DIY Holiday Cards for Maximum Fun Times


Greetings Holiday Enthusiasts! If you’re looking to inject more Holiday Fun Time into your greeting card routine, have we got a fun activity for you:

  1. Go to your local thrift, drugstore, Hallmark, whatever, and buy up as many blank non-holiday related cards as you need. Frankly, the less the card appeals to you, the more fun you’ll have with this activity.
  2. Transform these cards into your own custom greetings by doodling in holiday elements inspired by / or in spite of the cards’ original content.
  3. Bask in the numerous benefits you’ve experienced from engaging in this activity which may include but are not limited to any or all of the following: family bonding, hysterical fits of laughter, using your brain, flexing your creativity, the accidental hilarity of your crappy drawing skills, the palpable joy your eyeballs experience from not staring at a screen for a couple of hours, knowing you’re all grown up and you just spent two hours coloring, feeling like a kid again (see previous benefit), being fully engrossed in an activity, knowing you did right by your loved ones by creating personal greetings designed by you to delight them and/or push their buttons.


This year we walked to our local Papyrus store and picked up a collection of blank cards featuring Hugo Guinness prints, published by Chronicle Books. Each card is different and features simple linocut objects and dogs. Experience has taught us that the most mundane content makes for the best results in this activity so we knew we were in business with these babies. Here you can see the back of the box which features small reproductions of each card:


We used colored pencils, black marker, and sparkly pens to make these designs our own. We made some sweet and some mildly vulgar to suit the personalities of the intended recipients. This is our second year doing this and I think it’s going to stick around for the foreseeable future. It’s a great project for Thanksgiving weekend when the family is together and you want a non-physical activity to keep you busy while you digest between meals. Give it a try—it might become a tradition in your family too!

Here’s what we came up with this year:








Long ago on a vast and dry land there lived a cactus whose spines never stopped growing.  It was a proud and fearsome sight, but as they grew they became ever heavier until one day the cactus could bear the weight no longer and cried for help. Nearby, a large rodent was having problems of her own; word had spread that her kind was delicious and she found herself seeking shelter from a hungry cat beneath the protective spines of the inconsolable cactus. As the rodent caught her breath, she began to hear the cactus’ pitiful cries. Sensing the potential for a mutually beneficial arrangement, the vulnerable rodent spoke up: “I have an idea!” she squeaked. She set about using her powerful teeth to give the cactus a haircut and wove the severed spines into her own fur as she went. Finally unburdened, the cactus stood tall and atop its crown perched a large spiky rodent who would never be anybody’s dinner.


It’s been a long time since I shared a new post. I’ve been engaged in other creative pursuits, but all the while I missed this exercise and the creativity it sparked for me. So, here I am again, but this time I’ll be throwing together simpler illustrations and some traditional media like this one (watercolor). I may also start including other art-related posts as I complete projects and exercises each week. With this illustration I was looking to be playful and bright. We’ve got some wonky shadows going on—note to self: get your light source straight. Generally done without reference photos as I want to get more comfortable sketching from my imagination. I’m especially happy with the cat.