Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Word Search Birthday Card -- Tutorial

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to share a quick little project with you guys.  The other night I made a birthday card to give to my pastor for his birthday (today).  There are a few reasons why I like to make cards.  First, it's cheaper.  Does that sound bad?  Cards are kind of expensive...$4 bucks a pop, sometimes, or more if you buy those annoying ones with music inside (which I would never buy, for the record.  Just stating a fact).  Secondly, it satisfies my desire to make something.  And the great thing about making cards for people is that it's almost instant satisfaction -- they really don't take that long to make.  And thirdly, I love receiving hand made cards myself.  To me, it says that the person took just a little extra care, thought just a little more about you when giving you a gift.  It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  So I like to do that for others, too.

The problem with making cards sometimes is that there's a time limit.  You have to have this card done by a certain date -- pressure, man.  And it can be hard to think of a really neat design in the allotted amount of time.  Enter Pinterest.  What an awesome website.

I did a search on Pinterest earlier this week and ran across this little guy.  The idea comes from a website called Better Living Through Design:
  

I thought the idea was really cool, had some amazing potential and possibilities, and super simple.  Jackpot.

So I made my own version.  The longest part of this project, and the least fun (isn't that how it always works out?) was typing out the word search.  I did this on my computer, and just added the birthday message inside.  I considered adding other words, but in the end decided to just stick with the message at hand.  I also considered adding a word list and making my pastor search for the words himself, but I nixed that idea too, because I wanted to give him a finished piece of art.

After typing out the word search, I scrolled down a few lines and typed out, "We love you!"  all in caps.  Then I printed and cut both pieces out.

I liked the idea above, but thought it was a little boring.  And I also thought it would be cool if it looked like a word search from a newspaper; all old, perhaps with a coffee mug ring, something that someone had been working on.  So I found my coffee grounds from that morning and rubbed a few of them across my paper.  I've done this before with other projects, and the result is a pretty stained up piece of paper.  Then I spilled some coffee around a clean mug and sat it on top of the paper, making the coffee mug ring.  I apologize for not having pictures of this fascinating process... I totally forgot about the blog -- I was so enthused by the art. ;)

After doctoring up my picture, I Mod Podged it onto a piece of thick sketch paper.  I didn't happen to have a large enough piece of cardstock at the house, but if you do, I would use that instead.  My card ended up being a little flimsier than I would have liked. 

By the way, if you've never used Mod Podge (or your own version of it), the key to a really nice finish is making sure that you press out all the air bubbles after laying your art down.  I learned this the hard way -- my first few pieces were all wrinkly.

Anyway, here's the finished card:


I stained up the, "We Love You!" piece and Mod Podged that on the back.  So this birthday card won't open up like a book -- just one piece with the word search on the front and the message on the back.

Oh, and I realized as I was editing these photos that I totally forgot a letter somewhere in the word search -- there's just an empty spot.  It was late when I was typing this up, and I guess I was tired.  But that's part of the appeal of hand made stuff, in my opinion -- the quirkiness.  Can you find the blank spot?  

Here's another view:


I like the way it turned out.  Except the coffee mug ring.  In retrospect, I think I ought to have used less coffee because I would have liked the ring to be more defined... good to know for the next time I need to fake a coffee mug ring.

Anyway, have you guys been working on anything small?  Does anyone else like to give hand made cards?

Linking up to these awesome blogs here!

Thanks for reading!
Sarah








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