Design a Dazzling Holiday Card in Photoshop

Gabrielle Gosha
Gabrielle Gosha

With Christmas just around the corner, you might be coming to the realization that you have plenty left to do: buying gifts to hanging the tinsels, and let’s not forget about sending out those obligatory “Seasons Greeting” cards to family and co-workers. During the holidays, many of us like to put our crafty skills to use, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t either. As designers, we sometimes see designs being sold in stores that we know we could have done better ourselves. Designing your own greeting card adds a touch of sincerity and thoughtfulness when you send them off in the mail, not to mention the feeling of self-gratification that comes with compliments on the card design. Today, we will be creating a dazzling Christmas card using gradients, brushes, and blending options in Photoshop.

Step 1: New Canvas

Create a new file in Photoshop and change the dimensions so that they are 1200px by 1920px.

Step 2: Background

Change the foreground color to #2e752e and fill in your canvas on a separate layer.

Step 3: Gradient

Keeping your foreground at #2e752e and change the background color to #000000. Double-click or right-click on your background layer, access the Blending Options menu, and click the Gradient Overlay option. Change the gradient in the Gradient Editor so that it reflects your foreground and background color.

Change the blending mode to “Soft Light” and the style to “Radial.” Press OK.

Step 4: Green Lights

Select a soft round brush at 400px and change your foreground color to #309a17. Press F5 to access the brush window and use the following settings.

Run your brush along your canvas. Once you have the desired look, drop the opacity to 50%

Step 5: Snow

To create a snow-covered hill, you first need to create a new layer and make sure your foreground color is #ffffff. With the Pen Tool, create a hump shape at the left corner of the card.

Fill the hump in with #ffffff and then access the Blending Options menu. Change the settings as shown below. Note that the color for the Inner Shadow is #4e9194.

Continue creating hills until you get the desired look that you want.

Step 6: Tree

Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool create a triangle in the middle of your canvas and fill it in with #008609. This will be your Tree.

Step 7: Tree Boughs

To give the tree a more authentic look, you’ll want to use the lasso tool to create branches and boughs on the tree.

Open the Blending Options menu and add Bevel and Emboss using the following settings.

Step 8: Shadow

Make a new layer under the tree. Using the Circular Tool, make an oblong circle and fill it with #000000. This will be our shadow.

Change the opacity to “Soft Light” and use the Warp Tool to bend the circle so that it looks more realistic.

Step 9: Lights

In a new layer, add lights to the tree by selecting the tree image and, with the same technique that you used to create the scattered green lights, add white lights to the tree.

Step 10: Christmas Ornaments

Change the foreground color to #f02b2b and strategically place red dots around the tree. These will be your Christmas ornaments.

Double-click to access the blending mode and select Bevel and Emboss.

Step 11: Star

Go to the Custom Shape Tool and select the star-like image. With your foreground set to #ffd565, add a star on top of your tree.

Add both an Outer Glow and an Inner Glow to the star. Use the following settings.

Step 12: Tree Glow

Add Outer Glow to the tree layer using the following values.


Finish your Christmas Card by adding your desired text, a border, and additional glowing effects.

I hope you like your new Christmas card. Happy Holidays!