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Seasonal Birthday Card

Seasonal Birthday Card main article image
Posted on October 18, 2021 by Natalie Ballard


This project is about using seasonal themes for generic events. In the depths of autumn and winter, it can seem odd to give cards that are decorated with summer flowers and butterflies. Here’s how we can create a simple shaker card for birthdays in the autumn and winter months.

Supplies List

Autumn Birthday Card Supplies

  • Black card
  • Gold card
  • White card
  • Leaf stamps (I used “From Nature” by Chocolate Baroque)
  • Happy Birthday sentiment stamp
  • Metallic Paints (I used the Derwent Paint Pan Set)
  • Sequins and sparkles
  • Kraft card blank (7×5”)
  • Acetate
  • Foam tape and dots
  • Your electronic cutter and software

Winter Alternates

  • Blue card
  • Silver card
  • Snowflake stamps
  • White card blank (7×5”)

Design Stage

Starting in your design software, you want to create all your elements ready for cutting.

Completed design in CanvasWorkspace

  1. Add a rectangle measuring 100×142.9mm to the top left corner of your mat
  2. Add a circle for your aperture measuring 63.8mm
  3. Add a guide circle for how wide you want the border to be. This is only approximate to help you with the next stage.
  4. Align these three items to the centre but do not group them.
  5. Now you want to add a square slightly wider than the width of your guide circle.
  6. Duplicate this two times.
  7. With one copy, move this down below your main panel.
  8. The other copy should rotate 45º and select both this square and the original. Align their centres horizontally and vertically.
  9. The stamping guide frame before weldingWeld these two squares together
  10. Add a square bigger than your star as we will be using that as a stamping guide.
  11. Transfer your design to your machine for cutting; the aperture panel (without the guide circle) and stamping guide will be cut from black card. The square panel will be cut from white card.

Assembling the Card

Metallic Watercolour

Using a water-resistant ink pad, stamp your chosen design stamps in black. Test this on a scrap piece. This can be tricky to see, so if you are struggling to see the image, more to a slightly lighter dark grey card. I used an offcut of cutting mat to hold my card in place while stamping and colouring.

Stamping and watercoloring with the metallic paints

With your stamping dry, you next want to add your watercolour. Metallic paints work best with less water in your brush and applying a drop to each pan a short while before painting. Paint up to and slightly over the edges of your stamped design. For the autumn theme use golds, russets, and greens; for winter, use the blues, purples, and silver. Allow your painting to dry thoroughly.

Next, work with a bolder ink pad. This ink pad does not need to be water-resistant, so decide based on ink coverage. I used a Memento pad for this stage. Align your stamps roughly over your coloured shapes, but your alignment doesn’t have to be precision perfect. As you will see when you stamp, your ink will settle into the paint slightly but enough detail should remain for your background.

Stamping the watercolored shapes

Use your metallic paints to infill with little leaf-shaped brushstrokes for the autumn version or dots on the winter version.

The Central Wreath

This is where we use the stamping jig in our stamp platform; or by eye if you don’t have one. Choose a small stamp from your set and align this in the middle of one of your straight edges. When it’s on the straight edge, stamp it fully inked, rotate the white piece 45º, and stamp with just the ink left on the stamp; 2nd generation stamping means we don’t need to mask. Repeat this process until your wreath design is complete.

Positioning the stamp

The completed wreath

Colour your images with your metallic paint using 2-3 colours. Go softer on the paler images and use a stronger application to the darker ones. Use the same colours as in your background, but they will look different on the white card.

Painted wreath image

If your designs do not touch, use circle shapes to cut out the wreath. However, if they touch or overlap as in the shown example, fussy cut both the outer and inner edges.

The fussy cut wreath shown on the stamped panel

The Shaker

Attach your main panel to a piece of acetate using double-sided tape. Trim the acetate if needed.

Attaching the acetate

Turn the panel so the acetate side is up, and use foam tape to create a well around the aperture. Fill this with sequins and sparkles (or even fake snow for winter cards) and carefully remove the backing from around the well.

Forming and filling the shaker

You can use the inner from your stamping guide to cover the back of the well; snip off four corners so it becomes a square.

Mount this panel onto a slightly larger piece of gold card, and adhere the wreath to it using foam dots. This panel can then be mounted onto your chosen card blank (we recommend 7×5”).

The Sentiment

Using a piece of white card, brush on a stripe of colour using your metallic paints. This needs to be wider than your sentiment. Allow this to dry thoroughly.

Stamp your sentiment using the bolder ink from earlier. As this will be onto white card, you will see your stamping is much more visible. You can use additional metallic paint to cover up any oopsies when stamping. Again, allow this to dry.

Fussy cut out the strip allowing a slight white border; adhere this to where you feel it best suits your design. This could be the same as the example shown, or across the wreath or just underneath it. I adhered mine with foam dots for added depth.


I really enjoyed making this project as you can be much looser in your painting. It’s a great way to give a really different look to your stamps, especially if you don’t have many in your collection. You could also use drawn images but alignment will be harder, especially with non-ScanNCut machines.

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