Vintage Birthday Card Tutorial

If you haven’t already noticed, I love making things. Creating stuff and just plain being creative is my all-time favorite hobby. Of course, paper crafting, scrapbooking and card making fall in the list of things I should really do more often. So I bring you this vintage birthday card tutorial. Enjoy.

Copy Paper
Thread + Needle
Vintage patterned Paper
Stamp Pad
Happy Birthday Stamp
Vintage style ribbon
Hot glue gun

Decide on the size
You can buy pre-made cards with envelopes that will already be cropped and cut to a proper size. I didn’t have any so I decided on the size of my card based on some unused envelopes I had lying around. My card ultimately ended up being 4.25” x 5.5” so I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to the correct size of a folded card. Put this to the side as we will use it later.

Print out some vintage paper
I found this amazing free grunge paper pattern from bittbox. I loaded it into photoshop, cropped and re-sized it then printed it out on plain white cardstock paper. Cardstock is perfect for sewing on paper, not only does the design look gorgeous but cardstock is sturdy and durable. We are going to use this for the front-side of the card so it should be slightly smaller than the size of the card. Mine came out to be 4” x 5.25”.

Sewing the balloon strings
I placed the buttons on the front-side of the card and marked where they would sit then I used a pencil to sketch out the strings for the balloons. You can print out my pattern below. I chose to machine sew the strings because I’m terrible and hand sewing things, my stitches are always uneven. I put the paper under the foot and just followed each of the lines I had drawn. I backstitched once on every string I did and also used glue on the back to make sure none of the strings came undone while I was making the card.

Attach the buttons
The buttons used on this card were buttons I found lying around the house. They had the vintage, hand-made feel to them so I used different ones for each balloon. I attached them using a dab of hot glue on the back of each.

Add the side border
I found this awesome vintage style patterned paper at Joann’s for $0.20 (it’s on sale this weekend). Cut out the correct size border for your card and attach it using your favorite adhesive.

Distress the edges
To add to the vintage style of the card I used a bronze colored pigment ink pad to distress the edges. I have Color Box pigments to be the easiest way to get this done. I have also used spray but it often made a mess. Pigment ink takes a long time to set so I usually use a blow dryer or a heat tool on it to get it to stay while I continue working. In this case, even if the color smudges a little it was okay as it just added to the look of the card.

Attach the ribbon
The ribbon I used on this card was self-adhesive paper crafting ribbon. Cut the ribbon slightly longer than the paper and wrap it around the edges to avoid fraying edges.

Stamp it
Typewriter stamps or a typewriter font would have been more appropriate for this but I didn’t have any on hand so I used tiny, single letter stamps. Press the stamps in black ink and then in the bronze pigment you used to distress the edges to create inconsistency in the letters. Use varying pressures when stamping as well, this will give the letters a more distressed and vintage look.

Inside the card
I, personally, like to have something easy to write on inside the card. I used my printer and Word to create a very simple ‘Happy Birthday’ and printed it out on normal copy paper. I used normal copy paper so the card wasn’t too thick.

Attach the inner card
After you’ve trimmed down the inner card it’s time to sew it. Get out the pre-cut card you made or had on hand from step 1. You’re going to mark the card three times, once in the very middle of the card, again about one inch from the top and finally, one more time one inch from the bottom. I use paper clips to hold the inside card in place while I sew it. I also find it easier if you poke your holes using your marks before you begin sewing. You can use regular thread, chord, bookbinders thread or even yard to attach the inside card. I used waxed thread from the jewelry section of my local craft store.

Start at the center mark from the inside of the card, bring the needle up to point number 2 and the top of the card then through point number 3 at the bottom of the card. Finally, end by bringing the needle back through point number 1.

I left extra thread out when I started and when I ended so I could tie it in a bow on the inside of the card. This is option and completely up you how you prefer it.

Finish the card face
The final step is to attach the front-face of the card to the actual card. Use your favorite adhesive to attach the front-face to the rest of the card.

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