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Making Your Own Christmas Cards

Updated on January 1, 2013
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Making Your Own Christmas Cards

It is mind boggling at most times when you have to spend time deciding the right greeting card(s) to choose. Your eyes dazzle from numerous choices of varied colourful and creative designs. Not just that but also finding the right message on the card with which you feel is the perfect and appropriate message to whom you are sending them to. Confused? Perhaps, not yet.

You pick this, you pick that, you go back and pick the first one, then, drop it in the wrong spot, you do not really give a damn where you return it, you pick another one and another one and another one. You become undecided within all those minutes. You use your cellphone as your lifeline to help you decide? What? You do not need anybody to pick the right card. Then, you spot your dream man next to you, you flirtatiously show him two cards and throw him the question, “Which do you think looks sexy? Santa coming down the chimney or breaking-in through the bedroom window?” Choosing does not end in one or two and if you do not decide in purchasing a box of cards, you will likely get confused, dazed, worse yet getting cross-eyed inside the popular Hallmark or Carlton Greeting Card stores. However, hey wait, you want to take it slower because you just spotted a cute woman. You take a few steps towards her, charm her with your smile and politely ask with two cards in your hand, “Excuse me Miss, do you think Santa deserves a young Mrs. Claus in her lingerie or the Mrs. Claus working overtime with the elves in his workshop?


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The best ones are the glittered, shiny, metallic cards with more classy designs and larger. Of course, the bigger the greeting card, the more costly it will be. Then, you pause and count how many cards you have to mail out especially overseas. International postage puts a hole in your pocket, but duh, it is Christmas time, so what the heck…your conscience tells you.

How much time do you spend on personalizing a message on a card? On the other hand, do you even bother to put a message in your own words? Alternatively, you simply think, who cares at least I am sending them a card this Christmas. Words from the heart do not come easy; well, let it flow and add a brief recent story to make your card alive. Do not depend on the chimes that come with the card (the battery might die in mid-air or mid sea while your greeting card has been travelling).

My parents prefer and admire handmade cards such the ones I had sent them years back. If you got some artistic creativeness in you, show it off. You do not even have to be one you see, just use your imagination. Gather the materials you can use, cut and paste and put some magic tricks (not nearly as a snowman turning live).

≈♥≈

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Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into a handmade Holiday Card (a savings in your pocket if you need to send out more than 8 cards):


*Use white, red or green or any shade of thick paper. Black or midnight blue paper, use metallic pens.


Nature Greeting Card

  • Gather some autumn leaves and flat dry; line leaves with glitter pens (gold or silver).
  • Use other materials to your theme such as sticks, dried flowers, thin dried twigs & stems, etc.
  • Add cut-out pictures from magazines or from past years’ greeting cards. Be creative (like creating a manger with dried grass and sticks, angels with feathers or leaves, glitter stars in foil or crushed dried leaf, etc.)
  • Add photos and handwritten greeting.


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Draw and Print Card

  • Ask your kids to pencil draw for a Christmas card on white paper. Give it a theme.
  • Line drawing with fine or thick black marker and fill-in with colour using a crayon, colour pencil or watercolour.
  • Layout your kid’s art and run for colour copies on a thicker paper (card paper).
  • To fold a card neatly, first make an imaginary centre line mark using a ruler and a non-sharp object. This will prevent the fold from cracking and your card will look great.
  • Now, your kid’s drawing is a greeting card.

*A pop-up card makes it more creative.


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Family Portrait Card

  • Have a box of white envelopes ready (scrap envelopes, white or a variety of colours extras from past holidays).
  • Take out your best family photograph. Scan and transfer onto your layout on an editing software.
  • You may put your imagination to work using appliques, cut-outs, décor a la scrapbook style after running the cards on your home printer.
  • Keep your work neat.
  • You may also take it out to a printing shop for a reproduction of your original design.
  • Card can be one fold or flat.
  • Add special hand scripted greeting.

*If you have a portable scanner at home, scan the photograph and make multiple colour photocopies.

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With applied applications from picmonkey.com
With applied applications from picmonkey.com | Source

Photograph Printed Glossy or Matte Card

Designing Your Christmas Cards on your computer

  • If you do not have graphic software, many Photo Editing sites are accessible free online. Try picmonkey.com, iPiccy.com, Photo Editing/Photo Sharing Photoshop.com and more…
  • Size your card to a 4x6 or 5x7 (photographs)
  • You can run it through your portable printer and do your own trimming. If not, take your design in a flash drive for instant printing at nearby supermarkets with photo labs or business stores that service instant quality printing. This way, your designs printed as photos/pictures will have a clean backing (no name print) with your choice of either matte or glossy photo paper (if you want to mail it just as it is).
  • You may send the photo Christmas cards in white sized envelopes or paste them on a card stock paper for the look of a regular fold card.
  • The sizes above are an easy match to a box of white or coloured envelopes you can purchase at minimum quantities.

Final card
Final card | Source
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Postcard Greeting Card

Create your own photo postcard and make someone smile this Holiday season.

  • Plan a theme for your postcard and match the theme with the right font types, background colours, designs, etc.
  • Choose the high quality (resolution images at least 300 dpi resolution in jpeg).
  • There are different postcard sizes. Leave a border if you want your photos with a border around it, or extend your layout through your own graphic software at home making the photo(s) bleed past your margin line (actual size of the postcard), this way, the printer can trim without cutting off important parts of your photos.
  • Alternative 1: Select an online printer you can trust and conveniently set your layout from their website providing you a selection of templates to choose from and easily send out your work from home such as http://www.zazzle.ca/custom/postcards, or explore some creative tips from http://content.photojojo.com/diy/postcards-from-your-photos/
  • Alternative 2: There are websites where you can download a free postcard template. Set and design from the template onto an editing software, if not you will find free editing tool sites always online.
  • Design the back of your postcard and use text that corresponds to your theme (front and back).
  • Carefully proofread before sending them out to a printer to avoid any extra charge for adjustments they may have to make from your project.
  • Or you may do your own printing at home.


Handmade Christmas Cards

History of Christmas Cards

How the sending of Christmas cards did start?

In the 1800s, there was an exchange of greetings through message writing that is the handing and dropping of handwritten holiday greetings. Soon enough, these handwritten greetings were sent off via post mail.


Who designed the first Christmas card?

1843, London, artist-illustrator John Calcott Horsley was commissioned by a wealthy English businessman and innovator named Sir Henry Cole to make him a card to wish his close friends and business acquaintances a “Merry Christmas”. Cole wanted it somewhat a presentable greeting he could proudly send.

Sir Henry Cole owned and operated a shop specializing in artsy ornamental home decors. As a prominent innovator in 1800s, Cole modernized the British postal system as well. In 1843, he was the first in the world to conceptualize and commercialize Christmas greetings through a card- the Christmas Card. With his friend Horsley, they both designed and developed the wonderful world of greeting cards at Christmas time.


The First Christmas Cards

The production of British Christmas Cards was sold at 1 shilling each, the first cards designed by Sir Henry Cole and his artist friend, John Horsley. By 1860, Christmas Cards multiplied as printing and production improved. Postal services had introduced the first “Penny Post” where the public can enjoy its services on deliveries that everyone could afford, where in the past; only the wealthy could take advantage of anything by post.


Christmas Cards from Around the World

In the late 1840s, Christmas Cards reached America. The cards were expensive and not everyone could afford them, and so the mass production of Christmas Cards began. Louis Prang, a printer, lithographer and publisher who immigrated and settled in Boston, Massachusetts from Prussia, initiated this idea. Prang started creating greeting cards since in England, then 1874 he began selling Christmas cards in America. He is also known as “father of the American Christmas cards”.

In 1915, Hallmark greeting cards were born. Hallmark Cards is founded by Joyce “J.C.” C. Hall, an American businessman along with his two brothers.

The creativity of homemade Christmas cards began in 1910s and 1920s and because of their delicate craftwork, these cards were not suitable through post, but were personally handed.

Do you like to spend on holiday cards or create?

A. Do you buy Christmas Cards every year? B. Do you make your own?

See results

Vintage Cards marking a special touch to one's heart...

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    • profile image

      Bobbe 2 years ago

      God, I feel like I sholud be takin notes! Great work

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I love brown paper bags because I can add my own designs on them. They are neat too as gift wraps, card inserts, use as Manila envelopes, and brown cardboard tags are great as well. Use metallic pens to write. I use the fiber strings or coloured straws strings to make it eco-friendly. On my gift wrapping, I also add miniature winter birds, hollies, twigs, etc. that would jazz up a Christmas theme for the gift...lots of choices from the dollar stores! Enjoy idigwebsites and I'm so happy to see you here. Cheers!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Jackie, thanks! You'll sure come up with your own new creative ideas too and enjoy doing them.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I confess that there were a couple of years that I didn't produce my own holiday cards...out of plain laziness, I guess. These days, the Internet has a lot to offer...free downloads, free online editing, tips, loads of website photography and graphics, etc. Your daughter will be at it again. Her artistic talents come from her mommy and will always be with her.

      Thank you for your visit savingkathy and here's wishing you to many more creativity to come your way.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow - this is an amazing hub. Your homemade cards are beautiful, and I would much rather have one of them than a mass-produced, over-priced card any day!

      My daughter started making homemade cards for relatives years ago, and they were always such a hit. She's gotten out of the habit the last little while, and I know many people have been disappointed. I think I'll encourage her to start up again - maybe your cards will help give her some ideas. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow I love these. Fantastic idea. I will come back later and take more time pouring over them, thank you! ^

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      I have lots of used paper bags in my house, and from this hub I've suddenly gotten an idea what to do with them. Aside from greeting cards, I'd also like to turn them into sturdy gift wrappers -- I'll just draw my own design and decorate those as well with glitters.

      Great hub... voted up and awesome. :)

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you Faith Reaper. Yes indeed, handmade cards add more to a special message at Christmas, that is why my parents, relatives and friends admire them.

      Keep safe and warm during the holidays. May the good Lord bless and keep you and your family.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you tobusiness. I have made a set of 10 cards for the price of 2 cards you find in any card store. I am so happy. Spare envelopes and card stock paper I have kept from last year made a big contribution too.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      A wonderful hub, and such a great way to get everyone involved in the Christmas preparation, practical and cost effective, Billybuc will be proud of you. :). My best to you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, how clever and such a personal and creative way to share Christmas!!! Handmade cards even add more to that special message at Christmas. All you have shown here are just beautiful. Thank you for the special message just in time for Christmas!

      I pray you have the best Christmas ever, as you deserve only the best in this life!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Love and Hugs your way. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      aviannovice, what a delight to see your comment here in this cold night. My hands are cold on my keyboard, lol. Thank you dearly from the bottom of my heart. Have a great night! Much love~

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you shiningirisheyes! And yes, hand made gifts especially from the children...worth for keepsakes. Have a pleasant time and keep warm.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hello epigramman! Boy, it's too cold...layers! Layers! Good viewing with CITY TV NEWS and enjoy your night but keep warm, dear friend.

      Thank you for your visit to this hub. I'm trying to catch up here on HubPages, putting my time on one hub at a time, one hubber at a time, lol. Will be checking on your cleverness soon.

      Oh please, you are trying to flatter me. I still like Hallmark cards...but not happy of the cost per card, ha!

      Take care Mr. Epi-man and pat your furry friends for me!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ...Hi Lady Tess - this is a quick comment because lol - I watch CITY TV news now online at 6pm and it's currently lake erie time 5:57pm

      but this beautiful hub presentation is all about your pure heart and it's so indicative of your world class hub style - no one does it quite like you - and the homemade greeting cards put Hallmark to shame - love it - but gotta go - it's almost 6pm

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow, these are all really beautiful. You're so artistic and creative!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Great idea. I always cherish the hand made gifts as well as cards. This is a wonderful idea.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hello Gypsy Rose Lee! It is the simplicity of things what our mind sees and fingers can do, at least it will bring someone's day with a smile (with a post stamp) *Smile*

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Oh, I like the way you differentiate it between a home cooked meal and take out, isn't that true! :) Thank you QudsiaP1.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I agree with you, randomcreative and having the right tools, time and imagination, creativity will go a long way. Thank you for your visit and continue with a creative day ahead of you. Cheers!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      What a wonderful and clever idea. Terrific suggestions. Passing this on.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 4 years ago

      What an absolutely wonderful thing to do. Ever since I can remember, no matter what the occasion I would always try to "make" something because I think that the time and effort put into it is so much more then buying something from the store. Sort of like the difference between a home cooked meal and take out.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love Christmas cards! Since I've gotten into card making, I've been motivated to start making my own. There is nothing like giving or receiving a handmade card. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas here.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hello Cris! How I wish we can do more stuff together! Creative minds don't clash, lol.

      Well, well, well, we are living in a wired and wireless world, cyber greeting cards is the easy and quickest way sending your message out, and yeah, message straight-from-the-heart.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I always enjoy making my own cards, always exploring. Soon, I will be mailing them out. Thank you too.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Original homemade cards have more sentimental value in them and garner appreciation too. Thank you Mhatter. :)

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hello btrbell! Glad to share a little something for the holiday season. Thank you. :)

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image
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      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you, billybuc. You light up my hub. Cheers!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very creative! I wish I have the time for this. Thank goodness for the Dollar Store and cyber greeting cards for those who are always on the go. (:--

      Nevertheless, it is the message my friend that is most important.

      Up and across and sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Such a clever idea. Thank you. I love the picture of Santa...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub. Thank you. Original Christmas and birthday cards worked well for me.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow, Tess, these are great! What a wonderful hub filled with all kinds of information. Thank you for sharing! Up+

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this hub. I love the message...I love the history you provided....I love this hub! :)