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When you’re trying to come up with a great birthday card for someone you care about, sometimes buying a card from the store just isn’t enough. Not only is it un-personalized, it’s also just not unique.

What will really stand out and give that birthday girl/boy a card that means something special is a card that you create yourself. While this can seem a little scary or overwhelming, it’s actually really simple.

Even if you weren’t hit on the head with the creative branch when you were young, you can still create a birthday card that stands apart from the rest. Whether you’re creating a card for your significant other, your mom, your brother, your coworker, or teacher, you can use these tips and inspirations to create a truly unique card!

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

When creating the perfect birthday card for a special person in your life, there are several different things to take into consideration before you begin crafting your ideas. The last thing you want to make is a card that is underwhelmed by its lack of personality. You want the card to reflect things about yourself, as well as things about the person receiving it.

Before you start sketching ideas or buying materials, ask yourself a few questions.

How Old Is the Birthday Girl/Boy Turning?

This may seem obvious, but it’s something that a lot of people don’t take into consideration enough. The card you would make for a 5-year-old is vastly different than the birthday card you would create for someone turning 70.

If you’re making a card for your grandmother, you may want to use lighter and softer colors, maybe add some lace or yarn, something that fits their age and interests.

If you’re making a card for your 7-year-old brother, you may want to take a different route. Consider what their interests are, and use more cartoon-like images, brighter colors, and flashy designs.

What Is Your Relationship With this Person?

Like with age, your relationship to the person makes a difference in the type of card that you want to create. The biggest reason to make a DIY card rather than buy one is to create something unique and personal.

If you are making a birthday card for your wife or husband, you might consider creating a more intimate or romantic card, something that reflects the relationship you have together. You can use a phrase or quote that is full of intimate love, or something that is more private.

If you are making a card for your best friend, you may want to make a birthday card that represents the times you’ve had together, fond memories, or interests that maybe only you know they like. Use the card as a canvas to show them how much you value them and their friendship. This will mean more to them than a silly card you bought at WalMart for 6 bucks.

What Interests Does This Person Have?

It is their birthday, after all, their card should reflect things that they care about, things that they like and enjoy, things that interest them. If you’re making a card for your uncle who’s favorite pass-time is riding bikes, why not make them a card with bikes on it? Or a quote that has to do with riding bikes?

Don’t be afraid to get creative with this, it is what will set your card apart from others. If your little sister is turning 13 and loves books, you aren’t going to want to make her a card that is full of sports-themes, especially if she doesn’t really care about sports.

What makes this birthday card you’re making so special is your connection with this person and your attention to details about their lives. That’s the type of thing that makes people feel close to you.

If you are having a hard time figuring out what their latest favorite color is, or whether or not they have gotten over their obsession with a character or song or activity, reach out to others that know this person well and find out. The last thing you want to do is add something to a card that the person doesn’t want or like.

How to Get Creative With the Art and Design

Now that you have a pretty good idea about these important factors from the person who you’re making a card for, you can start creating. Before you start cutting and gluing away, you should begin getting design ideas by making a brainstorm list.

This is the time when you will take all of their likes, interests, hobbies, favorite colors, etc, into action. Pick a few things that you think will mean the most to that person, and come up with some ideas that go along with these things.

If you’re making a card for your favorite teacher at your school, and you know they are huge into typography and hearing/reading the news, you could take a bunch of cool looking news clippings and make an awesome collage. You could even have bold and important letters and words in the clippings spell out their name, or happy birthday.

There are endless possibilities to what you can make and create, especially when it comes to someone you love and or care about.

Using Materials that Reflect Their Interests

Let’s say you’re making a birthday card for your older sister who absolutely loves the color yellow, white lace, and dainty flowers. You can head to any craft store and find some awesome materials that give you many options for design ideas. Maybe you can find some small yellow bows or white lace ribbon.

These materials will make it easy to incorporate the things she loves without having to spend a bunch, and add awesome visual design and texture that can far surpass a store-bought birthday card.

Say your sister also loves Henry David Thoreau, on the front, or even the inside you can include a quote like “All good things are wild and free,” and surround it with wildflowers that you draw, or cut out of paper or felt.

Getting creative with materials will help you get more creative with your birthday card design and how you involve their interests in it.

Use Colors that They Actually Like

When it comes to DIY birthday cards, colors are huge. They can make or break your design, so it is important to make sure you are using colors that not only look great together but that they also like.

For instance, pink and brown go great together, but if your niece hates the color brown, you should find one of the other hundreds of colors that look good with pink instead.

The same thing applies vice-versa, just because they love orange and purple, doesn’t make them magically stop clashing. Just be mindful of these things.

If you are unsure of what colors go great together, consider consulting a color wheel. This will help you create a pallet that has not only colors that mesh perfectly, but also colors that make your birthday-person smile.

Keep It Simple

This is probably the most important tip out of them all. Sometimes when you are trying to incorporate all of the things this person likes, you can get a little carried away. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.

Simple designs are something that almost all people in this world are naturally drawn to because it leaves room to breathe, and gives the person viewing the opportunity to finish the picture inside their own head.

If you are having a hard time figuring out how much is too much, consider the infamous rule of thirds. Try picking only three colors, or three fabrics, three designs on the front, etc. Once you start adding in more and more elements, it starts to get overwhelming, and the meaning behind the card starts getting drowned out by the content.

Seriously, the simpler the better. Just make sure that you do add enough to still get your personalized and unique message across, just try not to do so with seven colors, four textures, five fonts, and eight pictures. Just keep it simple.

Make the Birthday Card Show How Much You Care

Again, the biggest reason why you would want to make a DIY birthday card is that you want to give them something personal from you. More important than the colors, the design, and the art is what you have to say.

Make sure that the card reflects what you find special about this person, and how they impact you. When you make a birthday card from scratch, with your own ideas, and your own hands, it’s hard to mess that up. Don’t forget to make the card reflect how much this person means to you.

While it’s fine to look around for ideas and inspiration, make sure that what you are making is original, unique and personal. So have fun, put your heart into it, and make something special and beautiful for someone you love today. Good luck!

Twenty years ago if you wanted to thank someone for a gift, you either had to pick up the phone or send them a handwritten letter. Technology has now made it incredibly easy for us to send quick messages in the blink of an eye.

Whether it’s a text or even an e-card greeting, it’s easier than ever before to tell someone special how much you care. Yet, as we move further into the future, there’s still a thrill that you feel when you receive something in the mail.

For those who are completely dependent on using digital forms to communicate, keep reading. We’re sharing why sometimes sending physical mail to share how you feel is better.

It’s a Special Gift

Taking the time to sit down and write something on paper makes whatever message you’re sending more meaningful. It’s also more meaningful because unlike sending a text, it actually takes effort.

Getting something in the mail is now exciting. Most of us just get a bunch of junk mail and bills. When we receive an actual letter from someone we care about, it feels like a gift has been given to us.

It’s More Memorable

You can’t hang a text on your refrigerator to view anytime you want to. It’s also harder to keep track of if you receive a lot of texts or emails from a specific person.

But when you receive physical mail, it’s all that more memorable. You can frame it, keep it somewhere special, or tear it to pieces. No matter what, it will be more memorable than any text or email could ever be.

It Shows You Care

A text is easy to send. It takes very little effort. You just write a quick note and then push send.

With physical mail, you have to sit down and write a letter. Then you have to find an envelope, address it properly and find a stamp. Then, you actually have to leave your home and find a mailbox in which to place the letter.

The extra effort shows you care about the recipient. Often, a specific card has been chosen for the occasion. Meaning, extra time has been taken to find the right words to convey how you feel about the recipient.

Even sending a postcard shows the recipient you took the time to write out your thoughts.

Research Shows it Makes People Happier

Most people who take the time to use physical mail do so because they want to write to people they care about. Often, they are writing to express their gratitude or thanks towards the other person.

Writing your feelings of gratitude has a lot of extra benefits for the writer. It helps them lower stress levels, gain a new perspective, and focus on what really matters.

The Recipient Will Find It Easier to Understand

The worst part about texts and emails is how often someone misunderstands the tone. Worse yet is when spell-check doesn’t work and suddenly your entire message is completely wrong.

When you send physical mail, there are no unexpected typos. Letters are also better thought out because there’s no room to make mistakes. When you write a letter, there’s no backspace or delete button.

Writing letters forces people to focus more on the message they are sending to the recipient. There are fewer opportunities for the tone to be misconstrued.

Helps You Practice Your Handwriting

Many of us had to learn cursive writing when we were in grade school. Now most of us spend our time typing rather than writing. Cursive is now a lost art form.

It also seems as though regular writing is becoming something of a lost art form. However, when you choose to use physical mail, most of us choose to send a handwritten note rather than a typed letter.

Which makes it the perfect opportunity to make sure your handwriting is still legible and you can practice your cursive.

It’s More Personal

Imagine getting a letter from your grandmother. She hasn’t been a part of your life before but in that letter, she pours her heart out. Now imagine getting that same information in a text or email.

Obviously, you would get far more out of the physical letter. That’s because you’re on the receiving end of the working of that unique individual. You’ll be able to hear their tone because it’s a longer form and more thought out. You’ll also see their unique handwriting.

While the writer isn’t actually there with you when you read their letter, the bits and pieces the writer put into the letter create the illusion that they’re there with you. Sending a handwritten letter is like giving a small piece of yourself to the recipient.

Helps You Write What Truly Matters

When people text or email, they’re usually reacting to something someone else sent them. Often, the reaction can be over the top if the news is bad or they’re having a bad day.

Texting and emailing are best when you need information quickly. But writing letters is far more deliberate.

You send physical mail to give something to someone. It’s rarely done with the intention to receive anything back. Which means you’re more likely to write in your letter how you truly feel and what truly matters to you.

It’s More Romantic

Imagine getting a text from your boyfriend telling you he loves you. While that’s great, imagine getting a card from him in the physical mail with a heart-shaped letter stating all the reasons why he loves you.

Writing down why you care for someone is far more romantic than any text or e-card you could ever send. By taking the time to write out your thoughts and feelings and then mailing it, it shows you truly care.

It’s a Tradition

Letter writing has long been a tradition of ours. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote long letters back and forth to one another.

Martin Luther King, Jr wrote, “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” which captured the spirit of the American Civil Rights Movement. The letters sent between Napoleon and his love, Joséphine, are among so of the most romantic words ever written.

Our ancestors recognized the importance of letter writing. Whether to persuade, woo, or merely congratulate, it’s a time-honored tradition that should never be lost to modern technology.

Older Generations Prefer Receiving Mail

The digital age is still extremely new. For Millenials and younger generations, they grew up being able to easily communicate with one another.

Yet, older generations relied on receiving physical mail as their primary way to communicate with one another. Especially during wartime.

Which means older generations appreciate the effort it takes to write and send a letter. They also love being able to slice open a card or letter that’s been sent specifically to them.

It Creates Lasting Memories

Studies show there’s an association between writing by hand and brain development and cognition. Writing by hand increases neural activity more than typing can.

When you learn, it’s easier to retain information if you handwrite notecards and study guides. When you choose to send physical mail, you’re creating a memory for yourself that will allow you both to reflect back and appreciate the gesture for a long time in the future.

Physical Mail Sparks Creativity

When you use a pen and start writing on a piece of paper, you need to use your visual, motor, and cognitive brain processes differently than when you write a text or email.

Writing a physical letter or postcard is also more labor-intensive. It requires us to slow down, think, and write one word at a time. You’ll receive a sensory experience just by the mere act of writing. Which means as you write, your creative juices will start flowing.

You’ll Get to Unplug

Today’s world is increasingly complicated. There are so many options to choose from. New ways to make our lives easier that sometimes seem to complicate them even more.

When you write a letter, it’s time to revisit a simpler time. In order to write a decent letter, you have to unplug from everything that’s going on in your life.

Your thoughts need time to be processed in a way so that your letter makes sense. It’s a great way to unplug and do something special for yourself and someone else.

It’s Easy to Do

Pens, paper, and stamps are all extremely inexpensive. Most people already have everything they need already at home.

All that’s needed is the time it takes to grab the items you need and then a few moments to sit down and figure out what you want to say. It’s a simple gesture that’s extremely easy to do and yet produces great results.

Don’t think you need to write the next great American novel in your letter. Even just writing the words, “you’re in my thoughts” can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

We Help Make it Even Easier

We can help make writing a letter even easier. We have great designs to make your card stand out.

Best of all, you don’t even need to find a post office. We can help you send out your card to anyone, anywhere in the world. Click here to get started.