Those are colors which use tints (colors mixed with white), tones (with gray) and shades (with black). For example, I might make a card with chocolate brown, coffee brown and sand beige. Those types of cards are calming and easy on the eyes. But more often than not, I’ll mix things up, because I love contrast.

Contrast wakes the brain up and causes the viewer to focus more on the details, which is exactly what I want the recipient of my cards to do. Especially men, because they often fail to notice details ordinary run-of-the-mill cards feature. So we use contrast to direct their attention to the finer points of our cards.

After all, why go to all that work if they’re not going to notice?

A vibrant manly card will use plenty of contrast

In this case, deep cocoa brown, sand beige and deep marine blue for pop. Some might even call it teal. I call it the color of the deepest part of the ocean. Especially the edges, which I inked with deep blue distress ink.

As you can see in the details, I went deep into the layers with the ink this time and covered about 30% of the blue layer. Same with the middle cream layer. Manly cards can handle all that inking.

Close up detail of embossing, distressed edges and curled top corner
Lots of detail and texture in a small space

The background stamp had been heat embossed in gold. To add more texture, I then distressed the edges with my distressing tool, though you don’t need a specific tool to do it. Scissors will distress your paper edges too – it’s just easier with a tool designed specifically for the job. Distressing the edges gives the cardstock an aged look.

Another fun aging technique is to curl a corner over, which I do with a small paintbrush handle. This is a small detail that packs a punch. Kind of gives the viewer the feeling he’s looking at an old map.

Close up of greeting showing ink treatments and metal gear embellishments
Lots of touchy feelies here

A greeting loaded with texture and visual interest

The sentiment tag (from back to front) has inked edges, gold embossed edges and sponging around the center edges of the die for a halo effect.  Gold eyelets have twine threaded through them and the whole unit is topped with a few tiny metal gears. This piece is then layered over a bit of distressed netting for the final touch

Believe me, I tried going without a fabric of some sort, but the card insisted on it.

The inside, as always, is kept simple with layers of contrasting card stock and inked edges, though I don’t have a photo of it today.

Your turn to make a masculine card

It doesn’t have to be a birthday card – it could be for any occasion. Or even a “just thinking of you” card. (Remember this masculine anniversary card? I used the same background stamp.)

Create a card for a guy and share it on Facebook. We’re always looking for inspiration and would love to see your interpretation.

Happy crafting!

Angled view of masculine birthday card
Lots of visual interest going on here - color plus loads of texture
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Hi, I'm Shea!

Hi, I'm Shea!

Do you prefer handmade to store bought? Would you rather make something than buy it? If you want to tap into your inner creative genius and say, "Yes, I made that," stick with me. From greeting cards to soap to old-fashioned desserts "from my mother's recipe box," (sprinkled with tales of life as an almost-senior), you'll learn that handmade beats the socks off store bought!

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