How to Create a Holiday Greeting Card Using Canva

The holiday season is right around the corner…and if you know me, then you know that Christmas is my favourite holiday! The music, the lights, the decorations, and the Christmas movies that endlessly stream on t.v every night are just some of the reasons why I’m always filled with Christmas cheer!

I thought I would switch up my usual blog post this week and give a step-by-step tutorial on how to create holiday greeting cards using my favourite photo editing tool—Canva. You can email the finished card to your friends and family or have them professionally printed. Best of all, they’re free to design!

  1. Visit and create an account. When you get to the homepage, either sign in via Facebook or Google, or  create an account in seconds with your email address.S1
  2. After you have created your account and are logged in, you will see the landing page that encourages you to create a design. The landing page will also show any designs that you have created. Canva has created templates with standard sizes for many types of designs, such as Facebook headers, post cards, social media posts and more. Click on the + sign at the top of the page to view more design options. Scroll down until you see the “Events” section and click on “Card” to create a design that is 4 x 6 inches in size. A blank canvas will appear. The white canvas is where you will create your design. What it looks like on the canvas is what it will look like when saved and printed, so make sure everything fits and looks exactly as you want it to.s2s3s4
  3. Canva works with many graphic designers to create stunning preset templates. If you wish, you can easily click one of the preset designs located in the left column that are marked “Free”, otherwise you can use a credit card over their secure server to purchase a pre-made design for just $1! s5s6
  4. If you are using a premade design, just hover over the elements (such as text, graphics, etc) to change them to fit your style. For the template I chose, I decided to change the background colour, wording, font, and the colours for the graphics. Below is my finished design! 2015
  5. If you want to use a photograph of your family/friends, there are a few preset templates that you can choose from where you can add your own image. An example is shown below. s7
  6. To add your own image, click on “Uploads” on the left toolbar. Next, click on the green button that says “Upload your own images”. A popup will appear showing you your computer’s files. Navigate to where your picture is saved, click on the picture and it will upload to Canva. Once the upload is complete, a thumbnail of your image will show up in the “Uploads” portion of your screen.s8s9s9b
  7. Next, click on the image you’ve uploaded, drag it over the photo template on your canvas and the image should click into place, overlaying the existing image. Once your image replaces the template image, you can click on your image to change the filter if you wish to. Again, change any of the other elements you’d like to in order to make it your own! Below is my finished design! Below is my finished design of a pug I found on Google! 2015 (1)
  8. If you really want to get creative and create your own image from scratch, you can do just that! With a blank canvas, choose any tab from the left menu to change that element for your design. Click “Background” and choose a design you like. When you click on the thumbnail, the background will automatically update on your canvas. If you like the pattern but want to change the colour, then click on your canvas. A new menu will pop up with various options. Click on the circle with the colour swatch to bring up more options. If you want a really specific colour, click on the + sign and use the colour picker to select a colour that works best with your design. s9cs9d
  9. To add graphics, click on the “search” button on the left hand side of your screen. Different categories will show up with tons of elements that you can add to your design! A good place to start would be the “Holidays” category where you can find many Christmas graphics that would be perfect for your card.  Alternatively, you can search using the search bar located above the categories. Use generic keywords to bring up the largest number of results. Type in “Christmas” to get started. Your results will show up right under the search bar, so scroll through them until you find graphics you like. Simply click and drag them onto your canvas and rearrange and resize them as you see fit. Once the graphics are on your background, you can click on them to see more options. You can only change the colours on some graphics. Just a reminder, choose graphics that are free, otherwise you’ll have to pay $1 each. s9es9fs9g
  10. Next, click on the “Text” icon on the left tab to add some wording to your image! Different text options will appear in your menu. Click on one of the font styles you like and it will appear on your canvas. If you do not like any of the preset styles, you can click on “Add a little bit of body text” which will give you a simple line of text and you can customize the font however you please. You can always resize and rearrange the text whenever you wish. Once the text is on your image, double click on it and start typing to change the wording. A menu should also pop up allowing you to change the font, font colour, size, as well as other style options such as making the text bold, underlined, etc.s9h
  11. If you ever make a mistake and wish to undo an action, simply click on the arrow at the top of the screen beside “Share” and “Download”. This will undo your last action. Keep clicking on the button to undo as many actions as you need to. The text that appears to the left of that arrow is your file name. When you are happy with your design, click on the file name to change it, and click on “Download” to save your image to your computer. Below is the design I created!s9i
  12. Browse the different categories under the “Search” tab in the left menu. You can add borders, lines, frames, shapes, icons, photos and more! If you are looking to add your own photograph in a frame to your design and you do not like the preset options as mentioned in step 6, simply click on the “Frames” category under the “Search” tab. Select a frame that you like and follow steps 6 and 7 to add your own photo to the frame.
  13. If you’re looking to email the card you created to your friends and family, simply attach the saved picture into a new email. You can also visit a print centre and have your cards professionally printed so that you can mail them out!

Get creative and have fun!


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