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A Guide to Making Your Own Christmas Cards

Published Nov 16, 2015 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

I've always appreciated receiving handmade cards. It's heartwarming when you know that someone has devoted their time, effort, and love into making you an original card rather than just giving you a Hallmark special. Here's a guide to help your family craft your own Christmas cards this year.

It's that magical time of year again!  Eggnog, twinkling lights, pantomimes, carols, the smell of Gingerbread baking--what's not to love!

The colder weather means your kiddlets are spending less time outside, so now is the perfect time to start on some seasonal crafts.  Why not make your own festive Christmas cards? Your friends and family will appreciate the more personalized greeting.  Plus, it's a great excuse to sneak in a recent family photo!

Steps to Make the Card

1.  Come up with an awesome photo idea. 

Humour can be great here!  One year my family and I posed with reindeer antlers (we even found some for the dog!  Poor Willow, she looked most unenthusiastic about the whole ordeal)A Santa costume for dad, with mom dressed up as Mrs. Klaus and the kids as elves and the dog as a reindeer again is another gooder. 

Some families prefer a more formal pose, and that's great tooDress up in colourful, festive clothes, and choose a beautiful outdoor location.  Make sure the light is good.  I find 2-3pm is a lovely time to take photos in the winter, as you get that golden afternoon glow. 

Make sure you have a decent camera for these photos.  You can always borrow one from a friend for the occasion.

2.  Pick your photographer with care.

A professional photographer can take those "next level" photos, but depending on your budget might not be the way to go.

Ask someone who you know takes good photos to do your Christmas snapshot, whether it be a friend, family member, or of course a photographer friend who's willing to lend a helping hand would be ideal! 

This goes without saying, but don't choose that friend or family member who has a knack for capturing you at your worst angle with your eyes closed, head cut-off, and demonic red eyes (sorry Dad, I love you, but you will NOT being taking our Christmas photo this year). 

3.  Edit, design, and print.

If you don't know Photoshop well ask a friend to help you edit your photo.  This site is also a great place to start if you are new to photo editing.

Once you are satisfied with you photo, design your card.  You can do this through Photoshop or you can use a website that has Christmas card templates (here is one).  Think of a funny and original message to put inside the card.

Now all you have to do is print the card!  If you have a good quality colour printer, you can do it from home.  Otherwise, a store like Staples can print cards for you.  Make sure to get paper that's designed for cards.  You can find such paper in any office supply store. 

4.  Add some fun, personalized touches.

Make the card even more special with a touch or red ribbon around the border, or some plastic holly glued to the edges of the photo.  I love to use snowflake stickers and glitter to create a wintry theme.  Most craft stores have a Christmas section where you can find a ton of fun knick knacks that would be a great addition to the card.

Lena Utankanova
By Lena Utankanova
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Comments (2)

December 30, 2015, 1:21 p.m. Flag

I love making my own cards and invitations! I recently designed by husbands graduation announcements and was delighted to see how much the family liked seeing a unique design. Designing your Christmas cards, be it with paper and crafts or even with photoshop is a great way to add a personal touch to the holiday season.

I have experience with doing a few successful self photoshoots and the best tip I can give is to use a tripod. Even if you don't have a fancy wireless shutter you can still great some great shots just by running back and forth pressing the self timer button. For those into photoshop editing (or if you have a friend that can) pinterest is a great resource for layout ideas and figuring out a general design for your card. DeviantArt has great high resolution scrapbook like textures and designs that can easily be implemented and look great when printed.

When getting cards printed its pretty easy to get them done just about anywhere after you've made your design, but I liked the convenience of ordering online. Just make sure to get them done early to allow time for shipping. I think the last time I went through Overnight Prints and my cards turned out beautifully.


December 30, 2016, 12:20 a.m. Flag

I thought that on this Christmas I will gift my parents with a handmade cards but I was so much engrossed with my office work that I couldn’t get much time to prepare it. I dint wanted to disappoint them so ordered a Plastic gift card from https://www.plascards.com/custom-gift-cards-com... . I was quite confused that whether they like it or not, but, they were overwhelmed with the effort made by me. They just hugged me and I could see tears rolling out from their eyes. That was the best reward that I can ever receive.


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