How about sending some beautiful, handmade calligraphy cards to your friends and family this Christmas?
And no, you don’t even have to know how to do calligraphy, because I’m giving you all the designs as templates… for free. All you have to do is trace!
There’s a lot here – like six tutorials combined into one post. I’ll show you how to add extra, festive details to the cards and make them special and one-of-a-kind.
So get comfy with your cup of hot chocolate because we’re going to make six fun, DIY Christmas cards together!
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Want to make these cards yourself? Just keep reading!
Here are the supplies I used for all of these cards. You don’t necessarily need all of them, but the list is here for reference.
(I’ll also link the pens I used throughout the post.)
- Cardstock paper (white and navy blue) or ready-made 5×7″ cards
- Pencil and kneaded eraser
- Sakura white gel pen
- Stabilo 68 brush pens (I used reds, greens, dark blue, & black)
- Tombow Dual brush pens (I used some light grays)
- Sakura metallic gel pens (blue and gold)
- Molotow liquid chrome silver 1mm paint pen
- Sakura stardust gel pen (silver)
- Calligraphy templates (get them for free below)
At a minimum, you’ll need cardstock for cards, the traceable templates, and some markers. Crayola markers would work great.
Download the free traceable templates below!
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, start by cutting and folding your cards. (I recommend saving any paper scraps to test markers on!)
The calligraphy templates are sized for a 5″x7″ greeting card, so that’s the size that I made all six of my cards.
How to use the calligraphy templates
I’ve made six holiday greetings as printable calligraphy templates for you to trace onto your own cards, so you don’t have to worry about lettering skills.
Once you’ve downloaded the templates and printed them, there are two ways you can get the designs onto the front of your cards.
- Use a lightbox. Just place the design template onto your lightbox (or even a window) and put a card on top. Make sure the placement is where you want it before tracing the design onto your card. You can tape it in place if you need to.
- Transfer with pencil. Scribble pencil on the back of the printed page so it covers the entire design you want to transfer. Turn the page over, place it on your card, and trace the design firmly with pencil. Then you’ll have a pencil tracing on your card that you can go over with markers. For dark cards, you can try using chalk.
I used the second method, but I had to hold my card and paper up to a window to see the placement, so you’ll probably want to loosely cut out the design first so it’s not so big.
You might also need to lightly erase the pencil tracing if it’s too dark.
When you’re tracing, outline the entire letter, including any thick lines. It’ll help you when you add ink!
One more thing: these designs have calligraphy lettering styles with thick and thin lines. If you’re not familiar with calligraphy, you can just draw and fill in the thicker lines.
If you’re using brush pens or Crayola markers though, you can press harder on the pen to get the thick strokes.
Ok, now let’s make some cards!
Merry Christmas card
First up, a Merry Christmas greeting card! I chose a classic red and green color combo for this one.
Once you have the design traced onto the front of the card, you can just go over it with your markers of choice. Go as slow as you need to!
(As soon as I started writing with the Stabilo pens I saw that they bleed slightly on the cardstock, but it’s not too noticeable.)
Next you can use a white gel pen or paint pen to add white details inside the thick parts of the letters. (I used a white Sakura gel pen.)
I put dots inside the word “merry” and lines inside “Christmas.” It’s so simple to do, but makes it look even more festive, don’t you think?
You could call it finished there, but I decided it looked a little too plain.
I added a few stars and dots around the greeting using a silver Sakura stardust gel pen. (If you haven’t used these, they are amazing. It’s like writing with pure sparkle.)
To make these little stars, draw a tall plus symbol and fill the inner corners in just a bit, like you see below.
I wish you could see how sparkly the silver details are in person. So pretty!
O Holy Night card
This next one might be my favorite. I made a card out of navy-colored cardstock to better fit the phrase “o holy night.”
You’ll of course need a white or metallic pen that will show up on dark paper to write the words. Use a scrap of paper to test your pen. I used my white Sakura gel pen again.
Outline the letters with the pen and color in the thick strokes. (Be careful not to smudge the ink because it’s very easy to do.)
You can probably see that I used chalk to transfer the design onto the card. It didn’t show up that well, but it did the trick.
For the star details, I used a Molotow liquid chrome paint pen, but of course you can use any metallic pen.
Once I was finished, I made sure to let everything dry for a while before using an eraser to rub away the chalk.
I prefer to use a kneaded eraser because there are no eraser bits to brush away. (Here’s one on Amazon.)
Happy Holidays card
For the “happy holidays” greeting card, I used pink for the first word and alternated an olive green and deep red color for the second.
Stabilo pens come in so many beautiful colors, so I had to use some of the more unusual ones!
To “lift” the lettering off the paper, I added simple shadows using the fine tip end of a gray Tombow Dual Brush pen (N95).
Basic shadows are pretty easy to add. Here’s how:
- Imagine where the light source is coming from. (I usually have it up in the top left.)
- Now you’ll draw lines on the opposite side of the light source. (For me, that’s to the lower right of the letters.)
- Leave a little bit of white space between the letters and the shadows, and follow the curves of the letters as you draw the lines.
After adding the shadows, I used the same light gray marker to draw stars and dots scattered around the greeting.
Once I start adding dots to something, it’s hard to stop! I tried to keep it simple for this one so it wasn’t distracting.
To do this, just draw stars in the same way as for the Merry Christmas card above, in a few different sizes, scattered in empty spaces, so it looks balanced.
Then add a sprinkling of dots around the star clusters and to fill in noticeable spaces.
I even went a step further and used a gold Sakura metallic gel pen to draw tiny stars in the thick parts of the word “holidays.”
(And yes, it’s true… I really like Sakura gel pens.)
‘Tis the Season card
This next card is so cute, especially with the addition of the greenery and berries.
I used a black pen for the words this time, then a dark green for the branches and bright red for the berries.
I left a tiny bit of white space inside the berries for highlights. (I should have added some darker red shadows, too.)
Then of course I had to add some shine to this one, too! I used my gold Sakura metallic gel pen again to draw lines inside the thick strokes of the word “season.”
It really is these extra details that make the cards so special.
Peace on Earth card
I kept this one simple and used a blue color scheme.
For the script lettering I used a dark navy blue marker, then switched to a dark blue Sakura metallic gel pen for the smaller letters.
I forgot to take any progress pictures, but all I did was trace the design and didn’t add anything else.
As with all of these cards, make sure to let the ink dry completely before erasing pencil lines or you might smudge your work!
I like how simple and elegant this one looks.
Ho! Ho! Ho! card
This last card design seemed to lend itself well to red and white. I used a deep burgundy red and bright red pen.
There are three cute lettering styles in the design. You could make each one a different color if you wanted.
Once again, you can add interest to the lettering by adding details inside the thickest lines (downstrokes).
I drew little white snowflakes and dots, but you can get creative. Plaid or peppermint stripes would look so cute, too!
You can see below that the white gel pen absorbed some of the marker coloring. This just happens with some pens. If you want it to be whiter, try adding a second layer after the first one dries.
To continue the snowflake theme, I scattered snowflakes around the lettering with a light gray marker. (They’re a little hard to see in the picture.)
Start by drawing an asterisk (with six points because, you know, that’s how many sides snowflakes have!) for a basic snowflake.
Then you can add dots or extra lines to the points. Basically, just have fun doodling! Snowflakes can be so fun to draw.
I varied the size of the flakes and added forked ends to the biggest few.
And there you have it! Six holiday-themed greeting cards that you can make yourself. Some are cute and some are more elegant, but they’re all so fun to make!
I’ve shown you how I made each of these cards, but of course you can use these ideas to make your own unique versions and let your creativity shine (literally, if you’re using metallic pens…).
Please remember, though, that the calligraphy templates are for personal use only.
Here’s where you can get the free printable designs again if you missed it!
I’d love to see what you create! Feel free to send me a picture or tag me on Instagram @byheidigrace.
Thanks so much for following along with me for these Christmas card tutorials. I hope you have a lot of fun making your own!