12 Christmas Card Ideas!

It’s coming! The holidays will be upon us SOON! Are you ready? I’m not entirely ready, but I always start planning our family’s Christmas cards way in advance. Memories of my grandparent’s home covered in the Christmas cards they received each year impressed upon me the delight of receiving holiday cards from family and friends, and I have enjoyed sending Christmas cards to family and friends every year since I became an adult.

Creative Christmas card ideas:

Today I’m sharing a few creative ideas you can use to make the holidays a little merrier with holiday greeting cards that are not like everyone else’s!

Ways of Christmas Cards

1 – Thumbprint cards!

Use your family’s thumbs and an inkpad to create reindeer, a Christmas tree, snowmen, stockings, carolers, or whatever else you can think of! Thumbprint card ideas.

2 – Caricatures!

Is there a budding artist in your family? If so, have them try doing caricatures of your family. If you like this idea but have no one to do the drawing, you can make caricatures online! Try this caricature maker for cards at VistaPrint.

3 – Send New Year’s cards instead!

Does sending cards in time for Christmas seem like too much to add to your holiday to-do list? Then take the pressure off, and send Happy New Year’s cards instead. Another bonus: your card won’t get lost in an influx of other holiday cards.

4 – Do a pen and ink drawing of your home.

You could do a simplified pen and ink drawing this way: enlarge a crisp photograph of your home, trace the outlines (use tracing paper or put a light behind your photo), then copy and reduce the traced image, and it will be ready for use on your holiday cards. Add a little text, like “From our home to yours…” and you have totally unique cards on a budget! Or you can commission an artist (like my mom!) to do a pen and ink drawing of your home; she did this one for me when I lived in a log home years ago:

pen and ink drawing of home

5 – Make button cards!

You probably don’t want to try making 100 of these, but for a few special (and hand-delivered) cards, you can use buttons to create wreaths, snowmen, Christmas trees, and more.

6 – Scrapbook-style cards!

Use your scrapbook skills and supplies, or do a little recycling by using wrapping paper scraps for making cute custom cards like this one:

7 – Stamp those cards.

Use fun stamps, or even consider using a mini letterpress to create your own cards! I like this one at PaperSource. This wouldn’t be the budget-friendliest way to make cards, but super fun and totally custom.

8 – Pop-up cards!

I wouldn’t want to make dozens of these, but they’d be adorable! How to make pop-up cards.

9 – Photo cards!

I’m a photographer, so of course, I loooove photo cards. But I don’t love boring family photos. My advice: choose not too holiday-ish outfits for your family photos; this way you can use these photos all year long, and your family and friends won’t want to put them away when the holiday is over like they will if you’re all wearing reindeer sweaters. (Check out this family’s outfit choices!) Have FUN with the photos so they will reflect your family’s personality! We have a day on the calendar soon for our own family photos (courtesy of a remote camera trigger), and we’re making a day of it to hang out and enjoy a family dinner that has become far too uncommon since my stepson moved near college campus.

This photo appeals to the dog-lover in me, but there’s no way our WonderDog will allow us to wrap her in lights.

10 – Use your child’s art.

Kid art makes great graphics for your holiday cards, and becomes a keepsake, too! When Kathryn was in preschool, she drew an adorable nativity, and it made an adorable Christmas card! Just use the art in place of a photo when creating online cards or printing your own at home.

11 – Stitch a card!

Choose a simple design, like a Christmas tree, to stitch on a piece of paper, then cut and glue onto a card. This would be something older children could do as well, perhaps for a special card for grandma. This example uses an apple, but you could do the outline of a Christmas tree, wreath, snowman, or gift.

12 – Send post cards!

You can use almost any of the above ideas to make your own postcards and save on postage, which can add up quickly if your Christmas card list is long.

Find more ideas on my Christmas Card Pinterest board!

Another thought:

What will you do with all those cards you receive this year? Try these ideas: put them in/on your Christmas tree; arrange them on your mantle; make a card tree; recycle them into gift tags for next year’s gifts; or — my favorite idea — keep them in a basket and use the cards as reminders to pray for your friends and family all year long!


If the holiday season seems more stressful than joyous, if your budget seems too small to be generous, or if you are simply in search of inspiration, the 12 Ways of Christmas is for you! Click on each of the buttons below for crafts, decor, traditions, and more!

12Ways_wrappingWays of ReadingWays of Table DecorWays of Planning for the Holidays
Ways of CardsWays of CookingWays of Decorating TreesWays of Wreaths
Ways of OutreachWays of Family TraditionsWays of Mantle DecorWays of Frugal Gifting