Ready to send your ho-ho-holiday greeting cards this year? Make your Christmas card designs special by having them custom-made by professional graphic designers. Subscribe to Penji’s quality, fast, and affordable services using this promo code GETPENJI25 to get 25 percent off!

We’ve also included these Christmas-themed designs you can use for anything. Whether it’s for your marketing campaigns or social media posts, these images will make it worth your while. Download them all for FREE here. Meanwhile, here are some Christmas card ideas for your loved ones or customers.

Fun Fact: Christmas Card Designs 

john calcott horsley

Christmas cards were initially touted as a practicing canvas for English boys wanting to improve their handwriting skills. There can be a lot of fun narratives about Christmas greeting cards, but the most noteworthy one was that of John Callcott Horsley in 1843

Inaugurated by Sir Henry Cole in London, this particular Christmas holiday card design stirred the whole of England. With lithography inscribed on dark cardboard, it donned the greeting, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” What seemed like a picture of a happy, close-knit family holding wine glasses would’ve made any oenophile smile. Yet, it did the opposite. Putting alcohol and Christmas in one frame was deemed offensive, or so they say. 

In 2001, one anonymous bidder loved the design that he (or she) bought the Horsley Christmas card for £20,000!

Why Personalized Christmas Card Designs are Better

Sure enough, one can just breezily stroll into the gift-wrapping section of a bookstore and buy one. Nevertheless, customized Christmas card designs create exclusivity and memorability within your circle.

Whether you’re giving to close friends and relatives or sending out Christmas eCards to clients and business partners, customized Christmas card designs will make the recipient feel more special. Tie the holiday card designs together with beautiful graphics and who knows, they might end up in someone’s picture frame on a corner nook. 

For customizing your seasonal cards, various online platforms are at your beck and call. Hallmark Card Studio, Paperless Post, Zazzle, Canva, or Shutterfly are to name a few. If you don’t have any creative bone in your body, hiring graphic design services will surely prettify your card designs. 

15 Simple Ways to Personalize Your Christmas Card Designs

1. Custom Night Photography

Christmas card designs

Illuminate the night sky with images of festively lit streets, sparkling cityscapes, or serene landscapes blanketed in snow. Try long exposure shots to create mesmerizing light trails from passing cars or glowing holiday decorations. Incorporate the warm glow of outdoor string lights, capturing the cozy ambiance of winter evenings. 

Silhouettes of wintry trees against a starlit sky add a touch of elegance. Embrace the magic of the season by featuring iconic holiday symbols like decorated Christmas trees or homes adorned with twinkling lights, making each card a radiant keepsake.

2. Family or Staff Photo 

Christmas card design by Penji

For personal holiday card designs, putting a high-quality family photo as the main image is a beautiful gesture. This gives the recipients the impression that the entire family is thinking about them during this most special time of the year. You can adorn it with bright red edgings and a personalized greeting.

Businesses can also clad their greeting card designs with a picture of the entire staff wearing a Christmas garb to pump up the holiday spirit. Incorporate the colors red, gold, and white to fasten that complete Christmas card look. 

3. Santa Costume 

Christmas card design by Penji

To make your recipients smile, you’d have to go the extra mile to capture the best photos. Although Santa Claus is a Christmas staple, this belief only lingers until a certain age. Bring back the inner child in your recipients by capturing a photo of yourself wearing a Santa Claus costume. 

Instead of buying a card with a picture of a random Santa, why not be Santa yourself? The extra effort will genuinely make someone beam with appreciation. 

4. Elf Yourself 

custom elves holiday cards

Who hasn’t “elfed himself” since this app was released last 2006? With over 1.5 billion elves created, Elf Yourself is, by far, the most interactive Christmas app that allows users to upload faces of themselves into adorable dancing elves. It offers nine customizable videos of dancing elves in different backgrounds. 

Although this app rules out the conventional paper greeting cards, some senders will find Christmas eCards convenient. It’s a gut-busting treat perfect for anyone who’s feeling down in the dumps during the Christmas season. 

5. Travel Theme

winter vacation

For those who are into the jet-setting niche, a travel-themed Christmas greeting card will let your recipients live vicariously through your annual holiday cards. Not everyone has the luxury of time and money to see the world, so why not share your experience? 

After all, your Mount Everest summit photo is more fun to watch than a random picture of the grand mountain itself. 

6. Fun Caricature 

cartoon holiday cards

Capturing memories through caricature drawings is always entertaining to see. Somehow, it exudes a notion of gaiety incomparable to funny images. Take this greeting card, for example. Not only is this a fun caricature ensemble, but the characters from the movie, Frozen, gave it more amusing storytelling. 

A personalized caricature of yourself, your family, or your staff, made by professionals or designing platforms, is suitable for paper and electronic Christmas cards. 

7. Customized Characters and Symbols

luca milani greeting card

Luca Milani, an illustrator, and graphic designer did brilliant work when she transformed ordinary characters like asterisks, letters, curly brackets, and more into Christmas elements. It was for a ‘FONTLOVE’ project that aimed at giving importance to — fonts. 

This idea would please individuals and companies who are into minimalist designs. To give it a personal touch, collate some of your brand’s symbols and turn it into a Christmas-themed delight. 

8. 3D Paper Christmas Card Decor

Christmas card design by Penji

Custom 3D Christmas card designs offer a festive and visually engaging way to share holiday cheer. Incorporate pop-up elements, such as Christmas trees or snowflakes, creating a delightful surprise when opened. Experiment with layers to add depth, making features like ornaments or snow appear to float off the card. 

Employ textures for a tactile experience, enhancing the feel of cozy elements like knit patterns or fluffy snow. Incorporate interactive elements like pull-tabs or rotating mechanisms to make the card dynamic. Embrace whimsical characters, like 3D reindeer or Santa Claus, for a playful touch that captures the season’s spirit.

9. Watercolor

Christmas card design by Penji

Watercolor Christmas cards exude warmth and charm. Consider painting festive winter scenes, like snow-covered landscapes or cozy cottages, using soft hues for a serene effect. Embrace traditional symbols like ornaments, stockings, and wreaths, delicately rendered with watercolors. Create whimsical characters such as snowmen or reindeer, giving them a magical touch. 

You may also incorporate vibrant splashes of color for a modern and lively twist. Experiment with blending techniques to craft ethereal backgrounds resembling the enchanting glow of holiday lights. Add personal touches like hand-lettered greetings or incorporate metallic accents for a touch of elegance. Watercolor Christmas cards offer a delightful blend of artistry and holiday spirit.

10. Pop-Up Christmas Card Designs

Christmas card design by Penji

Consider a charming winter village that unfolds upon opening, with tiny houses and glittering snow. Create a three-dimensional Christmas tree that stands tall when the card is opened, adorned with festive ornaments. Embrace the season’s magic by crafting a pop-up sleigh with Santa and his reindeer soaring across the card. 

Alternatively, design a snow globe-inspired pop-up, capturing a delightful wintry scene within its transparent dome. Incorporate intricate paper-cut snowflakes that elegantly emerge when the card is revealed, adding a touch of sophistication to your festive greetings.

11. Photo Collage

Christmas card design by Penji

Create memorable Christmas cards with custom photo collage designs. Merge cherished moments into a festive collage, blending family photos, holiday snapshots, and special memories. Craft a “Year in Review” collage featuring highlights from each season. Spell out festive messages or greetings using images in a creative typographic collage. Frame a central family portrait with smaller images forming a wreath or tree shape. 

Design a collage of candid moments, laughter, and joy for an authentic touch. Embrace a color theme, arranging photos to create a cohesive and visually appealing card. These custom photo collage ideas infuse your Christmas card designs with personal warmth and holiday cheer.

12. Vintage-Inspired Illustrations

Christmas card design by Penji

Embrace classic winter scenes featuring nostalgic sleigh rides or festive town squares, adding warmth and familiarity. Incorporate Victorian-style ornaments or embellishments for an elegant touch. Use sepia tones or faded colors to evoke a genuine vintage feel. Play with retro typography, showcasing timeless holiday messages. 

Integrate antique borders or frames to frame your illustrative Christmas card ideas beautifully. Consider depicting traditional holiday activities like caroling or ice skating to capture the essence of a bygone era. Blend these elements to craft unique vintage-inspired cards that resonate with nostalgia and holiday cheer.

13. Hand Lettering

Christmas card design by Penji

Custom hand-lettering adds a personal and artistic touch to Christmas cards. Consider these Christmas design ideas like an elegant script for heartfelt holiday messages or metallic or glitter accents for a festive shimmer. Create a winter scene using hand-drawn letters to form snowflakes, Christmas trees, or reindeer. 

Experiment with various lettering styles, like calligraphy or whimsical fonts, to evoke different moods. Add a touch of nostalgia with retro-inspired hand-lettered phrases. For a visually stunning effect, you may also include watercolor washes or gradients behind letters. Play with the placement and orientation of text to create dynamic and visually appealing compositions.

14. Cultural Symbols

Christmas card design by Penji

Create culturally rich and meaningful Christmas card designs by incorporating custom cultural symbols. For instance, include traditional patterns or motifs specific to a culture’s festive celebrations. Incorporate symbols like lanterns for a Chinese-inspired design, Diya lamps for Diwali celebrations, or intricate Mehndi patterns for an Indian touch. This example shows the Philippine eagle with its magnificent wings!

Use culturally significant colors and pair them with universal holiday elements like snowflakes or Christmas trees. Infuse the design with warmth and familiarity, ensuring it resonates with recipients personally and culturally. Celebrate diversity by embracing customs and symbols that make each Christmas card a unique and cherished representation of cultural heritage.

15. Custom Illustration

Christmas card design by Penji

Custom illustration Christmas cards offer a personal and creative way to spread holiday cheer. Consider whimsical family portraits with festive accessories or caricatures showcasing individual personalities. Illustrate a winter village scene featuring your home or favorite holiday traditions. Capture cherished memories with a bespoke illustration of a memorable event from the past year. 

How about creating a unique character representing your family, each member contributing distinct elements. Include your furry companions in festive outfits or highlight specific hobbies and interests. Opt for a custom map illustration, marking significant places in your family’s journey. The possibilities are endless, ensuring a one-of-a-kind and heartfelt holiday greeting.

Use Penji for Your Christmas Card Designs 

If you don’t want to spend so much time designing your own Christmas card, then have Penji do it for you. With them, you only need to take three simple steps. Their app is easy to use, you can navigate through it without help. Here’s how to use the platform. 

Start a Project Using the App 

penji platform

When you are already in the dashboard, find the New Project button. Click that so you can start requesting for your first project. 

If you do not have an idea what to put in your request, don’t worry. They have guide questions and even a checklist so you can provide complete information about your design. Send it to the app and a designer will be assigned to you. 

Wait for the First Draft and Send Back for Revision 

penji platform

The initial draft will be sent within 24 – 48 hours. From there, you can have a closer look at your design. If there are details which you are not happy about, you can click those and a comment box will appear. Type your comments there and send it back to your designer. 

You can ask the designer to revise the project until you are satisfied. 

Download Your Designs

penji platform

That’s it! You can now get your designs from the app. Start sending your Christmas card either to your family, friends, or clients. We’re sure they will appreciate how personalized the design is. 

Enjoy Penji’s services and choose the right plans perfect for your budget. 

Wrap Up

Whether you’re prepping for your Christmas newsletters or connecting with long-lost relatives, make the holidays merry through customized Christmas card designs. It doesn’t matter if you put them on cheap or expensive materials, as they say — it’s the thought that counts. So sign up for Penji now to get 25 percent off your first month!