How to make your own Christmas cards - 10 ideas

Personalise cards with stamped messages, photos and your own designs using our festive craft ideas


It's always a pleasure to receive a homemade card and it's something great to do as a family. Get the kids to help you think of the designs. If you're all a fan of snowmen, all you need is some cotton wool and a bit of felt to add on facial features, and maybe a piece of string to craft a scarf.

Father Christmas is always a popular choice for making your own Christmas cards. The cotton wool will come in handy for his beard and tissue paper is a great material to work with. Create a fairy princess with a tissue-paper dress and add some sparkle with some glitter for her magic wand.

If you are a sewing bee and have some fabric off-cuts, why not use them for Christmas cards. Make cardboard templates of your chosen motifs, such as a gingerbread shape or snowman. Use the templates to cut out your favourite fabric into festive designs.
Stamp a message

1/10 Homemade Christmas cards

alphabet stamping kit for christmas card messages

(Image credit: TBC)

Spell out a seasonal greeting with an alphabet stamping kit (opens in new tab). You can use different-coloured paints and change your message from card to card, but do practise on a piece of paper first so you know how much ink to use and pressure to apply.

2/10 Spray a doily

doily imprint on christmas card

(Image credit: TBC)

Place a doily on your card and apply several light coats of a spray paint suitable for cardboard. Work in ventilated conditions, wear a respirator mask and mask off the surrounding area when using the spray. Peel the doily back carefully so you don’t smudge the paint, to leave a pretty design. Leave to dry for at least one hour.

3/10 Paint wood shapes

wooden festive shape attached to christmas card

(Image credit: TBC)

Paint your shapes first and leave to dry. Stick a wooden shape directly onto a plain card, or add a loop of string and stick the string to the card so the shape is hanging free. Alternatively, cover your card first with paper, then stick the wooden shape on top.

4/10 Glue on buttons

glue on buttons attached to christmas card

(Image credit: TBC)

Buttons make great card decorations – you can use all shapes and sizes to create seasonal designs and even use up odd ones.

To make a Christmas wreath: arrange your buttons – either all one size or different sizes – in a circle on your card to get the design right, then glue in place. Finish off by tying a ribbon bow and sticking onto the button at the very top.

5/10 Work with ricrac

christmas card shaped as tree and decorated with ribbon

(Image credit: TBC)

Cut strips of ricrac ribbon increasing in length to create a Christmas tree design, then cut out a pot and star from coloured paper. If you are going to use triangular card, you won’t need a pot shape. Arrange the pieces on your card and glue in place.

6/10 Use up off-cuts of fabric

off cuts of fabric shaped into christmas shape and glued onto card

(Image credit: TBC)

Fabric remnants can be used to make lovely cards and they don’t have to be Christmas patterns or colours to look good. Make cardboard templates of your motifs, then draw around them on the wrong side of your fabric. Cut out the motifs with sharp fabric scissors and glue onto your cards – don’t use too much or it will seep through the fabric. Stick on buttons, sequins and ribbons as a finishing touch, or simply leave the card as it is. Allow the glue to dry completely before sending.

7/10 Bend pipe cleaners

snowflake shaped pipe cleaners stuck onto card

(Image credit: TBC)

Pipe cleaners are easy to work with and can be bent into all sorts of shapes.

To make a snowflake: cut three pieces of white pipe cleaner to the same length and join with a short piece in the middle to create a six-point snowflake. Cut six short lengths of pipe cleaner and twist around the ends of the points to make prongs. Glue onto a card.

To make a candy cane:twist a red and a white pipe cleaner together and bend at the top to make a cane shape. Tie a ribbon bow and glue on. Glue a piece of wrapping paper onto the card, allow to dry and then glue the candy cane on top.

8/10 Punch out patterns

punch out patterns on christmas card

(Image credit: TBC)

Decorative hole punches can be used to create all sorts of festive designs. Either punch out shapes then stick a piece of contrasting paper behind the holes, or cut out shapes from scrap paper and stick them onto contrasting card. It’s a good idea to perfect your design on scrap paper first.

9/10 Customise a stamp

christmas message on customised stamp for cards

(Image credit: TBC)

Come up with your own festive greeting or image and The English Stamp Company (opens in new tab) will put it on a bespoke rubber stamp for you. You can use one of their templates or your own design. Once you’ve got your stamp, have a go on a piece of paper before making your cards so you know how much ink to use and pressure to apply.

10/10 Create a photo card

pretty cardboard envelope revealing personalised photo

(Image credit: TBC)

Make a cardboard envelope that, when opened, reveals a flower shape with a photo in the centre. Start by drawing a square slightly larger than your photo in the middle of an A4 piece of card. Now draw parallel lines from the edges of the square out to the edges of the card to make a plus sign (+). Cut out the sign, discard the corners of the card and round off the ends by drawing around a cup and cutting out. Cut a piece of Christmas paper to fit in the square and glue in place. When dry, glue thephoto in the centre. When dry, close the flaps and seal with a festive sticker or length of ribbon.

For stockists of craft materials, try HobbyCraft (opens in new tab)Paperchase (opens in new tab)The English Stamp Company (opens in new tab)Cox & Cox (opens in new tab)John Lewis (opens in new tab) and Lakeland (opens in new tab).

Need more Christmas craft ideas and decorating tips? Take a look at our have yourself a handmade Christmas gallery for festive inspiration and visit our Christmas essential guide too>>

Heather Young
Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and also edits its sister title Style At Home. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.