As funny as the idea is, I’m not talking about the kind of Man Card that a guy has to turn over to his buddies when he drinks a fruity slushy drink while they all shoot whisky…no, I mean a Birthday Card for an adult male.
Today is the 50th birthday of a friend of ours and I wanted to make him a really nice, special card. His biggest hobby is gardening (and he’s really good at it–I’ve had the veggies!) so my idea was to make a somewhat garden-themed, farmer’s almanac type card. However, when it comes to putting it on paper, there is a fine line between a manly card and the need to turn over your Man Card. This is what I did…
I based the design around a piece of paper from BasicGrey Paper that I bought half off at Joann’s the other day. I really like it. It was hard to let this piece of paper go, actually… (I’m being a little dramatic.)
I glued the paper to the front of the card and it covered just over 2/3 of the face. It was actually a little taller than the card itself, so I folded the top over and secured it on the back side of the card with Washi tape. Yes, the tape is a little feminine, but I justified this because it has flowers on it which represent gardening, and I’m female so you can expect a little feminine flare, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.
Sticking with the green and pulling in some brown in order to make it more masculine, I layered a few pieces of decorative paper from my stash on the blank portion of the card front. I really like the wood-print paper for this project, especially since it’s rough and gruff distressed wood. You know, manly. Unfortunately, it was after this step that I think I may have started to take a wrong turn. I haven’t decided yet. Keep reading.
This is the finished front. I think I added too much. I felt compelled to put something in the big open space on the left side of the card, but I think I should have left it alone. I like the idea of the tag, but my distressing efforts just make it look dirty, the tape holding the string is feminine and doesn’t fit the front design, and it all just seems “off” to me. I think if I had to do it over, I would either omit the left side entirely, or I would have overlapped the yellow paper with the wood paper in order to pull the design together. Right now it looks like it could be cut down the middle and made into two separate pieces. Bad design in my book…(at least in this case).
Fortunately, the inside of the card saved me.
I really like this inside. I pulled in the veggies that he grows, a garden gnome (which was the only element going into the project that I knew I HAD to use), and a distressed-looking paper tag. This is where I wrote the birthday message, and I used a brown sharpie to do it. This is the feel that I was going for with the entire card.
This is the back side of the card. Truth be told, I used the piece of wood-print paper to cover up a big black smudge that I accidentally made. I wanted to leave my “mark” anyway, so this just made the perfect place for it! I wasn’t afraid of making the back side too feminine–after all, this is normally where the bar code and ridiculously high price is put on a card. Anything is better than that! I again used Washi tape to secure my items–the string to the tag on the front, and the wood paper.
But the front still bothers me. What can I do to make it better? Should I add a frame of some sort around the wood paper? I drew one in above. Or should I add a wood-print paper frame around the yellow paper to pull the “masculine” into the left side? Or maybe I should just leave it alone? Anybody?
Regardless of what I do or don’t do to the card when I get home from work tonight (shortly before we head off to our friend’s celebration dinner), the sentiment is there. It’s a milestone birthday for a good friend and I hope that he is able to feel the love and care that his family and friends bestow upon him tonight…and at his big birthday bash tomorrow night.
Yeah…the front still stresses me out…
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