Hey there kids! Today I’m here to teach you how to make an awesome birthday card for your mom. Handmade gifts are perfect since mothers everywhere love the stuff you make, no matter how crappy it is. Plus it’s free. Minimal effort + low cost = success, so let’s get to work! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pen or pencil (to draw)
  • Paper (to draw on)
  • A computer (ask Mom for some allowance money if you don’t have one)
  • More paper and some tape (to make an envelope)
  • A car or bike or feet or a printer (to go to the print shop and/or get it printed)
  • Booyah that’s it son

Got your materials? Let’s get to work!


First off, you’ll need to sketch out an idea using your pen or pencil and piece of paper. No lazy ass stickman art either. This is your mom and it’s her birthday so put some thought into it. Think of stuff your mom likes, such as wine and not having to clean up after you damn kids. I drew a crab because my mom is into going to the beach even though she lives thousands of miles from any coastal region. Plus she’s kinda crabby so it works on two levels. That’s called “awesome conceptualization”. Check it:


Crab sketch

Katia drew it, not me

Pretty great huh? Or not, I didn’t draw it. Whatever. Anyway, I just do stuff but you should probably draw a sketch unless you’re master artist like yours truly. Time for:



Next you’ll want to slowly refine your sketch into an artistic masterpiece. You can use your pen or pencil and piece of paper. Otherwise get out your trusty $1500 MacBook Pro and $600 copy of Adobe Illustrator. You’ll want to make the image nice for mom, so transform your rough sketch into something like this:


Crabby Birthday

Crabby birthday, Mom!

Add in a few small details like a complex beach scene, a present with a bow, and a nice font to complete the illustration. Details make the image pop, so feel free to add in whatever turns your card from “blah” into “museum quality.”


Did you physically draw your image on a piece of paper? Skip this step, you luddite. If you’re a fancy pants with a printer and a ready supply of paper, you can print your image out yourself. If you’re a minimalist like me and don’t really own anything other than a pile of straw to sleep on, use your car, bike or legs to head on down to your local print shop. After accosting the shop owner with a pointy stick paying for a quick printout on card stock, I emerged victorious with this glorious physical item:

Now that you have your card, you’ll need to do something with it. If you still live with your parents, emerge from your basement cocoon, plaster a big smile on your face and yell “Happy Birthday” while thrusting the card in your mother’s general direction. If you live farther away, you’ll need to move on to:


If you’re smart, you’ll make your card into a standard size that will fit into an envelope. If you’re broke or short on time, you’ll need to make your own envelope. Don’t worry, everybody at the postal service stopped giving a shit about their job a long time ago, so they won’t even notice if you use a non-standard envelope. Just don’t put any anthrax in it, otherwise the USPS gets pissed. Also you might kill your mom. I made my envelope using another piece of paper. Just fold the paper around the card and use some tape to secure your ghetto envelope like I did in the picture below:


Ghetto Envelope

Remember: No anthrax!

Now that you’ve secured your card in an envelope, simply add postage and your mother’s mailing address according to USPS requirements, drop that sucka in the mailbox and blammo – You’re set for this year’s gift-giving obligations. Remember, this card technique works for any occasion – Christmas, Guy Fawkes Day, getting out of jail, whatever.

Are you terrible at art? Hire me to do it for you!
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