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how to make your own handwritten holiday card

this post is in partnership with mixbook

here are our holiday cards this year! i know holiday cards can feel corny but i really love sending them out now that we have arlo, and it’s just fun to have a little holiday ritual that involves my relatives we don’t get to see often. i love the tradition of setting up my little assembly line of my cards, envelopes and stamps, and addressing all my envelopes while watching xmas movies. 

this year i partnered with mixbook to print our cards, i love that i can easily design my own from scratch. i got them in a cotton texture finish and they are such nice quality. we did a little photo shoot recently with elizabeth wells and i was so excited it worked out timing wise, so that i could use some of the photos for our cards! i love arlo up in the air in his kung-fu panda pose.

as you probably could have expected, i wanted to incorporate my handwriting into the cards — but our scanner wasn’t working, so i did it using a quicker method to digitize my writing and it was so easy to create, i thought i would share!

first, write your words out on paper. i just used a sketchbook and i wanted to do a very loose laid back writing style so i didn’t add the extra thickness i usually do.

next, download the scannable app on your phone (i’ve been using this for years for documents and contracts and it works so well). just point your camera at the paper and it will instantly capture, you can then airdrop or email to your computer.

open the file in photoshop, and crop to just the words you want to use on your card. adjust the levels to bump up the contrast so that the black is super black and the white is super white. sometimes it helps to desaturate your scan/image a bit (or a lot), you can do that by pressing cmd-U with your  text/image layer active.

next click on the channels tab, and press the command key as you click the channel with the highest contrast (red, green, or blue) and you’ll see your words selected. as you’ve prob gathered, comd-cllicking a channel layer makes a selection of all your whites. you want to create a selection to fill with black, so you have to invert our selection and fill that up with black. so go back to your layers and select inverse with your marquee/right click, then create a new layer and fill with black! that’s it. (PS these are mac instructions and there are also 900 ways to do everything in photoshop!)

you can design your card within photoshop, or you can save your words as .png without a background and use in mixbook as a sticker on top of one of their designs.

btw, if you don’t like your own handwriting then you can always choose from the premade designs mixbook has on their site, a bunch of them have really beautiful handwriting on them! and if you like the idea of personalizing, you could have your kid write something!

i am so happy with how our cards came out! i also printed them sort of smaller than usual, 4×6 because i liked the idea of a smaller card like maybe that would inspire people to hang longer since it takes up less space on their fridge lol.

use code AMP50 FOR 50% OFF your holiday cards from mixbook!
(expires 12/15/18)

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  1. Joyce Morris says:

    So pleased it’s not just me that’s a bit sad about cards, making, sending et al. I love it!

  2. Sarah Drapeau says:

    I just ordered mine using your promo code! I am super excited to see the result. Hopefully they’ll be as amazing as yours!

  3. Jennifer kelley says:

    Love this thank you! Any tutorials on how to do at home custom recipient addressing? Like digitally lol. My husband and I have big families combined which with friends makes for a very large holiday card list. It gets expensive and time consuming to address 115+ envelopes!

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      eeek binge watch something good while you do it! lol

  4. Emma Lazarus says:

    I am so jealous of your handwriting skills – did you take a class to learn how to do this? Or just practice?

  5. Kali Benbrooks says:

    So beautiful! What pen do you use to write the addresses?

    1. Nicolette says:

      I’d also like to know what pen you used! Thanks!