In the last tutorial of 2017, I’m going to show you how to make a cute holiday greeting card in Illustrator using hand-drawn graphics. You can use your own illustrations, purchase floral illustrations, or use the free holiday vector set.
You can print this holiday card using your home printer or at your local print shop.
Download the free winter vector set
The free floral vector illustrations are part of my new Winter Flowers patterns and illustrations collection. They are perfect for winter holiday patterns and greeting cards.
They are free for personal use only, but you can find patterns for commercial use in the shop. Please do not sell or redistribute them as they are. If you want to share them with your readers, you can do so by posting a link to this site.
Learn how to use the pattern tool in YouTube
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How to make a holiday greeting card in Illustrator
We are going to make a holiday greeting card that’s 6 x 4 in (15 x 10 cm). This size works well with an A6 envelope and you should be able to find photo paper if you want to print it at home.
Open Illustrator and create a new document. Make it 6 x 4 in, in CMYK color mode, and at 300 dpi. Add a bleed of 0.125 in.
Use the Rectangle tool (M) to add a background. Click on the artboard and create a rectangle that’s 6.250 x 4.250 in. Align it to the artboard and center it.
I’m using an off-white color (C=0 M=2 Y=5 K=0) for the background.
Download and open the free holiday vector graphics or draw your own illustrations and paste them into the new document. Resize them if they are too big.
I’m going to use the branches to create a floral wreath.
Use the Ellipse tool (L) to create a circle. It will help you arrange the flowers. You can delete the circle when you are done or add the text to it.
I’m going to start with the fir branches and then add one of the poinsettias to cover them. This is a very simple and effective way to start a floral wreath. Then add the rest of the graphics.
Vary the size and color of the illustrations to add interest. The smaller elements, like the berries and leaves, will fill the spaces between branches and add harmony to the design.
When you are happy with the design, use the Selection tool (V) to select all the graphics and group them (Ctrl + G).
Use the Type tool and your favorite holiday font to add the text. I’m using a font called Beautiful Day Script from Emily Spadoni.
Unlock all the layers when you are done and group everything.
How to save your greeting card in Illustrator
First, go to File > Save and save a copy of your file as a .ai file.
Then go to File > Save as and save the file as an Adobe PDF file. On the PDF options screen, go to Marks & Bleeds, make sure Trims Marks is checked and also Use Document Bleed Settings.
Hope you enjoyed making a holiday greeting card in Illustrator. Happy holidays!