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How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop

Here's how you can make a personalised Christmas card in Photoshop with your own festive themed photos.

| Adobe Photoshop

It's the season for sending and receiving Christmas cards and as you're a photographer, this gives you the perfect opportunity to use one of your own shots on the front of a card you've personally crafted in Photoshop.

Just follow the below steps and you'll soon have a Christmas card that you can send to loved ones that they definitely won't find on a shop shelf. 

If you're going to be posting your homemade cards, here are the recommended posting dates for Christmas 2020:

  • Friday 18 December 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For
  • Monday 21 December 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail Tracked 48
  • Tuesday 22 December Royal Mail Tracked 24
  • Wednesday 23 December Special Delivery Guaranteed

International Standard (airmail) and International tracking signature services range in date depending on where you're sending your cards to. Visit the Royal Mail website for full details. 


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Christmas images

Pick A Suitable Image 

There are loads of themes you could go for, including snowy landscapes, a family portrait and gifts under a tree but we've gone for a simple and clean Christmas decoration design we can easily add text to. 

You can capture your own photos of Christmas tree baubles quite easily at home using your camera's close-up mode. Nature lovers may have taken a close-up shot of a robin in a garden covered in snow or how about a night street view when the Christmas decorations are illuminated? Those wanting a fun option could dig out the Christmas stocking and get a small pet to pop it's head out of the top or go one better and dress them up in a Christmas jumper and antlers.

Basically, providing you have a suitable photo to-hand, any type of card theme can be replicated.


Create A New Document In Photoshop 

Go to File>New (Ctrl+N) and for a landscape card, in the dialogue box set the A4 paper size in the width and height boxes. From the drop-down choose cm and in the width box key in 29.7cm and in the height 21cm. If you're creating a portrait card you'll need to reverse these figures. Set the resolution to 240 pixel/inch (ppi). Make sure the background colour is white and rename your new file 'Card'. Colour mode should be set to RGB and 8-bit. Click okay and you will have a blank canvas with these measurements.

How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: New document in Photoshop


Create a new layer, we do this so this layer can be deleted when all the elements are in place. To make folding the card easier select the Rectangular Marquee tool (M, Shift + M to tab between the options) and in the menu option across the top of the page set 'style' to Fixed Size and key 148.5mm into the width box and 105mm into the height box. On the canvas, click in the top left corner and a rectangular selection one-quarter of the size of the canvas will appear in the top left.


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Marquee tool


Add A Line To The Selection 

Go to Edit>Stroke and set 1px width, the colour to Black and Location to Centre and click OK. This will create a narrow border around the selection which will appear as a thin line on your canvas. Repeat the last two steps in the bottom right corner and you'll have a rough, but very useful, guide.


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Draw lines


Use The Magic Wand Tool 

Select the Magic Wand tool and click inside the bottom right quarter. This will make a selection inside the quarter.
How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Make a selection


Open The Image That Will Feature On Your Card

Open the image you want to use on your card and Select>All (Ctrl+A), Edit>Copy (Ctrl+C) and then with the new canvas selected again choose Edit>Paste Into (Shift+Ctrl+V). This will make your image appear inside the selection you made with the Magic Wand Tool. If some of your image is hidden you can use the move tool (V) to put it into place or if you need more accurate control go to Edit>Free Transform and drag the corner handles to resize the photo so it fits better inside the selection. If you hold down the Shift key as you resize, the image will stay in proportion. When the image is sized and positioned correctly double click in the centre to make the change permanent.


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Open the card image


Add Your Message

You now need to select the Text tool so you can add a message to your card. This tool is a 'T' shape and can be found in the tools palette. To add text, click in the top left part of the card. You can edit the font style, size and colour from the options in the top toolbar. 


You can also add text to the front of the card following the same steps but this time you want to position the cursor where you want the text to appear above the image, not in the top left. You also don't need to do the next step for the text that's on the front of the card as it'll appear the wrong way around.  


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Add text

How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: You can also add text to the front of the card


Rotate The Text

Remember the text inside the card needs to be upside down so when the paper is folded the text appears the right way up inside the card. To do this, go to Edit>Transform>Rotate 180 degrees. Then make sure the Move Tool is selected and position the text where you want it.


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Rotate the text


How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Rotate the text


Flatten & Print Your Image 

Click on the layer that you created the guide in and delete it. You can hit the delete key on the keyboard or drag it to the waste bin. Finally, go to Layer>Layer Flatten then print your card out.

You may get a message saying that the image is too big for the paper do you wish to proceed. Click no and go to Print with Preview so you can change your printer settings. You need to select borderless printing (if the option is available) or Scale to fit Media and trim off the border when it's printed.



Fold Your Card

When printed, fold over carefully using the left and top edges of the photo as the folding points. Use a ruler or clean finger to score across the crease and make a sharp fold. The card will then stand up on its own and, depending on the paper used, will be a really smart alternative to the typical cards in the shops.



How To Make A Christmas Card In Photoshop: Card front


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