Home Blog DIY or Buy: Birthday Card Ideas for Every Style and Budget

DIY or Buy: Birthday Card Ideas for Every Style and Budget

Photo of Valentin Hinov Valentin Hinov 09 June 2023
Standing on colourful confetti

Who doesn't love a birthday? Cake, candles, gifts, and of course, the birthday card – that slice of paper magic that brings a sparkle to the eyes and warmth to the heart. But here's the million-dollar question – do you dash to the shop to buy one, or get crafty and make one yourself? 

Welcome to “DIY or Buy: Birthday Card Ideas for Every Style and Budget.” 

Consider this your trusty guide to the wonderful world of birthday cards, expertly curated to align with your aesthetic and funds.

Here at Thankbox, we're armed with a treasure trove of ideas for those smitten by the unique charm of homemade cards, and equally exciting tips for those leaning towards chic shop-bought wonders. 

Let's get started!

Understanding your style and budget

A birthday card isn't just a piece of paper – it's a pint-sized canvas for expressing your appreciation and love. But before you decide to DIY or buy, it's crucial to consider your style and budget:

  • Define your style: Start by asking yourself a few questions: Do you love the tactile pleasure of crafty elements or prefer sleek design and clean lines? Do you appreciate quirky touches, or are you more into trendy design? Remember, your style is personal and unique, so embrace it – there's no right or wrong choice.

  • Consider your budget: If you're working with a tight budget, DIY could be a fun and cost-effective route to explore. You could use inexpensive or recycled materials and still create a meaningful card. There are even some free birthday cards available online. On the other hand – if your wallet allows – purchasing a card might be your perfect option.

Remember, it's not about how much money you spend but the thought and care that goes into selecting and creating the perfect birthday card. And if you’re stuck for words, check out our article, “What to write in a birthday card” for some extra guidance.

Strike the perfect balance with Thankbox

When it comes to expressing your sentiments through birthday cards, there's no need to decide strictly between DIY or buying off the shelf. There’s a sweet spot, a perfect blend of creativity and ease – Thankbox!

Thankbox Birthday landing page

Thankbox allows you to collaborate with friends, family, and co-workers to create group cards bursting with personalised messages, fun GIFs, and cherished photos. Recipients open a wealth of emotions and memories that leave a lasting mark.

With Thankbox, you're capturing the charm of a DIY project with the ease of a store-bought card. And best of all, it’s free to get started. When you're ready to send your heartfelt birthday congratulations card, a minimal, shareable fee comes into play.

So why choose between DIY or buying when you can have the best of both worlds? And if you want to go the extra mile, consider sending a digital gift card alongside your birthday ecard.


DIY birthday card ideas

Venturing into the DIY landscape is not only cost-effective but also turns your creativity up a notch. The personal touch of a handmade card often carries a sentiment that shop-bought cards can’t quite match. 

Let’s delve into some DIY ideas:

1. Sprinkles lollipop card

A DIY card and sprinkles lollipop

Sprinkles – seriously, who can resist them? Now, imagine pairing that childhood joy with a birthday card, and you've got the playful sprinkles lollipop card! While the lollipop decorations on this homemade card may not be suitable for a taste test, the card's playful appearance is sure to bring a smile. 

Follow this step-by-step guide from Tikkido.

2. Rainbow cake birthday card

Rainbow cake birthday card

Rainbow cakes are undeniably delicious, but did you know that birthday cards showcasing these colourful delights are equally eye-catching? With just some glitter paper and creativity, you can make one of these vibrant cards yourself. 

Don't miss the step-by-step guide by I'm In Heaven to bring this stunning design to life.

3. Vintage pressed flowers card

Pressed flowers

Pressed flowers possess a nostalgic charm that transforms any craft project into a timeless treasure. A vintage-inspired birthday card is ideal for anyone smitten with all things vintage. 

Pressing the flowers at home adds a personal touch to the card, but if you're short on time, purchasing them online is a great alternative.

4. DIY letterboard-inspired birthday card

The letterboard aesthetic is a contemporary classic in design trends. Why not incorporate this chic style into your birthday card, tailored with a heartfelt message for your recipient? It's a fashionable twist on traditional greetings. 

Birthday cards homemade

Design Eat Repeat has a great tutorial!

5. Watercolours and hand-lettering birthday card

Watercolour birthday card

This radiant watercolour and hand-lettering card is an exciting way to add a splash of joy. If you have a fondness for calligraphy and a handful of simple materials, you're all set to create a vibrant greeting like this one! 

Check out the guide at doodlecraftblog.com for more inspiration.

Buying birthday cards

While making a birthday card can be a rewarding and creative experience, there's no denying the appeal of buying one off the shelf. Purchased cards often come with polished designs, particularly milestone birthdays like 60th and 18th birthdays

Additionally, they’re a quick and convenient choice, especially if you’re a last-minute shopper. And best of all, you can’t deny the joy of finding the perfect card that fits your needs!

Let’s explore where you can purchase these cards:

  • Big retailers: Big retailers are perfect if you’re looking for a wide variety of designs and prices. Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsburys, or Waitrose offer aisles of choices suitable for all tastes and budgets.

  • Online marketplaces: Platforms such as Thankbox, Etsy, and Amazon offer a global marketplace of cards from independent artists to renowned card brands. Here, you can find cards with handmade detailing, intricate designs, and customisable options.

Image of the How it Works section of the Thankbox homepage
  • Speciality card shops: Speciality card shops like Clintons or Paperchase offer an array of cards, from simple and elaborate to pun-tastic and touching. 

Guide to buying cards with different budgets

From thrifty finds to luxurious showstoppers, there’s something for every style and budget. Let’s delve into the tiers of birthday cards across various price points: 

  • Budget cards: Choosing a budget card doesn't mean compromising on sentiment or design. Look for cards with a message that resonates with your relationship with the recipient. The sale section of big retailers are great places to find these cards.

  • Mid-range cards: Mid-range cards often offer a balance between price and style. They often come with more detail, higher quality paper, or extra features like pop-ups or music (you’re bound to hear some Cliff Richard). You’ll come across these cards at most places.

  • Luxury cards: Luxury cards are all about the details. Embossed designs, fabric textures, and elaborate pop-ups are often features of these cards. Speciality card shops or online marketplaces are where you’ll find these high-end options.

Birthday card ideas for every style and budget

The magic of a birthday card lies in its ability to convey love, celebration, and heartfelt wishes. It's an expression of your feelings towards the recipient that you get to say once a year. 

Birthday Thankbox

So, make a choice that suits you and makes someone's day brighter. With Thankbox – where tradition meets innovation – personalised and heartfelt messages take centre stage. 

Create a Thankbox today and ignite your creativity. 

Images: Cover