Christmas is coming, and as the Yuletide season nears, you’ll be faced with the unfortunate reality of sending Christmas cards. If you want to send personalized cards that actually look good, you’ll either have to fork out a small fortune, or compromise on quality by sending Aunt Mabel a flimsy piece of A4 littered with enough word art, it could have been made with Microsoft Publisher 98.
But what if there was another way? Remember Canva? That’s the kick-ass startup from the Antipodes which makes it easy for non-design minded people like myself to make vaguely passable graphics? The one which you — yes, you — ought to sign up for right now?
Just in time for the festive season, Canva is making it easy to send personalized seasons greetings to loved ones. Here’s how you can make your own Christmas cards that look good, without being a designer.
Making Your Card
First, log in to Canva. If you’re yet to sign up for this service, click here and create an account. As a reader of MakeUseOf, you even get $10 of credit to use on Canva’s premium layouts, background and designs. How good is that?
You should notice that under “Start A New Design” there’s now an option for Christmas Cards. Click that, and we’ll get started. The Christmas Card template creates a blank canvas measuring 14.8cm by 10.5cm, ripe for some festive creativity. This is a pretty large card, at least by UK standards.
I’ve decided to to send a Christmas card to my good friend Saikat. First thing’s first, we want to choose a layout.
There are a large number of festive layouts on offer. Most come adorned with stock images of nauseatingly photogenic families in Christmas sweaters, although you can change that later. To use one you like the look of, simply click on it and drag it into your design.
Layouts on Canva are a combination of backgrounds, photos, and text designs, and can be tweaked as you see fit. If you’re not keen on some of the assets in a layout, you can swap them out with another one without too much trouble. In this layout, let’s change the stock photo with something a little bit more personal.
You can add your own photos to a Canva design. You can either upload photos, or Canva can pull photos in from Facebook. This is limited to ones you have posted as a status. Sadly, I don’t look good in a Christmas sweater, and most of the pictures I’ve posted to Facebook are of meals I have previously eaten. Yes, I’m one of those Facebook stereotypes. As we did with the layout, to add a photo from Facebook to your designs, you simply drag and drop it into the frame.
You probably should add a message now. Below your design, click Add a new page. Here, you are presented with a blank canvas to work your magic on. You can choose between using a pre-made text design, or dragging and dropping text in, and then arranging and formatting it as you see fit.
I’ve chosen to do the latter. At this point, I’ve pretty much finished making my card, so now it’s time to send it. To do so, click on Send Your Card, which is located at the top of the page.
You have a few options when it comes to sending out your Christmas cards. You can either manually type in email addresses or you can send it to your Gmail contacts or Facebook friends. As you would with any other design on Canva, you can also download it as a JPEG or PDF file.
Sending Christmas cards has never been easier with Canva. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Have you found a better way to make Christmas cards? Let me know in the comments below.