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Create and Print Christmas Photo Postcards in Adobe Illustrator

written by: Amanda Presley•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 10/17/2013

If you would like to create your own Christmas postcards, you can do so in Adobe Illustrator. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create Christmas photo postcards, and I will show you how to print them.

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    Before Creating Your Christmas Photo Postcard

    Right from the comfort of your home, you can create your own Christmas photo postcards with Adobe Illustrator. Here are the things you need to get started:

    • Printer
    • 4x6 Photo Paper
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Photo that you want to use
    • Christmas Graphics (optional)

    The Christmas graphics are to use as decoration on the card. If you do not want to use graphics, that is perfectly ok. You can create the cards without them. You can find the Christmas graphics online for free if you decide to use graphics. The 4x6 photo paper can be purchased from Wal-Mart, Target, or any place like that. They are only a few dollars a pack. Go ahead and get the photo that you want to use. If you need to crop it or adjust it, do so before getting started.

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    Creating Your Christmas Photo Postcard

    Now we will get started creating the Christmas Photo Postcards. Open your Adobe Illustrator program and create a new document to work on. Create the document 6in wide and 4in high. Then click OK to create the document. The document will open in your work space area.

    christmas photo postcards in illustrator - rectangle edge Let’s start off by creating our border. Select the rectangle tool from the toolbar on the left. Draw a rectangle to cover your document. Draw it the same size as your document. You may want to leave a little space between the edge of the document and the edge of the rectangle. Like the image to the left. I filled the rectangle with black, just to show you where the rectangle edge is. Do not fill the rectangle with black.

    Change the border or stroke color to what you want. You can change the fill color to white or transparent. Now you will need to open some of your brush libraries. Go to the top of your window and click the Window link and then click Brush Libraries > and one of the libraries. You can open as many as you want. Each one of them have different brushes. Once you find a brush that you like, click the brush to apply it to the stroke. This will be the border of your Christmas Photo Postcard. You can also open the stroke fills under the Style Libraries to create different borders.

    The border in my image is created from a stroke fill. This is how I created mine. I went to Window > Style Libraries > Stroke Fills (RGB). In the box I clicked the Green Frame and then I changed the fill color to white. You can use different styles but you will probably have to play around with the stroke and fill colors to get them the color that you want.

    Now we will add the photo. You can also place a border around the photo. I am going to use a photo of myself just to show you how it should be placed. Go to the top of your Illustrator window and click File > Open. Locate the photo that you want to open and double click it. It will open in a new window in Illustrator. Copy the photo and minimize that window. Then paste it on your card. You may need to resize it. Next, you can add a border to it. Grab the rectangle tool again. Draw a rectangle over your photo. Set the color fill to transparent. Change the border to what you want.christmas photo postcards in illustrator - finished 

    Now you can add a graphic if you chose to use one. Open the graphic the same way that you opened the photo. Copy and paste it the same way. Place the graphic on the Christmas Photo Postcard. After you have added the graphic, you can start adding all of your text. I will leave all the text up to you. When you have finished, you can print your Christmas Photo Postcard to see how it will look. You may need to make adjustments before printing all of your cards.

    Here's my finished product I quickly threw together to give you a general idea of what the card will look like. Playing around with the text and borders will create a really nice complete project.