It’s not too hard to find Blyton-themed birthday cards these days – there are the ones based on the Famous Five for grown-ups books by Bruno Vincent, there are some Noddy ones to be found on popular card websites, and people make their own and sell them on sites like Etsy. You might even be lucky enough to find a vintage card which was never written in.
Despite all that, now and again I experiment with making my own cards, so I thought I’d share the two I made this year.
Happy Birthday from the Famous Five
This one has a picture from the full-colour edition of Five Go to Mystery Moor. I can’t remember but I expect that the text behind is also from Mystery Moor. I know some people are absolutely against using books for crafts but I think that if it’s a) an old book that has fallen apart or is otherwise badly damaged or b) is newish and mass produced then it’s probably OK. The ones I’ve used were surplus to requirement as I have better copies, and the colour illustrations were just too tempting not to use.
I used two pages of text for the background, the join hidden by some patterned tissue paper I bought a long time ago, so long I have no idea what the original purpose was supposed to be.
In an attempt to turn this towards a ‘how to’ post as those seem to be extremely popular, I will give a tip. When tearing paper it won’t tear the same in both directions. I wanted to remove the margins from all three pages, leaving a rough but not wildly lumpy edge, and so the horizontal and vertical margins needed different techniques to make a reasonably straight line. I’d advise experimenting with a spare piece first to work it out if it’s your first time!
Happy Christmas from the Five
I was pleased enough with the above card, which was for Stef’s birthday, that I decided to have a crack at making a Christmas one for her as well. I used to hand-make something for her birthdays and Christmases but that’s harder to do when you have a small child.
I didn’t have a copy of Five Go Adventuring Again with coloured illustrations, and it’s beyond even my morals to buy another book to tear up when I’ve got unfinished ones in the house, so I turned to another method.
Seeing as all the illustrations are in the cave I decided to print off the Christmas-tree scene and colour it myself. If I’d had the right paper (cream, textured) I’d have perhaps used that, but as it was I had to make do with regular printer paper.
After playing around a little with the size I think I got it more or less to scale. I then printed it in black and white, as the scans obviously maintain the cream colour of the original pages. In black and white that was reduced to a pale grey which was easy to colour over.
I used colouring pencils but added some detail on the tree with some glitter glue. The background is a bit of spare wrapping paper, and I had a couple of snowflakes left over from a previous Christmas (cut from shiny paper using a shaped craft punch).