It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and pretty soon Christmas music will start streaming in through your radio. Every holiday season, we decorate our refrigerators and mantles with cards from family and friends wishing us health and happiness through the cold winter months. This year, stand out from the crowd with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind holiday card that you can personalize to exactly your taste.
We’ve created this quick tutorial for designing a custom photo card that will dazzle everyone on your mailing list. All you need are a few easy-to-edit graphics and you best family pics, and you’re ready to get started. Here’s what we used:
- Gold Glitter Texture Stock Background
- Smooth Red Satin Stock Image
- Your Holiday Photo. We used this one.
And here’s a preview of our final product:
Let’s Get Started
Step One: Create a Canvas
First, we need to create our canvas. Start by opening a new document, and set the dimensions to 5”x7”, with 300 px/inch.
Step Two: Build your Border
Now that you have your canvas, select the shape tool and set it to the rectangle shape. Draw a rectangular fill shape ½ inch in from all sides.
Once you have your shape, select the “Paint Bucket” tool to fill the square with an ivory color.
A popup will ask you to rasterize the shape, click “okay” and then click inside the shape with your paint bucket.
Step Three: Add Some Sparkle
The holidays are a festive time of year, and how often do you have free reign to add some gold glitter to your life? We decided to use a gold glitter background for the border, and that’s just what you’re going to do next.
We used this gold glitter background. Simply go to File>Open, then select your image. Once it is open in a new Photoshop screen, select the “Move Tool” and drag it into the canvas. From there you can resize the image as you see fit.
You will notice that it is currently in front of that pretty ivory rectangle we made. To fix this, go to your layers panel, and pull the layer labeled “Rectangle” above “Layer 1.”
Step Four: Add the Banner
For our banner, we started with this red satin image. Open and drag it into your canvas the same way you did for the gold background.
Next you will need to crop out a long rectangle. To do this, you first need to set your primary color to black. Then, Using your marquee tool, draw a rectangle over the area you want to save. With this selected, go to the layers panel and select the “add vector mask” button at the bottom of the panel.
Now you should have a long, thin red banner. Move the banner to the center of the canvas.
We added an additional satin effect by going to the “fx” button at the bottom of the layers panel and selecting “satin.” Make sure the color is set to a burgundy red and adjust the settings as you see fit. You can see here the settings we used to give the banner a rich, velvety texture.
Step Five: Add Your Family Photo
For our “family photo,” we used this stock image.
Insert your photo into your canvas as you did the other images, and crop as necessary using the vector mask and marquee tool like you did with the red satin banner. Move your image into place.
We didn’t want to crop off the top of the frame any further, so we let the image stay a slightly larger than the frame and moved the banner in front of the image to cover the extra. We did this by dragging the layer above the photo in the layers panel.
Step Six: Edit Your Photo
Go ahead and apply any edits you would like to your photo. We chose to desaturate this image so that it wouldn’t compete with the bright gold and red in the design. You can do this by selecting Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation.
Step Seven: Start Adding Text
Let’s start by adding text to the lower portion of the canvas, just to get the words in there and figure out what and how much we want to say.
To make the card look really beautiful, we need to lay out our text in an interesting way and add exciting fonts. Play around with this and let your creativity really shine.
Don’t be afraid to rotate the text and use a couple of sizes and fonts. We also chose to move the “sentiment” up into the ribbon banner for better balance.
Finally, to help the text really pop, we added drop shadows to some of the text layers. With the text layer you want to edit selected in the layers panel, click the “fx” button at the bottom of layers panel, and select “Drop Shadow.”
Here you can see the settings we used for the banner text.
Step Eight: Send it to the printer
We recommend using a professional printer with a high quality cardstock to really make your card stand out. Or if email is more your pace than snail mail, save your cards as high quality PNGs or PDFs to share virtually with all of your loved ones.
That’s it! This beautiful card is simple, elegant, and entirely yours. Customize this design however you like–or if you are feeling inspired, you can start your own from scratch. With thousands of photos, vectors, and graphics, your options are endless.
What will you design? Share your finished project with us on Instagram, (simply tag @graphicstock_), and let us know how it goes in the comments section below.
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