Look at the photo above this paragraph. ^This^ is what happens when I suddenly find myself in a quiet house, with both my children at nursery school for the morning. I could not resist making my friend a fabulous hand-lettered birthday card! In today’s tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to make a card just like it. Disclaimer: a quick birthday card concept this is not. It took me about 1.5 hours to make. If you’re looking for something that comes together more efficiently, see other TPK birthday card tutorials.
How to Make a Fabulous Hand-Lettered Birthday Card: Video Tutorial
While this hand-lettered birthday card tutorial can be explained with text and photos, it’s easiest to understand via video. In the tutorial below, I’ll show you the process behind how to make today’s card. For clarification and supply links, I encourage you to read the written instructions below the video!
1. Gather Your Supplies
Before you get started, you’ll need a handful of supplies. Find links and details under the photo.
- Black cardstock (affiliate link) – Folded into a 5″ x 7″ (12.7 cm x 17.75 cm) card
- Lettering Composition Ruler Bundle
- White Mechanical Pencil
- Straight Pen fitted with Nikko G nib
- Bleed Proof White Ink
- Finetec Arabic Gold Watercolor Pan
- Black Eraser
- Size 3-ish paintbrush
2. Design a Layout
Next, use your white mechanical pencil and the 5″ composition ruler to make a layout. (I recommend watching the video tutorial for clarification on how to go about doing this.) Make sure that “BIRTHDAY” and the recipient’s name are the two largest words in the layout. For an up-close look at what your pencil draft might look like, feel free to download a scan of the pencil draft that I made for this project here.
3. Add Ink
Once you’ve got your pencil draft, use your straight pen + Nikko G nib to fill in the letters with white ink and gold watercolor. This is my favorite step because it’s relaxing and satisfying, but be forewarned: it takes quite a while. You’ll need 45 minutes to an hour — if not longer — to complete it!
Once you finish adding ink, let everything dry. I recommend letting the piece sit out overnight just to be sure! Then, use a black eraser to get rid of your pencil guidelines. Once the guidelines are gone, it will be easier to evaluate if your piece needs anything else. Try different sizes of circles to give a “sparkling lights” sort of look.
And that’s it! Once you finish, you’ll have a birthday card that will astonish your recipient with its festive, professional feel.
As I was was creating this card, I realized that it requires a lot of handlettering. Don’t let that scare you! You can use TPK’s Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set to find step-by-step instructions over how to write both serif and sans serif characters. Then, feel free to modify what you learned to make new lettering styles and fabulous lettering layouts!
With some time, patience, and a willingness to embrace mistakes, I have no doubt you’ll be making several gorgeous hand-lettered birthday cards like the one featured today. And why stop there? From general quotes to envelope art, there are so many amazing lettering projects you can create! I hope that today’s article gives you the courage to start making beautiful lettering layouts today.
Thanks for reading/watching, and happy creating!