Holiday How-To Guide: Last Minute Holiday Cards

If you haven’t had time to buy or make your own holiday card, whether you celebrate, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, or something else, you may want to be able to send out holiday cards. You can easily make your own holiday cards using a free program called Inkscape and print them on your home printer. You can easily avoid the holiday crowds at stores. Here’s how to create your own Christmas cards or holiday cards.

Download Inkscape

If you don’t already have Inkscape on your computer, you will need to download the program. Inkscape is available for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh computers. Download Inkscape at Inkscape’s website.

Set the Document Properties

Once you have downloaded and opened the program, you need to set the document properties for a card. Go to file, then Document Properties. A box will come up. Set the paper size to the paper size that is in your printer. If you live in the United States, you are probably using US Letter. Then close the box.

Create Your Guides

Next, you need to create your guides. Do this by going to Extensions in the menu bar. Go down to Render and wait for the menu option to show. Then go to guides creator. A box will appear. Make sure that the vertical guide and the horizontal guide are both set for 1/2. Also, check the box next to “Live Preview” to see the guides. If it looks like the piece of paper is divided into fourths, press the button that says “Apply.” Then close the dialogue box.

Design Your Front Cover

In the bottom right quarter of the paper, design your front cover. This can be done using a variety of drawing tools in Inkscape or even copying and pasting pictures from other graphic programs. The drawing should be right side up on the right quarter as if drawing a picture on a piece of paper or in a window for a graphics program.

Design Your Text

Your text is going to go in the upper left quarter of the paper on screen. Design the text by using the text tool in Inkscape which looks like the letter A in front of a cursor. Click in the upper left quarter after clicking on the text tool and then type the text you want for your card. Click on the plain arrow, then click on the text. Click on the text again. Drag the arrows so the text ends up upside down. You can play with editing tools in Inkscape and change the text design if you have the time.


If you want to put more, you can design more. The top right quarter of the card is the inside of the card. Make sure any text or picture are upside down on the screen as they will be right side up when the card is printed and folded. If you want a logo for the back of the card, this goes on the bottom left quarter and should be right side up on the screen.

Print the Card

Print as many copies of the card as needed.

Fold the Cards

Fold the cards by folding down the middle width wise and then fold them again down the middle lengthwise. If this is confusing, use the designs to be able to tell that the front is facing the front and the insides are inside.

Send the Cards

Now you can put the cards in envelopes and send them to family, friends, businesses, and coworkers.

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