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Cardboard, marker and pen
If you don't have a regular postcard then you can cut one out of thick paper or cardboard – basically you don't want it to fold up on it's way. On one side make a drawing or write a big "Happy Birthday!" depending on the occasion. Short on ideas for a drawing – check out Pinterest https://es.pinterest.com/explore/hand-drawn-cards/. These might seem to require skill but do the best you can and your effort will be the beauty.
On the other side draw some line down the middle separating the copy you're going to write and the area for the stamp and address. Write a short note. I usually try to say something fun and daily – I don't much go for where I am or what the weather's like, or whether I'm doing ok – maybe "Don't eat too much cake... but if you do, make it messy!" – whatever suits the person.
Postcards are brief instances of time ... and they're special.
Lastly, after you put the address, go down to the post office and ask for a nice stamp – they'll give you the regular if you don't ask and it's the same amount of money – so ask!
People tend to keep cards – maybe not for ever but they'll have them on the mantle or fridge door until next season so it's a great inexpensive way to give them something nice and thoughtful.
Less than 30 minutes