Looking for a fun family-friendly winter activity to do this holiday season? Making DIY holiday cards will fit the brief. Sitting down at the table with your family and creating beautiful holiday crafts and cards is a great way to bond with one another and give something homemade.

To get you inspired, we’ve outlined some of our favorite DIY holiday card ideas like popups, cards with photos, and so much more!

DIY holiday cards

How to make a card

Let’s start with the basics. It is really easy to make your own card by just folding a piece of paper in half. Then, you can decorate the outside flap and write your message inside. Pretty simple, right? These types of cards can be horizontal or vertical. 

Just be careful if you are using markers on the front flap of the card because the colors might bleed onto the inside where you are supposed to write your message. To avoid that, open the card up and put a scrap piece of paper under the front flap to catch the extra ink.

Holiday card ideas

Now that you know how to make a basic card, you can start exploring designs and more interesting creation tactics. We’ve outlined some of our favorite unique holiday cards so that you can break the mold and try something new with your family.

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Unique holiday cards

Melted snowman cardboard card

To create this card, cut the shape of a puddle of water out of cardboard. Then, paint the puddle white to represent the melted snowman. Create the snowman’s face and hat using markers or additional paper if you want it to be 3D. Then decorate the snowman with a ribbon scarf and buttons that are floating about in the “melted snow.” Add 2 stick hands floating around as well. You can use pipe cleaners or markers for this. Feel free to write your message on the back of the cardboard. We guarantee this will be one of the most unique holiday cards you give this year.

Magazine text cards

Mixed media art is all the rage. For this unique card idea, you can decorate the front of your card with cutouts of sections from magazines and newspapers. Basically, you just cut the magazine or newspaper into strips and then use those word-heavy strips to create art. You can make a Christmas tree, menorah, snowflake, or anything else. Bonus points if you can find holiday-themed words, but it is not a problem if you can’t. The beauty comes in seeing repurposed words!

Scrapbook paper cards

Take patterned or colored scrapbook paper and cut it into fun, somewhat large shapes to act as the base of your card. Who says cards have to be rectangular or square? Try triangles, circles, or stars! You can also use scrapbook paper as an additional design element on the front of a card to add a pop of something different.

If you are looking for more Christmas crafts or Hanukkah crafts for all ages, check out our guides.

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Christmas card ideas for kids

Making holiday cards is a great activity for you and your children. Check out some of our favorite Christmas card ideas for kids of all ages to enjoy! For even more Christmas activities for kids, see our guide.

DIY popup Christmas cards

Popup cards are such a fun way to share holiday joy and show off your family’s creative side. 

How to make a popup Christmas tree card

To create a popup Christmas tree card, start with a piece of green paper. Fold it like a fan vertically, so that you have equally distant folds all along the paper. Then, while folded, cut at 5cm, 4cm, 3cm, 2cm, and 1cm so you end up with 5 different strips of folded paper. 

Now, you are ready to assemble your card. Take your card paper, folded in half like a card, and glue the outside edges of the largest strip into the middle of the card. This is the base of your tree. It will fan out like a rainbow. Repeat this with the other strips, going from largest to smallest, to create a tree. Then, you can decorate your tree however you’d like. Add a star or a base or add some glitter to make it pop.

How to make a popup Snowman card

To make a popup snowman card, you are going to create a fan like your Christmas tree. However, your folds should be 1 inch instead of 1 centimeter, which means you are folding the paper less times than the Christmas tree. Once you have your fan, draw and cut out half of a snowman shape. Voila! You have a popup snowman. Now all you need to do is glue it together so it stays as one piece and then glue the outer edges to the middle of the card like you did with your Christmas tree.

Next, decorate your snowman however you would like. Draw on eyes, a carrot nose, smile, scarf, hat and arms. Then, add some additional snowflakes or a snowy scene around him on the card. Don’t forget to leave room for your holiday message!

For more DIY Christmas cards to make with your family, check out our guide!

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Easy Christmas cards

While we love the holidays, they are certainly stressful. Sometimes, you just need something simple. These are our favorite easy Christmas cards so that you can check something off of your list while getting your little ones involved.

Handprint Christmas cards

Children love to do anything that gets them messy, so these handprint holiday cards are a hit! Dip their little fingers in colored paint to create holiday lights, then use yarn or marker to connect the lights. You can also dip their hands or feet in brown to make a reindeer or green to make wreaths or trees or mistletoe (get it!). The list is endless, just like the joy your family will feel  when they see these handmade (literally) cards.

Make your own Christmas cards with photos

There are so many ways you can use photos to make your own unique holiday cards. You can create a photo frame out of yearn, pipe cleaners, cardboard, or markers and then put a printout of your photo in the middle. Or, you can just use the photo as the front of your card and then let your little ones decorate around it to make it extra special! Still looking for a photo? Check out our guide with tips on how to plan and take great family pictures.

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We hope this list of fun & unique DIY holiday cards will give you inspiration for fun craft time with your whole family. There are so many benefits of art for kids, so incorporating arts & crafts into your family time is a great idea. If you are looking for more holiday activities for your child to do online or in-person, check out what our educators are offering on Sawyer!