Spreading birthday cheer with a handwritten card is always a great idea.
It doesn’t matter if your recipient is a parent, best friend, or coworker; someone who loves to celebrate their birthdays, or someone who doesn’t like to make a big fuss; they will always be touched to receive a birthday card from you.
Nowadays, we typically send our birthday greetings over DMs and texts. While technology makes it easier for us to stay on top of birthdays, it can also make birthday greetings feel less personal, and more perfunctory. We hit like on a post, send a GIF, or quickly type in a stream of emoji.
And while there’s nothing wrong with digital greetings, especially when our lives are so busy and we’re trying so hard to be thoughtful, it’s definitely still worth it to put in the extra effort for your family and loved ones.
Sending a handwritten birthday card doesn’t take up that much time out of your day, and it can really make someone’s birthday feel that much more special.
So whether you’re always punctual with your birthday greetings, or have a hard time remembering people’s birthdays, we’ve got you covered. Below are our simple and practical ideas for sending birthday cards so you can show the people in your life just how much you care.
Tips for sending birthday cards throughout the year
We’d all love to be that thoughtful and considerate person who always remembers people’s birthdays and mails out cards on time. But, unfortunately, our schedules get busy and life gets in the way. Here are some general ideas to help you prepare in advance, so that you can spend less time scrambling for the perfect card, and more time celebrating the people you care about.
Add birthdays to your calendar. It’s hard to keep track of multiple birthdays. Add birthdays to your calendar and set reminders to make your life easier. You’ll definitely want to add reminders for your immediate family and close friends, as well as the people in your professional life, such as your boss and favorite coworkers.
Stock up on cards throughout the year. If you ever find yourself in a stationery store, or see that there’s a sale on greeting cards, go ahead and buy a card or a birthday card set. You’ll have a nice variety of cards on hand, and you’ll always have one ready to send out. This saves you time and energy from having to go out and buy a new card every time a birthday rolls around.
Belated cards are okay. Here’s a familiar scenario: You just realized that your best friend's birthday is two days away and there’s no way that your card will arrive on time. Rather than skipping sending a card altogether, why not just mail the birthday card and be okay with it arriving late? People love being thought of, and, if anything, getting a late card in the mail will only extend their birthday celebrations. :)
A handwritten message can be short. Maybe you avoid sending handwritten birthday cards because you feel pressured to write something extraordinary. Your handwritten message doesn’t have to be a work of art. Keep it short and sweet. Your sentiments will show up on the page.
Birthday card ideas for family, friends, and coworkers
Here are some thoughtful and unique ideas for sending birthday cards to your mom, dad, best friend, manager, and more.
Judge a card by its cover. While you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, you can certainly judge a birthday card by what’s on the outside. Whether it’s a stunning design, or a dazzling pattern, a great birthday card is one that instantly delights your recipient.
Brainstorm first. Having trouble figuring out what to say? Write a draft in your notebook first before committing your words onto the card. If it’s a milestone birthday, you’ll definitely want to acknowledge that, and send your wishes for a great year. Another tip is to reflect on the personality traits of your recipient to help you express how much they mean to you. If your card is for a manager or coworker, keep it professional, but include how great it’s been to work with them.
Include your favorite quote. If you’re struggling to come up with a good birthday message, don’t sweat it. Instead, write down a quote to sum up what you’re trying to say. You can use your favorite inspirational quote or even lyrics from your favorite song to express how you feel.
Choose a good pen. The ink from a fountain pen or gel pen will show up nicely on a card. And a quick-drying pen will ensure that your message stays smudge-free.
Birthday card ideas for when you’re feeling crafty
A homemade card is always a fun and thoughtful birthday card idea. This is particularly great if you love getting crafty or you also want to get your kids involved in the creation. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Use paper you have around the house. A DIY card is a great option because you probably already have all the supplies on hand. You can use construction paper, card stock, or even plain, white printer paper to make your DIY birthday card. You can also choose a blank card and add your own decorative flourishes.
Add color. Break out the colorful markers, pastels, or gel pens. Adding color is always a great idea for a cheerful and sunny card.
Add texture. Whether it’s felt, ribbons, pressed flowers, or washi tape, adding a textural element to your DIY card will give it that wow factor and make the card feel like a present in itself.
Come up with a concept. If you want to get even more creative, you can create a fun concept around your birthday card. For example, a beach theme with hand-drawn flip flops and shells. Or a movie theme with a popcorn box that spells out happy birthday. Even something as simple as a birthday cake on the front cover will make your card that much more special. You can read this article here for even more ideas.
Add a personalized message. Another reason to make your own card? You’re not beholden to the stock greeting inside. Whether it’s a funny greeting, or a sentimental one, you’ll have fun coming up with a message written from the heart.
Written by JiJi Lee.