Spring Birds: Happy Birthday


Hi everyone!

Next week is my best friend, Gail’s, birthday. In the last few years, she has really gotten into watching and feeding birds in her amazing garden – so for her birthday I decided to practice my Copic marker coloring skills and see if I could put together a card that had birds as the focus. She doesn’t actually get the card until next week, but she said I could post about it now and she would “totally act surprised and swoon” when she gets it! LOL! I can’t wait to see that!

Gail is fun and playful, smart and funny, and she somehow finds the good in everything. She’s also a big fan of art and of trying new things to see how they work. I wanted this card to be fun and for it to sparkle just like her and I knew she’d be tickled that I learned something new artistically while making it.

It took me several tries to get the birds colored the way I wanted them. It turns out it isn’t easy to blend colors that are in different color groups (in this card, the challenge was getting the orange/red belly of the birds to blend with the rest of the bird bodies and not look like a solid line with no transition). After researching and trying several different ways, I decided that I liked the way the tiny “dots” looked – it just seemed more natural (you can see the detail in the picture below).

Because I know that Gail likes interactive cards, I made this a shaker card – with tons of sparkly gems and sequins!


1. Stamp the images from the Simon Says Stamp Spring Birds stamp and die set using Gina K Designs Amalgam Black Ink (this ink works great with Copic Markers because it doesn’t smear).

2. Color the images using Copic markers.

3. Die cut the colored images using the coordinating dies for the set.

4. Die cut two frames out of white card stock using the Avery Elle Wonky Scalloped Frames die.

5. Cut a piece of white card stock to fit behind the frame and ink blend a pale blue background for the sky.

6. Layout your colored die cuts. I put a few branches in the background, directly on my pale blue sky, and saved a few for the top of the shaker.

7. Sandwich a piece of acetate and your branches between the frames.

8. Add the birds to the branches.

9. Turn the frame/acetate panel over and add strips of foam all around the back side of the frame – making sure not to leave any gaps where shaker material could fall out.

10. Place shaker materials (I used gems and sequins) on top of your blue sky panel.

11. Adhere the frame/acetate panel to the blue sky panel, making sure no shaker material gets caught under the foam tape.

12. Add your shaker to a piece of green card stock cut slightly smaller than a card front and round the corners.

13. Round the corners of your card front.
14. Adhere the green card stock to the card front and the shaker frame to the green card stock.

15. Heat emboss a Taylored Expressions Simple Strip – Birthday greeting in black on a white strip of cardstock and adhere it to the front of the shaker.

I could never make a card that expresses how much I adore Gail and how important she is to me – and I’m definitely not sure this card is worthy of a “swoon” – but I hope she likes it just the same!

Happy Birthday, Gail!

All the best,



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  1. Melissa

    I really struggle with vopic coloring, your birds are so cute.

    • Jean

      I have found that with Copics it is really about practice! I did many of these birds before I liked these enough for a card! Stick with it! You’ll get it and it will be wonderful!

  2. internet

    What a lovely card! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial. So helpful for a newbie just learning to Copic!

    • Jean

      Thank you!

  3. Nancy

    This really turned out great! You did a beautiful job and thanks for sharing!

    • Jean

      Thank you so much, Nancy!


designer & content creator

I fell in love with card-making many years ago and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. I love trying out new techniques and finding the perfect color combination for whatever I’m creating.

By nature, I am an uber-organizer and a steadfast planner, but as you’ll see, my creations are much more fluid. And while I love color theory, the concept of lights and shadows, and the importance of depth and perspective – these are not things I worry about when it comes to my creations.

I simply find joy in creating and delight in sharing.

I hope that by sharing my cards and other art with you here on my blog I can inspire you to create something you love!


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