How To Make A Christmas Card At The Last Minute: Make Cards With Your Computer

Everything on your Christmas to-do list is complete, but I forgot one important detail. What did I forget to do? Oh no! I forgot to buy a package of Christmas cards at the store when I nearly got hit by that lady's shopping cart. Today I went into a grocery store and was hit three times with shopping carts, so it is best to minimize trips to the store if at all possible. So what do you do if you forgot to buy Christmas cards for family and friends? It is a little late to send cards across the country or world at this point, but procrastinators such as myself can make cards at home. I often wait until the last minute to make Christmas cards, but I would rather make a creative Christmas card at home than buy one at the store. So how do you make a Christmas card at home? With a print shop program, it is possible to make a really cute and simple Christmas card. What if you do not have a photo editing or print shop program on your computer? You can improvise by using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Paint to make a quarter fold card, but cards are easier to make with print shop programs. Most print shop programs are very reasonably priced, but using Microsoft Paint and or Microsoft Word is an option for those with limited budgets.

Use print shop software to create Christmas cards.
Use print shop software to create Christmas cards.

Step One: Select The Quarter Fold Card Option

Screenshot of my quarter fold card. I used a blue snowy print for the background on my quarter fold card.
Screenshot of my quarter fold card. I used a blue snowy print for the background on my quarter fold card.

On my print shop program, I selected the quarter fold card template. One thing I love about the print shop program is how it allows you to work with different layers, which means the background can be laid down first. For my background, I selected a plain blue color and then added some white specks for a snowy scene.

Step Two: Add The Focal Piece Of Clipart

I added my favorite scotty dog drawing as the Focal Piece Of Clipart.  I used the print shop software to add a Christmas hat to my Scotty dog.
I added my favorite scotty dog drawing as the Focal Piece Of Clipart. I used the print shop software to add a Christmas hat to my Scotty dog.

For my focal piece of clip art, I decided to add a picture of my favorite Scotty dog drawing. I created this Scotty dog drawing with pencil and oil pastels back in 1999, and it has been one of my favorite pictures ever since. For the Christmas card, I used print shop drawing tools to add a very cute Christmas hat to my Scotty dog.

Step Three: Use A Fun Font To Add A Message To The Card

Add a fun font to the card.  Keep in mind cards can be made all year long, not just around Christmas.
Add a fun font to the card. Keep in mind cards can be made all year long, not just around Christmas.

I used what I consider being a fun font to add a Merry Christmas message to the card. Play around with print shop and decide what type of message you would like to add. If you are making a card at the last minute print shop even has pre-made cards with pre-generated messages, but I prefer to use my own pictures for a more personalized touched. This card is very similar to the one I made for my co-workers this year.

Step Four: Print Preview Of The Card

Go up to file tab on the tool bar and use the print preview subcategory to view what the card will look like when printed.  This step is very important because what you see on the screen is what will print out.
Go up to file tab on the tool bar and use the print preview subcategory to view what the card will look like when printed. This step is very important because what you see on the screen is what will print out.

On the toolbar go to file and click on the print preview tab, which will show what the card will look like when printed. Print preview is a very important step because to determine whether editing is needed before the final printing. Do not print a card until satisfied with the print preview because printer ink is not cheap, so use this final step to decide whether the card needs further editing. Only when content with the print preview should you hit the print button.

Step Five: Print Out The Card

Print out the quarter fold card.
Print out the quarter fold card.

Check the ink level of the print cartridge to make sure there is enough ink for printing the card. Cardstock is very thick, so only feed one page of cardstock to the printer at a time to prevent paper jams.

Step Six: Fold The Cardstock Lengthwise

Fold the carstock in half lengthwise.
Fold the carstock in half lengthwise.

Fold the cardstock in half lengthwise with the picture side facing up. Make sure to fold the card in half evenly.

Step Seven: Fold The Card In Half Again

Fold the cardstock in half once more with the picture facing up.
Fold the cardstock in half once more with the picture facing up.

Fold the cardstock in half once more with the picture side facing up. Unfold the cardstock and then refold lengthwise. Once folded lengthwise refold the card in half, but fold in the opposite direction of the original fold. This folding technique will create a very simple and elegant handmade quarter fold card. Write a personalized message on the inside the card if the inside is blank. Personally, I prefer to leave the inside of the card blank so I can personalize each one, but using the pre-generated card messages also works. For this card, I used a pre-generated card message for the inside, but I prefer to write a personalized message when I have more time. Remember, I was making this Christmas card at the last minute! Have fun making Christmas cards at the last minute, but remember this card making technique can be used year around.

The Handmade Christmas Card

Two handmade Christmas cards.
Two handmade Christmas cards.

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Comments 8 comments

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Thanks for the great idea as I found out that I had forgotten a few people this year. This is also great for those unexpected birthday parties that my kids are always being invited to last minute. Thanks!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes making your own cards is fun for the kids too. When I read some reviews for the software program I have print workshop, several parents commented that even there eight year olds were able to make cards using this program. Thanks for stopping by :).


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

SP- I guess one shouldn't wait till the last minute to make cards as by the time we send it and the other person receives it will be new year. But for those who don't then better late than never. Another great hub from a prolific writer.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hey, I was right! I knew you would use your photography skills to make great cards, and you DID! They look fantastic! It's' so much fun to make your own!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Christopher,

Actually the one of the Scotty dog is my drawing, but I used print shop to make the card.  The other one is a picture my sister took of Lucky dog in the snow.  I really like your cards by the way on your hub, very creative. Many of my various hubs are about making cards, I am addicted to it :).

Countrywomen,

I know procrastination is bad, but I thought this hub might help some last minute people. I know I have a tendency to make cards on the last day possible at times.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

SweetiePie,

I have never made cards from the computer. My customers gave me a few this year that were very nice. I will have to give it a try. thanks for mapping it out in such detail, I need all the help I can get with the computer programs. Thumbs up!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

C.S. Alexis,

Making cards on the computer can be fun. Hope you can try it sometime.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 2 months ago from US

My printer is broken, need to buy a new one.

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