Easy Dirt-Cheap DIY Christmas Card Idea {Free Download!}

Need a fast, easy, super-cheap DIY Christmas card idea you can use in a jiffy? I’ve got you covered!

I really think you will LOVE this fun Christmas card project. It comes with a free Christmas card template you can download, print, and decorate.

This Christmas card project is the perfect holiday activity for kids of any age, so long as they can hold a paintbrush. And fun for adults, too. The project is versatile in what materials you use, and super creative.

You can complete this project in as little as 5 minutes. And did I mention it’s dirt cheap? This card only costs the price of paper, black printer ink, and watercolor paint. You likely already have at least some of these materials hanging around your home.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like dropping $12.95 on cards I can make for free. Or rather, have my kids make!

Check it out!

DIY Christmas card project

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Here’s how to make the cards

  1. Download the master “template” card. 
  2. Then, print the template on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
  3. For each template sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, there are 3 cards within that template. So, you get 3 cards per sheet of paper. Print as many pages as you need.
  4. Cut the cards in thirds then paint the cards. Decorate with add-ons once dry if desired..
  5. Or, paint and decorate then cut the paper into thirds. (Sometimes easier, especially if little kids are painting them.)
  6. Put the cards in envelopes and mail them!

The cards say Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!” (The original set had “from our family name.” I blurred that out for privacy.)

The card template:

You can pin this image on Pinterest to save or share. This is to show you what the template looks like.

The dotted lines indicate where you would cut the sheet into thirds.

Materials needed for DIY Christmas cards

  • 8.5 x 11” Paper. I recommend using paper that is slightly thicker than printer paper, such as cardstock paper.
  • A computer and printer with black ink.
  • Watercolor paints and paintbrush.
  • Standard white envelopes such as the kind from the Dollar Store.
  • Optional add-ons you can glue to the cards as finishing touches.

Optional card embellishments & ad-ons

Glitter, puff paint, stickers, fabric scraps, magazine cut-outs, torn paper scraps… glue anything you feel like adding on top after the watercolor paint has dried. Ad-ons make a nice final embellishment to these cards. They add that textured, “mixed media” crafty element. But you can also skip this step.

Related: 15 Inspirational Art Journal Pages

Download the free Christmas card template here:

Christmas card template 8.5 x 11”

There are three cards per sheet of paper. 

Here’s how our cards turned out. We used watercolor paint.

Please note my original wording says from (our family name), but I blurred that out. The free printable has the words “Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!” 

I just love abstract watercolor art! 

Step by Step Instructions for Easy Cheap DIY Christmas Cards

  1. Download and print the template.
  2. Make sure you print it in portrait mode, not landscape mode. As mentioned, use slightly thicker paper, such as cardstock paper. That works best for printing and painting.
  3. Paint with watercolors, then cut into thirds. Or, cut the paper into thirds and then paint it.
  4. Decorate with embellishments or add-ons if desired.
  5. Put in envelopes, address, and mail!

That’s it!

I know these cards don’t look perfect. They look like what they are: homemade Christmas cards. They are a little wrinkled, a little imperfectly cut, and a whole lot beautiful, in my opinion. 

Related: How to Paint Over a Large Canvas: Easy Mixed Media Wall Art Makeover

Ideas about how to paint the cards

The idea we rolled with was “abstract” with our watercolors as you can see. But, you could paint scenery, candy canes, gingerbread people, or anything you like. 

Please know that unless you use special watercolor paper, the paper may wrinkle a little bit when it dries, as shown in the photos. I think it adds to the charm.

You could also use a different type of paint, such as acrylic. But for that make sure your paper is sturdy so it holds up to the paint. Then, get crafty!

My girls painted the entire 8.5 x 11” sheets of paper first, then I cut the papers into thirds. They may embellish them with glitter or something else later.

Final thoughts

Maybe I’m more excited than I should be about this DIY Christmas card idea. But, hey, that’s mom life!

Projects like these are fun ways to be creative and spread Christmas cheer. It’s good family time, you save money, and the kids stay busy.

I hope you enjoyed this crafty watercolor Christmas card project. Please let me know what you think in the comments!

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