Masculine Birthday Card Inspired by Shou-Sugi-Ban Wood Burning Technique

Stacey2016 Annual Catalog, Big Shot, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Cards2 Comments

Masculine Birthday Card Inspired by Shou Sugi Ban Wood Burning Technique

Masculine birthday cards. If you’re anything like me, you struggle coming up with masculine cards. Heck, maybe it doesn’t even need to be a birthday card. But if it’s for a dude, you struggle. And you’re not alone! One of the questions I’m asked all the time is “how do you make a good masculine card?”

Most of the time, the answer is in the color choice. But sometimes, you just have to get inside the head of the guy you’re making the card for. And sometimes, you’re just out of your crafting mojo and just need an idea, any idea, so you can make your dude a card instead of stopping by the Hallmark store for some impersonal thing that’s sure to end up in a landfill.

So, one late night while I was prepping for my class the very next day (yep, last minute) I had a bit of a moment of panic when I realized that I needed a masculine card and I had ZERO ideas for one. Except for this embossed oak leaf from the Vintage Leaves stamp set, which was black embossed on Early Espresso cardstock. But I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it.

My husband, the amazing man that he is, came to my rescue. Entering my studio, he started flipping through my box of embossing folders, looking for some textures that spoke to him that would also go with this oak leaf that I was working on.

Husband in the craft room! We’re making manly cards tonight.

A post shared by Stacey Lane (@aworkofcarte) on

Immediately, he pulled out the Woodgrain Embossing Folder (which I’m sorry to say is now completely sold out) and told me that we needed to use it. So we started playing with what we could do with it. Suddenly he shouted “Shou Sugi Ban!!!”

Uh, come again?

So he explained that Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese wood preservation technique, typically used in house siding. The Shou Sugi Ban technique preserves wood by charring it with fire. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it and finishing it with a natural oil. When finished, it looks something like this:

Shou Sugi Ban: Ancient Japanese Wood Preservation Technique

To simulate this texture, Rob embossed a piece of Early Espresso cardstock but wasn’t sure how to get the result he was looking for. Springing into action, I grabbed my favorite black ink, Jet Black Staz On, and dragged it over the raised surface of the paper. (Sadly, Jet Black Staz On is retiring).

Next he chose the brick embossing folder. He didn’t know exactly what to use it for but he just really liked the texture. As it would happen, I stumbled upon a technique using the brick embossing folder and the Hardwood Background Stamp to make a wood floor!

To make the wood floor, I embossed some Kraft Cardstock (discontinued) with the Brick Embossing Folder. Then I stamped it with the Hardwood background stamp. I think I may have used Soft Suede ink for this. After that, I sponged the corners of the bricks with some Crumb Cake ink, a little bit of Soft Suede (on the edges) and a hint of Pumpkin Pie ink. I finished the piece by adding “nails” to the floor, which is just a dot of Basic Black using the fine point of a Stampin’ Write Marker.

The card needed a sentiment. Yep! I have a stamp set for that! Number of Years to the rescue. Flowers be damned, this is a masculine set today! I stamped the greeting on a piece of Kraft Cardstock and heat embossed it using Black Emboss Powder, which you can get on Amazon, and punched it out with the retiring Decorative Label Punch.

Masculine Birthday Card Inspired by Shou Sugi Ban Wood Burning Technique with Text

The pins on the greeting are some enamel shapes. You can use metallic shapes or you can make your own metallics out of any color by coloring it with a gold metallic sharpie (Amazon).

I love that my husband helped me make this card. I never would have come up with this idea on my own. Having that external influence really helped make this card special. It also reminds me that sometimes you just need to look at other works of art around you for the inspiration to make your next work of art.

What do you think? What have you recently been inspired by? Leave a comment below!

Supplies for this Masculine Birthday Card

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About Stacey

Looking for your Austin area Stampin' Up demonstrator? Stacey Lane is here for you! I serve the Northern Austin area, focusing on Hutto, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown and Taylor, but I'm also happy to travel! Whether you want to host a workshop, order some supplies or are looking for the perfect speaker for your retreat, I'm here to meet your needs! Email me today to book your event or request a catalog!

2 Comments on “Masculine Birthday Card Inspired by Shou-Sugi-Ban Wood Burning Technique”

  1. I too struggle with Masculine cards and usually wait until the last possible moment to make them, but I love this! It would be the perfect card for any of the men in your life and any occasion! I definitely will be CASEing this card for the upcoming Fathers Day cards I need to be planning. Thanks so much to you and your husband for this awesome card!

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