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How to Design Holiday Cards

Have you thought about your gift-giving strategy this year? Have you started listing what presents to send to each member of your family and friends? Have you even set a deadline for when to finish your holiday shopping? These are just some of the questions that you need to answer now that the holiday season is fast approaching. The earlier you prepare, the less stressed out you will be as the holiday nears. But do not be too hard on yourself. There is another gift-giving strategy that you could follow and that is creating your own card design templates and sending your own holiday cards!

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Giving holiday greeting cards in addition to or in lieu of the traditional material gifts is another way to help decrease stress levels associated with holiday shopping and gift-giving. If you want to take this route, then you have come to the right place. In this guide, we enumerate the different steps for creating your own holiday greeting card designs. We also provide additional information on how to make your own simple card designs stand out. Read on.

Things You Need

  • Cardstock or paper in festive colors
  • A pair of scissors, cutter, or other cutting tools
  • Adhesives (glue or double-sided tape)
  • Scrapbooking embellishments
  • Rubber stamps (if available)
  • Writing tools (pens and markers in different colors)
  • Other design materials you would like to include in your card
  • See the ultimate guide to card making for a comprehensive list of tools and materials that you may use

The Basics on How to Create a Holiday Card

  1. Prepare all materials and tools.
  2. Use a holiday card design template. If you don’t wish to do so, you can proceed to the next step.
  3. Use an outline of the card design that you wish to create.
  4. If you want a regular two-page holiday card, fold an A4 sized paper or card stock in half. But if you want those smaller bi-fold greeting card examples, fold the paper two times to create a bi-fold greeting card. Depending on your preferences, you may also just use a simple one-page sample holiday card.
  5. Start cutting out and then glue the different design elements and embellishments onto the card face. Make necessary adjustments to the position and size of these elements along the way.
  6. Add more festive decorative elements like small pieces of tinsel, glitter, etc.
  7. Open up the card’s inner page and then add a few scrapbooking embellishments that are consistent with the card face’s design elements. For example, if you have a swirl pattern on the card face, it is better to add the same pattern on the card’s inner page.
  8. Add a family or business logo design at the back of the card if desired. (Check this link for useful tips in logo designing.)
  9. Write a short message for the card recipient to read.
  10. Inspect the card design and proofread any text that you have written. Make changes if necessary.
  11. And that’s it! You have created a holiday card!

How to Spice Up Your Holiday Greeting Cards

Listed below are different tips and guidelines that you may follow in order to create the best holiday greeting cards:

  • Determine who will receive the holiday card. Deciding on who will receive a holiday greeting card that you are making will help narrow down your focus and allow you to be as creative as possible. To illustrate, free greeting cards may be sent by business owners to their customers or sent by individuals to their friends and relatives. If you are working for a company who sends holiday cards, the card-designing persona you will take on when creating the card will be entirely different when creating a card that will be given to your family. Business holiday cards tend to be more mass produced and will include generic sayings while holiday cards sent to close friends and family members are more personalized.
  • Use festive card embellishments and layouts. When creating holiday cards, you are generally given more creative freedom. The season also calls for more cheerful card designs to match people’s general feelings during those months. Materials you use range from tinsel, colorful flowers, glitter, and a lot more depending on the design concept you are trying to follow for your card.
  • Incorporate materials with different textures. You may also incorporate unusual materials like twigs, leaves, paper cut patterns, etc. into your greeting card design. Doing this gives a more three-dimensional look to your holiday card design. You may do this if you want to create truly original handmade card designs. But you do not have to go all out. You may still maintain the festive holiday feel by just using minimal design elements.

  • Add a pop-up mechanism. Pop-ups on any type of personalized greeting card will help increase the greeting card’s appeal. For a holiday card, there are different Christmas craft template patterns that you can use in order to create different popping shapes for your card design. When done effectively and when coupled with a witty holiday card saying, a pop-up holiday card will make your card memorable enough that the recipient will never forget that they received such a card.
  • Write a heartfelt and compelling message or saying. This piece of advice may be too easy. But really, card makers should take this seriously since it may make the most difference in the effect that your holiday card creates. Nowadays, people tend to send generic holiday cards and this can be too obvious to anyone who receives such a card. When you specifically hand-write a printable greeting card message (even if that is the only thing you do on a pre-printed card), its recipient will often appreciate the time and effort you have spent on creating the card.
  • Decorate and/or personalize the card envelope. Most people take card envelopes for granted. But if you want to set your holiday card apart from the slush pile, you may want to rethink your card envelope designs. If you are creating your own handmade holiday card, you may just as well create your own envelope, too. Or if you are using a card design in PSD as a template, you may still add a few creative flourishes into a regular card envelope.

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