I love this calligraphy birthday card tutorial because it requires very few supplies. You can make it with black cardstock and white ink — as I’ve done here — or you can switch it up with a lighter paper and a dark ink! No matter what color scheme you choose, the swirls and stars are key. The more you include, the more festive your card will be! Here are the steps for making it:
1. Prepare Your Card Stock
First, cut a piece of black card stock to 7″ (178 mm) tall by 10 inches (254 mm) wide. Then, fold the cardstock in half.
Next, use a white mechanical pencil to freehand draw an oval to represent a balloon. (You can mark the middle of the card with your pencil to ensure that the oval is more or less centered.) Once you’ve drawn the oval, make a little shape at its base to represent the tie at the bottom of a balloon. Finish up by drawing a wavy line that extends to the bottom of the card.
Finally, use a ruler to make several randomly spaced diagonal guidelines within the balloon.
At this point, you can dilute some white ink for water to prepare it for use. (Learn more about diluting white ink in this article.) Once your ink is ready, move on to the next set of steps!
2. Fill the Balloon Outline with Calligraphy
The defining element of this calligraphy birthday card is, of course, the calligraphy. Begin by writing “Happy” in the upper left corner using Janet Style calligraphy. End the “y” with a tail that turns up and ends in several curls to fill out the top of the balloon.
Continue to write the words to the “Happy Birthday” song. Use the guidelines to write words in different sizes, and add flourishes and curls wherever you can within the balloon outline.
Once you’ve written all of the calligraphy, add in stars and additional flourishes to fill out the space. The more elements that are inside the balloon outline, the more the card will look like a balloon from afar.
3. Add the Balloon’s Tail
To finish up your calligraphy birthday card, use a fine-tipped nib to write “and many more” along the wavy line at the bottom of the card. (A Nikko G works well for this step.)
Give the ink plenty of time to completely dry, then gently erase the pencil guidelines. Overnight is your best bet, but a couple of hours can be good enough in a dry climate.
Make a cool envelope to accompany your calligraphy birthday card, then send it!
Of course, you can customize this concept however you see fit. Use a different font style, a different ink (or faux calligraphy), or even a different shape (like a birthday cake)! No matter how you choose to modify, your recipient will love the result and will be happy that you thought of him/her. 🙂
I hope that you give this tutorial a try. It’s a fun one that many TPK readers have done a great job creating over the years! I have no doubt that yours will turn out beautifully, too.
This article was first posted in September of 2017. I republished it because it’s such a neat tutorial that I think it deserves another turn in the spotlight!