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DIY Holiday Cards in Canva

Tired of spending $200 or more on holiday cards? Yeah, I thought so. I have good news though! You can get high quality cards with a modern design using your own photos and 10 minutes of handiwork using a FREE app called Canva. With absolutely zero graphic design background, you can overlay text, snow, etc. to fully personalized your card and customize it to an even further degree of detail than you can with Minted, Shutterfly, and all the big brands. 

I'm going to show you how and it's going to take you half an hour to learn AND make your own. In fact, don't be surprised if you find it to be so fun and easy and that you end up designing your neighbor's card, your sister's card, your bff's card... you get the idea.

If you know me, you know I'm all about enabling action. I am NOT the business consultant who makes clients feel like they need me at every turn. Nope. I have a lot of faith in your abilities and I want YOU to have that confidence in yourself. So let's get after it!

First you need to be sure you have an account in Canva. As I said, it's totally free. If you want access to certain snazzy tools and icons you can choose to upgrade to  a Canva Pro plan, but hold off on that, because I'm pretty confident we can get this done for you and only pay for the printing and shipping of your cards (for as low as $0.20/card... not that $1-2 charge you're used to). Fair warning though-- if you're a blogger or creative of any kind, you will probably end up wanting full access. It's $119.40 for a year (~$10/month). A tiny fraction of Creative Cloud, but alas, still an expense. 

Okay let's go through the following steps to make your customized card:

  1. First you will want to locate the photo or photos you plan to use for your card. Are they on your desktop? In Google Drive? Maybe Dropbox? Just know where they are so you can scoop them in a minute. 
  2. Open Canva. Go to the top righthand corner of the window and click on the teal 'Create a design' button.
  3. A search tool will drop down. Type in card. The 'Card' option will pop up as a 7x5 horizontal document. That is a pretty standard size and the one I use for holiday post. You can alter the size if you want, or go with this one.
  4. Select the file type you want to create.
  5. You'll see a blank page open up with tools on the left. On the far left vertical tool bar select 'Uploads'. Then select the teal 'Upload media' button.
  6. Import your image(s) from wherever you saved them (your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  7. Allow your images to load. Double click an image to add it to the document.
  8. Be sure the image is selected and resize it to take up the entire card area. Center and adjust based on how you want it to appear, but be sure to leave space for your text (ex. sky, trees, basically any background that isn't someone's face).
  9. Once you have your image set up you can add text to your card if you wish by using the 'Text' tool in the lefthand vertical tool bar. Titles like "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas", "Ready for 2021" work well. But have fun and make it your own. 
  10. You can also add in snowflakes, ribbons and other little touches by selecting 'Elements' in the lefthand vertical menu. Use key words to search for what you want and then drag the elements onto the document and size/move around.
  11. All done? You have two options: You can either print directly through Canva or download your file and print elsewhere.
  12. Printing via Canva? Shipping is free and it's $35 for 50 cards (envelopes included!). Select the 'Print Cards' button on the top righthand corner and follow the directions through checkout!
  13. Printing elsewhere? It's time to export! Select the download icon in the top righthand corner of the window. Select PNG for your file type to get high resolution. Now select the teal 'Download' button. Then upload your design at Vista print or email it to your local printer!

Perhaps it has occurred to you that you can make cards for other occasions, too, now that you have this skill in your back pocket. YEP! You can. You can make birthday invitations, baby announcements, personalized stationary, and more. The world is yours. Go nuts. And hey, if you use this tutorial to make a card and you share it-- tag me! I want to see! @hammer_kate

Pin it and save it for later!!

Note: The link to Canva is an affiliate link. If you decide to buy the Pro version and you use my link I may receive a small commission. If you use the free version I will not-- either way, I encourage you to use the version that works best for your needs!

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