How To Make Your Own Holiday Greeting Cards

It’s time to start decking the halls, crafting a shopping list, and making your own holiday greeting cards to send season’s greetings. The timeless tradition of Christmas cards is one that many people look forward to every year. Cards let you send well wishes, allow you to reconnect, and give you the opportunity to show off your loved ones dressed in their holiday best.

Holiday stationery gives you complete creative control—from the colors and fonts to the photo on the cover and the sentiment inside. You’ll give someone a reason to smile this season by sending them a holiday card that’s uniquely yours. Individualization is key when making your own personalized Christmas card design, Hanukkah cards, or sending a secular message of happy holidays. We’ve gathered up some of our favorite tips and tricks that will help you create a holiday greeting card that you’ll be excited to mail to your friends and family this season.

Jump to:

How To Make The Perfect Holiday Cards

Holiday cards with family pictures.

1. Organize Your List Of Mailing Recipients

You definitely know who all you need gift ideas for, but do you know exactly how many holiday greeting cards you’ll need to make? Make a list of all your recipients and their addresses, just to be sure you’ve included everyone. That way, you can make sure you don’t end up short when it’s time to mail your holiday photo cards. An organized list also makes it easy to address all your envelopes when it’s time to mail them. And if you’re throwing a holiday party, this list will help you plan your holiday party invitations, too.

2. Pick Your Holiday Card Theme

Whether your taste is traditional or off-the-wall, it’s important to pick a theme for your holiday cards. Then, design your own cards with that theme in mind, from the sentiment to your color choices. Do you prefer a classic red and green Christmas design or do you want a unique card that will showcase your pets? Your theme options are virtually endless—from snowflakes and Christmas trees to sparkles and everything in between. Matte cardstock, foil cards, and classic notecards with DIY design and personalized stickers are all options to help round out your theme.

3. Use A High-Quality Photo

If you choose to include a family photo on your holiday cards, be sure to choose one (or more) that’s high quality—with crisp focus and great lighting. Whether you choose to use your favorite phone snapshot from the year or arrange a professional holiday family portrait session, the better the photo you use, the better your card will look.

Printed images of kids in holiday clothes.

4. Choose Your Greeting and Message

Crafting the perfect sentiment for your cards doesn’t have to be difficult. It helps if you choose personalized Christmas card wording that goes along with the theme you’ve picked. Use cards you’ve received in the past for inspiration. Or, lyrics from classic holiday songs, like “We wish you a Merry Christmas” or “Feliz Navidad” also work well as messaging for holiday cards. You can also craft New Year’s cards or party invitations if you’re looking to keep the celebration going after the holiday season.

5. Be Careful With Colors And Fonts

When it comes to card design, you’ll have the option to choose your own colors and fonts. While it’s tempting to use every option available, it’s better to keep it simple. Don’t feel obligated to use the classic red and green colors of Christmas, but do choose colors that match your theme and chosen photo. When picking your fonts, don’t use more than two or three different ones so your message remains clear and uncluttered.

6. Save Time With Addresses

If your Christmas card list is longer than just a few cards, you’ll tire quickly of writing your return address on every envelope! Save yourself a lot of time (and an aching wrist) by creating Christmas address labels, ordering a rubber stamp, or utilizing address printing during design. They’ll come in handy when you send out your holiday thank you cards, too. If you really want to impress your card recipients, you can also add holiday-themed personalized postage stamps to the corners of your envelopes.

Stack of holiday cards next to postage stamps.

Making Your Own Holiday Cards With Shutterfly

Once you have your theme and messaging decided on, there are a number of ways to make your own holiday cards—and making them with Shutterfly is as a breeze! We have all the tools you need to turn your photos into cherished, one-of-a-kind cards. Here are the easy steps to create your very own personalized holiday cards.

Choose Your Card Size

Choosing the size is the first step in making your own holiday cards with Shutterfly. Do you want to send a large, show-stopping card with several photos, a classic standard-sized card, or a more modern square card? When it comes to choosing the size of your holiday cards there are plenty of options—simply choose the one that fits your needs.

Upload Your Photo Or Design

The fun part comes after you’ve settled on your card’s size—designing! If you want to unleash your creativity, you can choose to craft the entire card yourself using your favorite photo editing or design software, then simply upload the completed design.

If you want top-quality, professionally designed custom holiday greeting or thank you cards but also want to save some time and effort, choose from hundreds of pre-designed card templates in any number of themes. It’s such a busy time of year that this is one thing you can easily cross off your to-do list. You’ll still have endless options to make custom cards and make them uniquely yours, starting with uploading the photo (or photos) you’ve chosen.

Customize The Layout And Add Text

Red holiday card with picture of girl.

Once you’ve decided on your size, picked a template, and uploaded your photos, you’re ready to customize your card. Depending on what template you choose, you’ll be able to select from different color schemes, add personalization, and type in a custom card message. You’ll even have the option to have your envelopes pre-addressed with Christmas address labels that include the information of your recipients. The process couldn’t be simpler!

Final Thoughts on Making Holiday Cards

Whether you want to wish your loved ones a Merry Christmas, share photo Christmas cards from the year, or just send someone a smile with season’s greetings, Shutterfly’s easy-to-use design templates let you create a completely custom collection of holiday cards. Start your search now for the perfect custom personalized Christmas card ideas.