Ideas to put on a birthday card

Updated April 17, 2017

Walk into a greeting card store and you'll find hundreds of birthday cards with messages ranging from sentimental wishes to humorous pokes about the recipient's age. With so many cards available, it's not difficult to find something that fits the birthday gift you're giving. It can be challenging, however, to think of something personal to write on the card beyond a generic "Happy Birthday." Dress up your birthday cards with a creative message.


You don't need to write out a huge message to personalise a birthday card. Choose a simple one-liner that either conveys a pleasant birthday wish or a funny joke. Tell the person how much they brighten your day or offer a quick quip about the ageing process. Examples of good birthday card one-liners include "You're not just getting older, you're also getting better"; "I hope that all your birthday wishes come true"; or "Happy 29th birthday. Again."

Birthday Quotes

If you can't come up with an original thought that eloquently conveys what you want to say on the card, use the words of a famous thinker. There are many short but profound quotes compiled in quotation dictionaries and websites. Borrow some words of wisdom from famous a writer, humorist or poet such as Mark Twain, Dave Barry or Robert Frost. Be sure to credit the original author so that the card recipient isn't left wondering where they've heard the quote before.

Birthday Poems

Most birthday cards come with enough room to write out a short poem. You can write a poem of your own or copy out a few verses by a famous poet. Choose a poem that has particular significance to the card recipient, or go with something that deals with the theme of passing time or growing older. Since you will only be using the poem for personal use, feel free to copy a poem from the Internet or your favourite anthology of poetry.

Birthday Coupons

Give your friend or loved one a special gift by drawing out a special birthday coupon on her card. This coupon can be redeemable for a special service like a massage, a nice dinner or lunch at a restaurant, or an offer to clean up the house or do the dishes. For children, your coupon can be for a toy of their choice at a local toy store, a trip to an amusement park or a treat like an ice cream cone or some candy.

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About the Author

As a professional journalist since 1998, Lisbeth Booth has worked as a writer and an editor at several magazines. Her career has focused on music and film criticism but she has also written about lifestyle topics such as parenting and home design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary.