Updated: Aug 28, 2021
Learn to make beautiful Christmas and Hanukkah cards. This year, DIY your holiday cards in 6 simple steps. This is a fun, creative Fall project for all ages.
DIY Holiday Cards: 6 Steps to making your own Christmas or Hanukkah cards this year!
This article provides step-by-step instructions for DIY Christmas or Hanukkah cards.
Everyone loves getting an actual piece of personal mail. Even better is a hand-written note on a handmade greeting card. It’s a real treat - practically a gift! So, this holiday season, treat your friends, family and business associates to the gift of a handmade holiday card. You can be sure your card will stand out in the crowd of the usual (yawn) photo cards everyone else sends (is it just me, or does anyone else not care for those? Honestly, who really wants a copy of a photo that they’ve already seen on Facebook or Instagram? And what in the world are you supposed to do with them? I miss the days of receiving beautiful holiday cards that I could - and did - display. They were like an added element of holiday decor!)
Following is a step-by-step guide on how to make creative, unique Christmas, Hanukkah or general holiday cards. (If you’re running late, make New Year’s cards!)
Materials You’ll Need:
· Sheet(s) of Paper - a heavier paper stock works best, but use whatever you have on hand. I’m using inexpensive watercolor paper, which you can find in craft stores, your local drugstore, or here: https://amzn.to/38bFbv1.
· Paints, Crayons or Markers - use what you have!
· Blank cards and envelopes - craft stores (like Joann Fabrics) carry boxes of plain cards and matching envelopes. I like these watercolor cards: https://amzn.to/3suT5BV
· Glue, Glue Stick or Double-sided tape
· Cardboard or cookie cutters
· Optional: Metallic Sharpies in silver, gold and/or bronze.
Steps to making DIY Christmas cards
Step 1: Using paper and paints (or markers or crayons), make a colorful design of your choice. Some ideas: Overlapping squiggles and swirls. Layers of circles or squares. Stripes. Opposing stripes (plaid). Any and all sorts of colorful marks will do the trick. Don’t fret or overthink this part. Just start and fill the paper with color!
Hints: Use shades of reds and greens if you want a super-Christmas-y look, or blues, purples and silver for Hanukkah. Or, just go to town with any and all colors of your liking.
Let the painted paper dry completely. To prevent warping, place a few large heavy books on top of paper as it dries.
Step 2: While the paper is drying, use a pencil to draw an outline of a Christmas tree (or dreidel) onto the cardboard*.
Step 3: Cut this shape out.
*Option: You can also use cookie cutters like these https://amzn.to/37UYn07 as your guides.
Step 4: When the painted paper is dry, turn it over and trace your cardboard tree/dreidel (or use your cookie cutter) onto the blank side. Draw as many as will fit.
Step 5: Cut all these shapes out.
Step 6: Next, use glue, glue stick or double-sided tape to adhere one Christmas tree or dreidel shape to the center of each card. It’s up to you whether you want your cards to be horizontal or vertical.
Let your cards dry completely (I put mine in a small pile and place that heavy stack of books on top so they flatten nicely).
Your cards are done! Now you can write personal holiday greetings on the inside, and mail them off to your loved ones. Your efforts will be so appreciated and remembered. And, you’ll have fun! (If you are one who likes those photo cards, place one inside each card.)
How I made my cards:
• For the Hanukkah design, I made a plaid with blue and purple watercolor paints and metallic Sharpies (available here https://amzn.to/3gzFUe3).
To create a plaid, first make a series of blue stripes, spaced apart. Turn the paper sideways, and make a row of purple stripes ACROSS the blue stripes. Repeat until paper is almost covered with color. Use silver or gold (or both - you can never have too much sparkle in a holiday card!) Sharpies to add some shine.
• For the Christmas Tree design I used several shades of green and painted overlapping circles. I filled the entire sheet of paper until I had very little white space left.
• I used 5” x 7” cards, so I made my cardboard tree about 4.5” tall, and the dreidel is about 4”.
• IMPORTANT: Do not worry for even 1 minute about being perfect! As you can see, my designs are loose and easy. No straight lines, no measuring. And they still turned out nicely!
• For Step 1, recycle last year's holiday gift wrap instead of creating your own designs. (Because this sort of paper is of lighter weight, use a glue stick or double-sided tape to adhere shapes to cards.)
• Feeling adventurous? Cut shapes out of copies of family photos.
• Add silver or gold dots to the blank parts of the card. This would be a good time to enlist little kids! Hand them a Sharpie and let them create a "snowstorm" on each card.
I’d love to see the cards you make. Tag me on Instagram and Facebook!
And, follow me on Pinterest to be among the first to see upcoming creative project ideas.
Finally, if you have any questions for me, feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to help, and I almost always have an opinion!
Christmas Tree Cookie Cutters
Hanukkah cookie cutters
Set of 50 blank cards and envelopes
*Note: some of the links shared above are affiliate links. Should you purchase these items, I may receive a small fee from the seller.