How to Make a Christmas Photo Card

For many families and friends taking an annual holiday photo is a beloved tradition. The pic is a capture in time and a great way to send your greetings to loved ones all over the world via another cherished tradition: the photo Christmas card. Because PicMonkey is a dual wizard at both photo editing and graphic design, you can perfect your pics before putting them into a beautiful holiday card template.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to leverage our tools to transform your fave family photo into a beautiful Christmas card. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Adjusting your photo and applying edits

  • Choosing a template for your card

  • Swapping your edited photo into one of our holiday templates

  • Editing text and graphics

1. Edit and adjust your photo before making the card

Select a photo you’d like to turn into a photo card and open it in our Editor. From there, skedaddle to the Edits tab or the Touch Up tab to fix any stray hairs last-minute. You may wanna make some other essential edits—like adjusting the contrast or sharpening—while you’re at it, too.

In this tutorial, we adjusted the Exposure because the photo was a little overexposed. Pulling down the Brightness slider removed some of the glare from this nice family, and the Highlights and Shadows sliders helped to give the background a little more depth.

2. Pick out a holiday card template

Browse templates while you in are in the PicMonkey editor and click the thumbnails to see them larger on the canvas

Look for a template that will best fit with your photo's orientation (horizontal or vertical), consider the space you want for a message, and choose one that suits your family's style. PicMonkey offers templates ranging from classic red-and-green Christmas, to sparkly gold holiday, to blue Hanukkah, and from super simple to more ornate.

We chose this template because of the existing photo's horizontal orientation, and because it matched this family's easy-going style while still adding a little sparkle with the glitter texture on the letters.

3. Swap your photo into the template

Now it's time to customize your card! First, select the existing image on the template (don't delete it), and click Replace image on the Image palette to choose the location of your edited holiday photo. We stashed ours in PicMonkey's cloud storage, Hub, so we'll grab it from there.

Your photo is now replacing the existing photo, situated exactly like its predecessor in the template. That doesn't mean you can't still move it around if you like—you can crop your pic, rotate, edit, adjust—pretty much anything you already did in step one, but it's just easier to edit only the image first so you can really focus on it.

4. Customize text, fonts, and message on your card

Click on the existing text in the template, highlight and type your own message. Use the Text palette to customize the font—we chose a thicker one to stand out more against the photo—and to adjust the size, spacing, and more. You can also add text effects like curved or circle text, drop shadow, and outline.

5. Add a festive graphic to your holiday card design

To put the finishing touches on your photo holiday card design, you can add a seasonal graphic like a snowflake, wreath, a wrapped gift, or if you want to get silly check out the Rudolph antlers and Santa hats. Use the Graphic palette to adjust the graphic's look—we faded our snowflake a bit so it wouldn't overpower the photo and the message below it.

6. Download and send some cheer!

Congrats, your card is finished and it's one for the (family) history books. Your work always autosaves to cloud storage, so if you need more copies or want to change a design detail later you can do that easily because your card will remain in editable layers. Download your card if you want to print it or send it off to a printer, or save some paper and a trip to the post office by sending your family holiday card digitally.

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Sarah Gonzales

Sarah Gonzales is the content marketing manager at PicMonkey. Before this she worked at Intiut, and before that started a non-profit, and before that had a radio show, and before that worked at Ms. magazine, and before that went to UC Berkeley, and before ALL of that grew up in Alaska.