Sunday 8 December 2013

Mixed Media Birthday Card

I've just made a birthday card for my sister and thought I'd share it with you all. You can tell her age from the front so I won't make it even more obvious and write it here!

Happy Birthday Sandie - hope you have a lovely day!!

She's a gardener by trade - one of those amazing people who know the latin names for plants and how to prune things properly, graft cuttings etc. I wanted to make something which would appeal to her love of plants and trees. I decided to go for the trees as I recently picked up a few beautiful, fallen leaves meaning to do something with them and then just watched them curling up on my desk! Luckily, they weren't too brittle so I set to and designed the following card and gift card/cheque holder. During the making I did lose one leaf tip but I hope that doesn't detract too much from the finished piece.

Birthday card featuring real leaves - inside and out.
Gift card / cheque holder again featuring a real leaf. A circle punch is used to cut away a section of the top to allow access to the contents.
Die cut numbers from scrap card. Paint with two coats of DecoArt gesso in preparation for painting.
Beautiful autumn leaves 

Leaves coloured with DecoArt Traditions paints using a brayer.
Using the same paint colours as the previous step, paint die cut letters.
For the card front, a base was made using a combination of  distress stains and inks. A little water spritzing adds interest to the background.
To complete the background, some Tim Holtz stamps were used in a random fashion. 
The die cut letters were crackled with DecoArt Perfect Crackle followed by a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze. Also in this image, you can see a fabric leaf. These were made by stamping onto TAP paper and transferring the image to fabric. Each leaf was then carefully cut out and edged with some distress ink.
Machine stitching in an appropriate colour finishes the edges of the card front. You can also see the DecoArt Metallic Lustre which I added to the leaf to enrich the colours against the background.

For the inside of the card I made a liner using kraft paper. Two sides of this were stamped with suitable images and detail was added with distress ink and a water brush.

The inside stamping was allowed to overlap onto the leaf - this was done using Stazon ink.

A second liner was made for the inside using calligraphy paper. 

The calligraphy paper was also stamped in white to give a watermark effect and extra interest. The sentiment was stamped and powder embossed, applied to card then cut out.
All the card layers are held together with tied twine. Wooden beads are tied to the ends of the twine to finish the look.
The card/cheque holder is made from two pieces of white card. Each piece was stamped with a woodgrain image and archival ink followed by a toning shade of distress ink.
The two layers of card are stitched together to match the card front. Another dried leaf is used to decorate the front but it has been left in a natural state.
Some dried twigs, twine and curled rusty wire are arranged to decorate the leaf and tied in place with the twine. Wooden beads are used again to finish the ends of the twine.
As I write this post, the card and gift card holder are on their way to my sister. I won't post until she has received her card but I do hope she likes it!

I enjoyed dusting off my distress inks and having a play with them. It seems ages since I did that and I'd forgotten how much fun they can be. Combine that with my favourite paints and crackle medium and I'm a very happy bunny! Thanks for visiting and I look forward to catching up with you soon.


  1. Wow Julia, this is absolutely amazing!! Those colours just glow and I love the fact you used real leaves! Simply stunning, both the card and the little gift card holder and I bet your sister will love it and treasure it too!!

  2. absolutely stunning - the leaves are amazing and love the crackle on the numbers - brilliant xx

  3. This is sooo adorable, Julia!
    As Astrid said: this is a wonderful treasure you created for your sister!

    Claudia x

  4. Love the crackle effect on the numbers and the colors is so beautiful. I love how you used the leaves and twigs.
    An amazing card, I love it! (If it wasn't so much snow were I live...I'd be out hoarding leaves like a mad women right now)

  5. Wow Julia! I am so glad you showed the details because they are just fabulous. I am thinking I need to invest in that DecoArt Crackle as it looks amazing. Love that you added real leaves and fabric ones, the textures must be fantastic. Your Sister is one lucky lady..... Hugs, Anne x

  6. Very clever card and the cheque holder is a wonderful idea and very special as a keep sake as well

    Chrissie x

  7. Love it, love it, love it!! ♥ Stunning colour combination and i really enjoy the different between matt and shiny. Very cooooool! (:o)

  8. Gorgeous card Julia, love the little check holder with the wire and the string, perfect xxx

  9. Stunning card sweetie, I'm sure your sister LOVED it. Superb work as always and brilliant to see the process pics.
    Huge hugs x x x x

  10. This is glorious, Julia - inspired preservation of (and dare I say improvement upon) nature's own beauty. I love the stamped background, and those crackled numbers are fab. The twine and wire-wrapped embellishments on the gift tag are simply gorgeous! Lucky Sandie - and birthday wishes to her!
    Alison x

  11. Hi Julia, a really stunning card and gift holder for your sister! All the detail you show in your photos is fantastic - I especially love the extra little touches you added - like the fabric leaves and the stamping onto the calligraphy paper. It's all those little extras that really make a gift feel special! Claire x

  12. Love the colour palette and how you used the real stamps Julia and the background is perfect. A terrific card.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  13. I think you might be in the running for best sister ever with this fabulous card and holder! The leaves and colors are gorgeous!

  14. This is stunning Julia and perfect for your sister! I love what you have done to the leaves , HUGS xxx

  15. What a great birthday special as becoming 50, Julia :-)

  16. Such a wonderful birthday card, your sister will treasure it.

  17. Beautiful, love the colours and textures especially on the numbers

  18. Absolutely gorgeous, & perfect for Sandie! Bet she loved them! xxx

  19. Hello Julia, Your card is stunningly beautiful. If your sister doesn't love it we can swap I'll be yours and your sis can have mine!
    Seriously though The use of leaves wonderful but it is the colour and textural details you have added that has made this piece of eye candy totally and absolutely delish!

  20. I need that card for a friend of mine who's 50! Love the leaf!!!!

  21. Not sure how I missed this Julia but it is absolutely stunning. You have taken the humble and delicate leaves to a whole new level. You are so incredibly talented. Jenny x

  22. Wishing You and Yours a Wonderful Christmas.
    Hugs, Avril xx

  23. Just wanted to wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases in your new home... but I'm not sure I have the right email address, so I'm resorting to this! Hope you have a wonderful time!
    Alison xx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax