How to Create Personal Holiday Postcards – sans the Tackiness

Can’t find the perfect card to send to your family and friends? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! Here’s how to create personal holiday postcards on a computer.

holiday postcards

“Wow! Did you make this?”

Personalized holiday cards are always received with lots of oohs and ahs! You can make your own holiday postcards that your friends and family will treasure.

In this post, we’ll teach you a few simple graphic design principles. Follow these steps to make holiday postcards in any software. You can whip up a batch of holiday postcards in under an hour with these instructions.

Read on to learn how to make the perfect holiday postcards for everyone on your list.

Choose the Layout for Your Holiday Postcards

Don’t just start adding images or text to your postcard.

Start with a template in the program you are using.

The standard postcard size is A6 size (5.8 x 4.1 inches). But it’s your postcard! You can make it whatever size you want. Keep in mind that there are minimum and maximum postcard sizes you can mail.

Once you know what size you will use, find or create your template.

Think about what you want your holiday postcards to look like.

Do a (quick) search online to find ideas. You can’t go wrong by using half the front for a photo and the other half for your holiday greeting. Having a vision ahead of time speeds up the process even if you use templates straight from the software.

Move Away from Clipart

Nothing says amateur like a boxy, white-edged image in a design. It’s not the 90s! There are millions of pretty, stylish images you can use (for free) that are not clipart.

One great resource for great images is the Flickr Creative Commons. By doing an Advanced Search, you can search through hundreds of user photos narrowed by license.

Use any search criteria you like. “Christmas” as a search term worked wonders for me. Simply ensure you have Creative-Commons content checked in the illustrated part of the menu. Support Free Culture!

Unsplash is another free image online database. You can find beautiful photos by community photographers. You don’t have to, but they’d love for you to credit the photographer. That way the artist gets exposure. Seem fair to us.

Hooray for free things!

Write the Words

This is where you can really let your personality shine.

Store-bought cards usually have a pre-written message. When you make your own, you get to say exactly what you want.

If you want to create an individualized card for each person, this is where you do it.

Simply save each document as the person’s name. For example, holiday_card_Jane. Write your holiday greeting to Jane and then re-saving the file with another person’s name. This way you’ll have designed one card, but made each person a thoughtful card just for them!

Easy, huh?

Pick your Font

There are so many fun, festive fonts to choose. You could spend hours trying fonts (been there, done that). Likely, you won’t have that much text on your holiday postcards. So we recommend a maximum of two fonts. More fonts than this will look distracting.

Select a font based on the mood you are going for. Elegant, cheerful, silly. Choose a font that matches the style of your holiday postcards.

You can also change the font color for a little contrast. Just remember that the color may look different if you print.

Create Balance

Whether you use Photoshop, Microsoft Word or another software, use vertical guidelines to align edges.

Not every inch of the page has to be filled with art or text. Use the grid to balance out the negative space (empty places) on your card.

Proper balance means having the right amount of positive elements and negative space.

A balanced design means no one area overpowers another area. Everything works together and fits together in a seamless whole. The individual parts contribute to their sum but don’t try to become the sum.

Balance is an important design principle. Lucky for you, you don’t have to take a course to create balance.

Check the balance of your holiday postcards by looking at it with a critical eye. Make sure that all the text is not in one section. Make sure there is enough negative space so the card doesn’t feel crowded.

If you’ve worked from a sample card you like, chances are your design has good balance.

Take Credit

Go ahead and take credit for your holiday postcards.

Add a little footnote such as “made with love by ____” with your name.You can also buy ink stamps at your local craft store that say something similar.

Just make sure to do a test stamp on a scrap piece of paper before stamping your finished product. Ink stamps can be tricky to use. Not enough coverage or too much ink on the stamp will result in an irregular imprint.

Holiday postcards lovingly made by you is a treasured keepsake your family will proudly display on the mantle.

Proofread

Don’t make the mistake of creating gorgeous holiday postcards only to discover a typo after you’ve printed a dozen copies.

Look at the card carefully. Check for proper spelling by running a spell check program. See if there are any words or images cut off or accidentally overlapping.

Check the margins and the alignment. Do one test print and see how the color and edges look.

Once you are satisfied with your proof, you are ready to send your holiday postcards!

Send your Holiday Postcards

You can send your postcards by snail mail with or without envelopes. Just make sure you have the proper address for grandma. It’d be a shame to make such a lovely card for her not to receive it. Or you can make photo postcards online and save yourself a stamp.

That’s All There Is to It!

Follow these steps to create simple, beautiful holiday postcards. You’ll impress your family with your crafting skills. If you liked this post, check out all our other holiday crafts.

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