DIY · Home & Garden

Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

Need some timeless Christmas card envelope decorating ideas this year? I’ve got you covered with these fun, easy tips for memorable holiday cards this season.

Christmas card envelope decorating ideas are shown with a Kraft envelope that has been drawn on with markers.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… You know it’s that time of year again when every commercial features families in festive PJ’s, classic holiday music, and winter wonderland scenes from beyond the window. 

We’re in that time where Halloween has passed and people tend to pay less attention to the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone is just too hyper-focused on Christmas. I get it. People want to get ahead of the game and are afraid they’ll miss a moment or a tradition if they don’t start now.

I, myself, am guilty of ordering holiday cards super early this year (I had them on my doorstep a few weeks before Halloween even hit!). Can you blame me? The time from Thanksgiving to Christmas goes by in the blink of an eye. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to forget to send holiday cards at all. 

I like to order cards early to give myself plenty of time to decorate, address and stamp, and send them out right after Thanksgiving. This way I know everyone (including my cousin Denise, all the way in France) will get their card in time. Mail can get crazy during that month between Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza. 

Plus, I’d rather get it done and save extra time for more fun activities later…

Designs are added to an envelope for the holidays.

Christmas cards are not just for those boasting big families, either. Single, newly married, newly pregnant, or whatever–everyone is worthy of fun, festive photoshoots. Add these special moments to your cleverly decorated cards for the holiday season and send them off with a sense of purpose and intention. Your life is worth being celebrated regardless of how large your family is. 

Whether you choose a basic print for your card or organize a color-coordinated photoshoot, cards are a lovely way to update friends and relatives about your life and wish them a happy holiday season. 

Plus, they are so fun to design! I ordered mine from Artifact Uprising this year and absolutely love them. 

A man and woman embrace on a Christmas card laid on a tabletop next to pine cones.

We set up a simple photoshoot in our home with my DSLR camera and tripod. I edited them in Lightroom. And then I chose a simple, modern card design from Artifact Uprising and they were on my doorstep in a week. 

Now, I get to give you all some fun Christmas card envelope decorating ideas to make them just as fun on the outside. 

The envelopes are just as important as the contents inside, you know!

Here are some of my Christmas card envelope decorating ideas for this year…

Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

Envelopes and stamps 

Hand-drawn designs with markers I used these markers HERE

Hand-lettered fonts I used this hand lettering workbook kit HERE  

Stamps and wax seals I used these ink stamps HERE

Little trinkets 

Envelopes & stamps | Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

This year I was really intentional with the card and envelope I selected for family and friends. Although I designed our card online using a template, I took extra care in finding an envelope that was classic and neutral so any designs I decorated it with would be visible. 

A Kraft envelope and stamps are the first part of Christmas card envelope decorating ideas.

I recommend choosing a white, gray, or kraft envelope.This allows for a contrast between decorations and the background and better visibility for receivers.

Additionally, finding the perfect festive stamp can really put a unique spin on the envelope. USPS offers a variety of different holiday stamps each year, so this shouldn’t be very hard. I highly recommend getting a festive stamp that embodies the winter and/or holiday season. Just be sure to choose one that coordinates well with the colors and themes of your card envelopes. 

Santa stamps are laid over an envelope on a table.

Hand-drawn designs with markers | Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

This is where it gets fun. I like to buy metallic sharpie markers (usually in silver, gold, and bronze) that are perfect for drawing ornaments, ice crystals, snowflakes, and more.

You can get as creative as you want with these. 

The back of an envelope has trees and snowflakes drawn on it.

If you’re a beginner, you can search for simple designs to replicate by doing a quick Google or even Pinterest search. Even if you use more complicated designs as a blueprint, you can always create more minimalist versions. 

For more complicated designs for all the artists out there, Youtube offers lots of free tutorials for drawing different characters. 

Here are a few other drawing ideas:

Elves

Santa

Deer

Poinsettias 

Christmas trees

Holly berry branches

An envelope is decorated with marker.

Practice a few of these on scrap paper first if you’re nervous. Once you get a basic design down, add these to the front and back of the card. Most envelope paper is thick enough to not bleed through with marker, but if you must place some placeholder paper inside the card as you draw. Remove this once you’re done and then add the real card last so it remains intact.

I used these markers HERE

Hand-lettered fonts | Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

I picked up a new hobby this year: hand lettering. AKA calligraphy. For our first anniversary, my husband gave me a hand lettering set that included pens, a pencil & eraser, and a workbook with instructions and practice pages. (First wedding anniversary is traditionally paper, so this was a perfect gift for me as a creative who is always looking to dip my fingers into something new!) Since then he’s even gotten me a few more fountain pens that are so fun to learn with. 

It has been a lot of work and I don’t expect most people to just know or quickly learn how to handletter. Especially just to send out a few holiday cards. But this was actually the main reason I started learning how to handletter in the first place.

A woman's name is hand lettered onto the front of an envelope.

I had been dying to learn this skill. As someone who writes and appreciates the lost art of handwriting, it felt right to learn this useful skill. Now, as I perfect this skill and learn the many styles and techniques, I’m able to start using this for invitations and cards. There is something so sophisticated about giving a handwritten envelope in beautiful cursive letters with thick downstrokes. The letters really can get extravagant. Hiring someone to do this is very expensive, so it is a skill I knew would be valuable to learn. 

Even though I am still a beginner, addressing holiday card envelopes is the perfect first big project to get more experience with handlettering. Even if you’re a beginner like me, there are simpler handlettering styles that don’t even include cursive at all. (Just unique, funky script fonts that are a bit easier to conquer.) 

I am so excited to try my hand at this and recommend this if you’re artistic and have a bit of experience in this art.

An envelope has been designed just for Christmas.

Just be sure to stick to readable lettering styles when it comes to the street addresses. The mail carrier must be able to read the address correctly! Stick to less fancy ones to ensure your card makes it to the correct place. Then save the cursive-style fonts for the recipient’s name.

I used this hand lettering workbook kit HERE  

Stamps and wax seals | Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

I could not resist a fun ink stamp when I noticed a variety of them packaged together at Michael’s craft store. I intend on using them over the holidays for various little art projects. 

Stamps are fun to place on the back of the envelope, near the seal, where people can see them just before opening their holiday card. They are so easy to use if you aren’t apt to draw. I highly recommend these for those who aren’t as artistic, but still want a little something extra on their envelope. You can even purchase ink pads in different colors.

A woman stamps a card shut.

Just don’t go too wild. We want the envelopes to be decorated, not look like graffiti alley. 

Wax seals are another interesting addition to envelopes. These take a bit more skill. But with wax available in so many different colors and there being so many different designs, it’s a truly unique spin on holiday card crafting. 

Just be sure that if you go this route, your mail carrier is able to process these. Some sorting machines have trouble with the thickness and size of these seals. Check first, so you don’t send out a bunch of scuffed seals.

I used these ink stamps HERE

Little trinkets | Christmas Card Envelope Decorating Ideas

I have never actually done this, but I have seen it done and love it. This could mean a charm (like for a charm bracelet), a tiny branch of something festive, dried florals sprinkled inside for ambiance, or even an essential oil spritzed carefully on the envelope and card (after everything dries–and please be very careful and spray lightly).

A small twig of baby's breath lays on a newly decorated envelope.

The point of this is to add drama and mood to the card and envelope. Adding in different colors, textures, and scents really adds sophistication to a card. This will make it such a memorable experience for the receiver. 

You truly want the receiver to be thrilled about their holiday card. (Sometimes we send these to people we barely ever see.) Give them a true experience with ambiance. It’ll almost be as if you’re right there hand delivering it…

Final thoughts…

I hope I’ve given you some new Christmas card envelope decorating ideas for the coming season. You don’t need to include all of these in your holiday cards. But wouldn’t it just make you feel so special to get a unique, handmade card in the mail, all decked out in color, shimmer, and more? 

There is something so special about giving a beautiful card you took the time to decorate and design yourself. Besides, it allows you to use your creativity and give them something from the heart that they truly deserve, all in a cute paper envelope. I have a feeling no one would turn down such a clever card like this.

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting to all my fellow creatives!

Card decorating supplies are scattered onto a tabletop.

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