This holiday season, you have the chance to do something different, something interesting: make your own holiday greeting cards. It may sound like a hassle, but it’s actually really fun, and the satisfaction you’ll get out of sending these to your friends and family far outweighs any effort you’ll have to spend making them. Even if you’re not terribly artistic, there are plenty of ways to make a creative card that will wow everyone.
First off, if you have kids, it’s a lot of fun to get them involved. After all, they learn to make all kinds of interesting things at school, so really they’re the experts when it comes to artistic endeavors.
Since the card is supposed to be from the whole family, make sure everyone gets to have some input. It’s a good idea to decide on a theme for the card ahead of time, and let everyone choose what they want to add based on that theme.
For instance, if the theme is “decorating the tree,” then maybe one person can design what the tree is going to look like, another person can draw the ornaments, and someone else can write the verse for the inside of the card. There are many, many ways to construct your card.
The most traditional way is to make each one from scratch, drawing or gluing objects directly on the card stock and hand-writing the greeting. This will mean that each person you send a card to will receive a completely original creation, which is wonderful, but the trade-off is that this is a very time-consuming endeavor if your recipient list is longer than a few names.
If you have a lot of cards to send or you want to make sure that all your cards look the same, it is certainly much faster to use your computer to design the card. The advantage to this is that you can easily print off as many cards as you want (or send them to a printing service if you really want a professional-looking end result), but of course you will either need to know something about your computer’s graphics software, or (if you don’t already have any) get some software and learn how to use it.
Luckily, there are quite a few freeware and shareware drawing and photo editing applications out there that will help you make the most of whatever skills you have. Believe it or not, you can make something really nice looking without too much of a learning curve.
If you are not so handy with painting on the computer or making cards from scratch, there are plenty of online services that can help you out with card design, and it won’t cost you anything other than the price of the printing and shipping.
Companies like Moo specialize in assisted graphic design, usually based on one of your own photos and/or on a basic provided template. You control the design, but they make it easier by helping you along with getting the card elements assembled in an attractive way. You choose and adjust the layout in a way that reflects your unique style; they handle the printing and get the cards out to you.
The best part is, the online wizard is so easy to use, you can design multiple cards in a single session, and have them ship you a box of assorted cards based on all your different designs. Personally, this year I am doing two versions of my card: a printed card, which I will design with the help of an online service, and an electronic version of my design that I will use to send to my Internet friends.
I like the idea that the cards I send are direct reflections of my personality rather than just something I bought at a store, and I think people really enjoy receiving something I took the time to design myself.
So why not do something a little special and make your own cards this year? Then the cards become gifts in themselves, something that each of your friends and loved ones will cherish.
Pic of the Day: When babies meet