Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Hand-painted Birthday Card (no artistic skills required)

We had a birthday party yesterday morning and the night before I realized I hadn't made the card! I'm not an artist, my drawing and painting skills are pretty rudimentary but I try not to let that get in my way when I'm doing things!  This is my quick and non-artistic way to create a hand-painted card for a little boy.

First, I found a picture of a car that I liked using Google Images and saved it to my computer.  Something simple but not too generic and suited what I had in mind.

Then I opened Gimp (a free image editing software program, very similar to Photoshop) on my computer and created a new image the same size as my birthday card (in this case, 5"x7").  I added the car picture, resized it and moved it to the left side of the image.  I added the boy's name, adjusted the size and font and placed it beside the car which created the graphic I wanted to have on the front of the card.

Unfortunately, I don't have a colour printer so instead I applied a 'photocopy' effect [Filter menu - Artistic - Photocopy] to the image which created an outline of the car with some very basic details and kept the name black.

Then I printed it using MS Word by creating a 7" x 10" document (like the card when it lies flat) and then I inserted the image sized it the way I wanted it to appear and placed it at the bottom.  BTW I did a test print before I put the card into the printer by quickly trimming a 8.5"x11" piece of paper to the card size and putting that in to see how it looked when it printed.

This is how the card turned out straight out of the printer:

The edges ended up being really ragged

But that's ok because I pulled out my craft paint and a thin brush and started to paint.  I did the name first, slowly painting around the letters trying to keep the edges as straight and clean as possible.  Then I painted the red on the car.  After that I did the black on the car and added the light detail lines of car doors.  Last, I dabbed red paint back over the body of the car to get rid of the streaky paint lines and to soften the black car door lines.

Overall, I think it turned out well!

- Jacs

**Let me know if you'd like a quick 'Gimp Basics' tutorial. It's a great program that I use all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm my reaction to the no-card realization is typically "oh, poor kid gets no card" (case in point, Avery's birthday... Oops!) I love the idea though! So simple, cute and thoughtful!