Jupe du Jour

DIY Christmas Cards (On the Cheap) and a Freebie!

DIYHaley SwanComment

So Jared and I (Haley) have been married for not-quite-two-years, which means we're still pretty new to this whole "being a family" and "acting like grownups" thing. Last holiday season I had the fleeting thought that we should send out a Christmas card/newsletter to our loved ones, since that's a thing that put-together adults do, but the thought passed and pretty soon it was mid-January and that ship had sailed.

So, I know that everyone's minds are on Halloween and not Christmas right now, but you guys, I was proactive this year and actually made AND ordered Christmas cards BEFORE Christmas. 

There are a ton of options for cute Christmas cards that you can your plop your family photos into. At Shutterfly, for example, their cheapest personalized Christmas cards are $1.09 each if you want between 75 - 100.

But, as we've already established, I'm frugal to my core. I wanted cute, simple photo Christmas cards, but I didn't want to pay $90 for them. So I designed a quick and simple one myself, and am really happy with how it turned out!

We had our pictures taken by the lovely and talented Sarah at Sarah Lynn Hill Photography before we left Boston in March, so I just chose a favorite photo and created a little title tag in InDesign. Now, instead of paying $1 each for pre-designed Christmas cards, all I had to do was pay to get some basic 4 x 6 inch prints, which are only $0.15 each on Shutterfly. And then on top of THAT, I found two coupon codes for 50 free prints, and 30 free prints, so I got 80 Christmas cards for only the cost of shipping, which came to $6.19, or less than $0.08 each. Savings swoon.

If you're interested in doing something similar, I've outlined my process below (shown in Paint for those who don't have InDesign). If you like the way my tag turned out and want to use it on your own cards, be my guest (and skip to the end of the post to download!).

1. Find a background

I googled "free chalkboard background" to find a fun and free-for-personal-use background for my tag / ribbon. Then I imported it into Paint and resized it to approximately the size and shape I wanted my final ribbon to be.


2. Make a shape

You can get really creative here by adding borders, playing with different shapes, etc. but I kept my ribbon really simple because a) my design skills aren't that great and b) I didn't want to detract too much from the photo. To create the ribbon shape, I simply made a white triangle and resized and rotated it until the ribbon looked the way I wanted it to.


3. Add Text

This is another area where you can be really creative! I used two of my favorite FREE fonts (Admiration Pains and Ostrich Sans Inline) in different sizes and colors to create a Christmas feel.


4. add your ribbon to your photo(s)

Select around your shape and copy it using Ctrl + C. Make sure that the "Transparent Selection" option is selected so that the white background doesn't come with it.


Then open up your photo in another Paint window, and hit Paste or Ctrl + V to paste your shape onto your photo. Arrange it however your like, crop the whole thing to your desired size, and save it as its own JPEG.


Et voilà! You have a super simple, 5-minutes-to-make Christmas card. Well, not quite yet. There's still that whole business of getting them printed out (which you can do in either a glossy or matte finish). But that's the easy part. Actually, it's ALL the easy part.

And, as promised, if you'd rather just use my ribbon, here you go (click to download):

Let me know if you have any questions as your embark on your own DIY Christmas card journey--I'd love to see how yours turn out!