We all know it can take a long time to come up with a great design for a DIY card project. We scour Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, we comb through our craft materials, we carefully shop for more supplies. We experiment and play with color and texture and layering until we finally get it right.

After all of that work, wouldn’t it be nice to take that amazing idea and turn it into a card design pattern that we can use for any occasion? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to create a one-off design for EVERY occasion. I want to be creative, and efficient.

A few weeks back, I was in a push to design some cards for Valentine’s Day. One of the cards was a Tuxedo Valentine Card with Belly Band. You can watch the quick tutorial here:

It was a Sunday night—closing in on bedtime on a school night—and my 10-year-old daughter, Audrey, busts into my craft studio to declare that it is actually her teacher’s birthday tomorrow. “Could we make her a card?!?” On one hand, looking at the time, I thought for a moment to just have her take a card from our pre-cut card collection, freestyle it with shapes, and call it done. However, I struggle to half-ass anything (and it’s for her favorite teacher), so we jumped into action. We had little time to waste.

I looked to my freshly-made Valentines for inspiration. Here’s what we know: we know we can’t load up a teacher’s birthday card design with hearts and Valentine stamps. That would be inappropriate. But, could we take the framework from one of my successful Valentine designs and simply change the theme and colors for a uniquely different result?

Yes. Yes, we can! We chose to turn this Tuxedo Valentine Card with Belly Band into a Tuxedo Birthday card instead!

To start, we switched the base card color from Planetary Purple to Celestial Blue (her teacher’s favorite color) and picked a Sunburst Yellow belly band that would really “pop.” We found a fun “Make a wish!” washi tape to embellish it with. Then, we changed our shape theme from Hearts to Balloons, grabbing balloons in red, green and pink from the FreshCut Crafts Butterfly-Balloon Shape Sheets.

Much like the hearts on the Valentine design, we glazed the balloons with Judi-Kins Diamond Glaze and added a dash of glitter for extra pizzazz. After all, she’s a teacher—she deserves it!

Next, we quickly searched our patterned paper collection for a balloon-covered birthday theme. We found a sheet of polka-dotted paper in yellow to pull in the color from our yellow belly band, and decided on pink for the message area. We cut all of the pieces down to size in the exact proportions of the Valentine design.

Lastly, we made the simple switch from a Happy Valentine’s Day stamp to a Happy Birthday stamp, and from a heart sticker to star stickers. Easy-breezy.

We were amazed at how, with one predetermined design plan, we could quickly make a beautiful and unique card in about 10 minutes (technical note: the glaze is the one thing that takes a little while to dry. For her teacher’s card, we quickly affixed the balloons in the morning to be safe).

You can watch the Birthday Card tutorial here:


Here’s the list of Freshcut Craft materials we used:
Tuxedo Card: Planetary Purple, Celestial Blue
Shape sheets: Hearts (Planetary Purple, Re-Entry Red), Butterfly-Balloon (Gamma Green, Re-Entry Red, Pulsar Pink)
Belly Band: Sunburst Yellow, Re-Entry Red
Card Stock: White Confetti, Pulsar Pink

Other materials:
Washi tape
Patterned craft paper – birthday theme, dot themes, Valentine themes
Snail tape/tape runner, glue dots
Stickers – heart, star
Rubber stamp and black ink
Judi-Kins Diamond Glaze (optional)


If you liked this tutorial, you’ll want to check out our other tutorials at FreshCut Crafts.

Hi, I’m Trish Witkowski.
I’m a mom of two, a designer, an entrepreneur and a passionate paper crafter. I design pre-cut paper cards, shapes and crafting products for my company, FreshCut Crafts. This is the place to be for card making inspiration, punch art ideas, quick crafting tips and tutorials.

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