Impress Friends and Family with These Easy DIY Holiday Cards
Forget fancy family photo shoots—hand-colored pics of your fam are the newest fun way to wish friends and family a happy holiday season.
By Kate Morin
Fancy family photo shoots are fun and, yeah, the photos that result are typically perfect to print on a holiday card and mail to all your family and friends. But, let’s be honest, they can also seem kind of impersonal. Rather than mail the same card to everyone you know, use this easy DIY to make something a bit more original for the people you love most. The first step? Take a favorite photo—maybe of your family, maybe just the kids or your pets, or maybe of you and the friend you’re making the card for!—and turn it into a coloring page using our new Create Your Own Coloring Page tool.
Once you have your custom coloring page, color it in, gather your materials, and get ready to craft some cards! Here’s how:
What you’ll need:
- Cardstock (we used this red 8.5x11 65-pound cardstock)
- Accent paper (we used this black linen paper from Michaels)
- Your custom coloring page image (colored)
- Double-sided tape or adhesive roller
- Paper cutter or ruler, X-Acto knife & cutting mat
- Embellishments like washi tape or rhinestones (optional)
What to do:
Note: There are technically two ways to make your custom coloring pages into cards. We’re going to trim our image after it’s colored and adhere it to our “card.” But, if you’d rather print the image directly on the cardstock, we’ve put some super simple instructions on how to that at the bottom of the page.
1. Start by trimming your image to size. You can use a paper cutter or go manual with an X-Acto knife and ruler. We're making a 5x7-inch card, so we're going with a 4x6-inch photo. Once your image is trimmed, set it aside.
2. Next, fold one sheet of 8.5x11 cardstock in half width-wise. You choose the color! Use the back of a butter knife to smooth the fold.
3. Trim the card to 5x7-inches using a paper cutter or X-Acto knife and ruler. If you’re using a 4x6-inch image, this will allow for 1 inch of space on each side of the image — plenty of space to play with pretty accent papers and embellishments! (P.S. 5x7-inch cards fit in a size A7 envelope, which are easy to find online or at any stationary or office store.)
4. Now it’s time to cut your accent paper. This will go between your image and the card itself and will add a nice burst of color and texture to your card. For a 5x7-inch card, you’ll want to cut your accent paper to 4.5x6.5 inches.
5. Next, attach your colored image to the accent paper. Start by measuring and lightly marking your accent paper to note where you want to place the edges of the image. With the sizes we’ve noted, you’ll want to measure ¼-inch from each side of the accent paper. Once you’ve measured and marked, turn your image over and apply double-sided tape or adhesive to all four edges. Now carefully flip over, line up the paper with your marks, and press down firmly to adhere.
6. Now it’s time to add your accent paper and image to the card. Start again by measuring and marking—you want to measure ¼ inch in from each side of the card. Apply adhesive to the back of the image, line it up, and stick!
7. Your card is perfect as is, but feel free to add embellishments if you like. (We’re big fans of washi tape for projects like this!)
Now, if you’d rather skip the cutting and taping and want to print your image right on the paper, follow the simple instructions below. Note: For printed cards, it’s going to be easiest to stick to a 5.5x8.5 card — that’s just an 8.5x11 piece of paper folded in half. Cards of this size will fit in a size A9 envelope.
1. The first important step is to know what size your image is before you convert it to a coloring page using our create your own coloring page tool (LINK). For a 5.5x8.5 card, you’ll want an image no bigger than 5x8.
2. Once you've converted your image and downloaded the design, open your word processor (like Word or Pages).
3. You’ll want a 2-page document, and your image is going to go on the second page. Leave the first page blank.
4. Once you have your 2-page document open, navigate to the “Layout” settings. Change your page orientation to “Landscape.”
5. Now, paste your image on page 2 and use your space bar and mouse to adjust the placement of the image. Note: depending on which word processor you use, this can something be really hard and annoying to get perfect. Do your best! You can always trim the final card if you want to make it more perfectly centered.
6. Now, the key to getting your card printed properly is the print settings. So, send your card to print. Within the print window, navigate to “Layout” settings. Where it says “Pages per sheet,” change the number to 2.
7. Now print! Once you get the printed paper, fold the page in half and use a butter knife to smooth the seam closed. Color the design, and you’re done!