Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 28, 2011

2010 Holiday Card Layout

Since 2004 I’ve taken our holiday cards and created layouts that showcase bits of the images collaged together in a celebration of the season.

It’s a fun way to do something with those cards other than storing or recycling.

No journaling, just a bunch of squares and a couple rectangles. I use a square punch (the purple Clever Lever Craft Punch from Marvy is the one I used this year) to get the squares all the same size. This year I also hand cut some images to make them 2x the size of the single square punch.

Last year I did a big post on this topic that included all my holiday card layouts going back to 2004. It’s a good read if you’re interested in learning more about why I do this and seeing six years of examples.

Here’s a look at my 2010 two-page spread:

My friend Bob, the guy in the second row from the bottom with the pretty girl and the dog, wrote me a note with their card this year that they upped the size of their photo so they could take up more real estate on my layout this year. Here you go Bob!

And the other side:

The big photo on this page is my sweet niece Gabrielle. Look at those eyes. Can’t wait to see them in March for Spring Break.

Hope you have a great weekend!


  • 1.
    dawn said…

    I love the one with your niece and she is so cute. This is a great idea to use your cards. Thanks for sharing. Happy Weekend!

  • 2.
    Alida said…

    Umm, I’m first? Love this. Just wish I could get my friends to send me photo cards…

    • ….
      nerdgrl said…

      Alida: You don’t really need photo cards. I took Ali’s idea a couple of years ago but used squares of the cards themselves. Turned out just fine.

  • 3.
    christen said…

    i love this! i’ve doing something similar since you showed it years ago and i love it in our albums.

  • 4.
    Sarah said…

    Love this idea. You are SO CREATIVE!

  • 5.
    Lisa W. said…

    I just did this for 2010 …was quite fun. I just used the cards with pictures and decided these were SO nice I just could not throw them in a box. So I simply scrapped them in a 8×8 Christmas Album, with very few added embellishments. But your layouts are quite refreshing. Like…thanks Ali

  • 6.
    Ruth said…

    Wow, photos cards are really popular in the US, aren’t they? Not so much here in London/UK.

  • 7.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    I have done this every year since 2005 and love it. I take my current year layouts and have them in two frames by our front door. When the year is up, and the next year is in – I take my pages already completed and slip them in my 12 x 12 album. Everyone loves to look at these during the year
    Love looking back on these.
    Your niece is a doll!!

    • ….
      pidge said…

      What a fantastic idea! I always hate to put away the pictures so soon after Christmas!

    • ….
      Kelly B said…

      Ditto Nicky that the framed layouts are a great idea. What a fabulous way to have your friends & family in your home every day.

  • 8.
    faerwillow said…

    ~this has to be the most creative way to savor those moments given from loved ones near and far…year after year…i am left with what should i do with all these cards and all to soon they are left to be stored along side our holiday decor…you have given us a beautiful way to cherish such cards…thank you so…much love light and blessings be with you and yours~

  • 9.
    Wynn H said…

    I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing this. I now know what to do with the Chrstimas cards I have been saving for years.

  • 10.
    Angel said…

    I also love this idea Ali and will try to do it this year. One other thing – I noticed that where you have the “filed under” part, it looks like you’ve labelled this “traditional CRAPBOOKING” …lol. Have we renamed our beloved hobby??? :-)

  • 11.
    char said…

    I do this every year too, but since we don’t get too many photo cards here in the UK I punch out part of the actual Christmas card. It works well and goes straight into the December Daily album.

  • 12.
    julia said…

    Ali… I did this last year after reading your post and I love the way it turned out! I just started punching out my cards this week to get this year’s layout ready… and I LOVE the idea of doubling the size of a few of the squares (rectangles). I had a small pile of cards that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with b/c i really didn’t want to cut someone’s head in half;) Thanks for sharing!

  • 13.
    Deirdre said…

    SO Funny! I just did this YESTERDAY—I saw Becky Higgins’ post about finally throwing away all the saved Christmas cards of other families and I thought—So should I! So I pulled out the 5 bags I had (from 2006-2010), and realized in one night I could make the 5 pages I’ve wanted to add to our Christmas album.

    I searched your archives and found your old layouts for inspiration–and now I’m done! And then today this post! Life is funny (though I have to say…your margins around the photos are much straighter than mine, even though I drew lines—is that just a gift?!).

  • 14.
    Dawn said…

    Geeat idea – thank you.

  • 15.
    Kerith said…

    Wow, that photograph of your niece is spectacular – like a Gap ad! Do you happen to know who the photographer is? Thanks again for sharing.

  • 16.
    Deb J said…

    I love this idea. I know you can use regular cards but I love the idea of the pictures. I need to bug people about sending pictures every year. I like seeing the progression.

  • 17.
    pidge said…

    Only YOU can get a large photo of the one person you wouldn’t want to cut up … AND in the picture is a perfect square accent!!! Serioulsy, I think I’m jealous! ha. Maybe I should just say that I’m in awe of your luck and inspired by your eye for design! :)

  • 18.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    Love it!!!! You’re the bomb!

  • 19.
    elise said…

    looks awesome Ali. and I was excited to see Paul and I on there!!

  • 20.
    Judy Webb said…

    Young families are so fortunate to have you share your creativity with them. This is something I would have loved 48 years ago. I have the cards in the dreaded magnitic books but this is so much better.

  • 21.
    Jennie said…

    i love this idea. i’ve done it for the last two years and think it’s the perfect way to hold on to the cards, without things taking up way too much space. i did the same with my bridal shower cards as well!

    • ….
      Judy said…

      What a great idea to use other occasions as well! Thanks Jennie.

  • 22.
    Gina Crowley said…

    I did this last year (after I saw yours) and it was one of my favorite layouts of the year. I have my cards in a pile ready to do it again.

  • 23.
    Maegen Jenne said…

    i think i might make this idea an addition to my p365 this year. great idea and i hate just tossing those cards.

  • 24.
    Heidi said…


  • 25.
    Jackie Bremer said…

    I love this! It is so hard to throw away the cards but I never know what to do with them so they just set around!

  • 26.

    Ali, I have to ask: did you scan the photo images to have them be so small? We got a lot of photo cards, but all are way too big to fit a small square like yours.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Nope – no scanning. Some were smaller and some larger – sometimes people get cut out :) .

  • 27.
    Robin W. said…

    I don’t get many cards to begin with, let alone cards that have pictures with them, so I cut out the parts of the cards that have the signatures and then use parts of the fronts that I like also. It turns out looking pretty cute too.

  • 28.
    Angie F said…

    So glad you showed us this year’s version of your layout! LOVE it! I need to do this with this year’s (2010) and past years so we can look at them! (Instead of being boxed up!) THANK YOU!!

  • 29.
    Judy said…

    I’ve been waiting for this post to inspire me to do our 2010 cards…. thank you for helping give myself permission to use only part of a photo. I enjoyed them when they arrived and appreciated the sentiment of someone taking the time to send it to me, but that doesn’t mean their entire card has to appear on my layout.
    Thanks for being you Ali :)

  • 30.
    Sara G. said…

    I love how you put this together!

  • 31.
    Coreen said…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been in process of purging 10 yrs of Christmas cards-wondering what should I do with the photos. Now I have a fabulous idea! Wonderful :)

  • 32.
    BARB T said…

    Thank you, Ali. With more than 30 years of marriage behind me, I have oodles of photos from friends and relatives and now I have an idea as to how I might display them rather than in a box.

  • 33.
    Heather H said…

    I’m so glad you posted this again this year, Ali! It’s one of my favorite projects of yours. So simple! I was wondering though, do you do anything with the Christmas cards that YOU create and send to family & friends each year? I was thinking of putting mine in the big space you used for your niece.

  • 34.
    Sam F said…

    I don’t really get that many photo cards or Christmas cards in general but I have this tip stored away in case I do. I just love that it’s all condensed into a two-page spread. So cool.

  • 35.
    lee said…

    This is one of my favorite scrapbook pages to make…not only because it keeps things out of my boxes full of stuff I’ll probably rarely ever look at, but also because it’s such a simple thing to make. No journaling…no “story” to portray…just a beautiful summary of the joy and cheer shared with friends and family during the holiday season. Love it!! =)

  • 36.
    Kelly B said…

    I’ve been doing this for the last few years as well and love it. Earlier this week I found a stash of photo cards from 2007 that I had never scrapped. One of the cards is a photo of a friend & her family. She passed away before Christmas 2008. The images & memories of the people I love are the reasons that I not only do this layout every year, but the reason I scrap. I cleared the project that I was working on off my table and scrapped those cards immediately.

  • 37.
    emily ruth said…

    love this! every year i think ‘i should do this!’…someday :) …fun to see a picture of tricia’s kiddos!

  • 38.
    Janet said…

    I have been doing this for the past 3 years since I saw it on your blog. I love it and each year I look forward to keeping my holiday cards. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  • 39.
    scrappysue said…

    Lovely Ali! We don’t get photo cards, but I use a square punch of part of the card and part of the handwriting. I was joking to DH that I was going to ask everyone to write their names in a 2″ square next year, LOL! Love that your friend wanted a bigger picture on your LO too!

  • 40.
    Chrystie DeSmet said…

    Great idea to crop them down! I’ve also done this idea for several years, but never thought to crop them down, gasp! I think I liked seeing the dif. cards in whole, but it does take up allot of space on a page & now most people do this type of card, so this will conserve space! Thanks!! :)

  • 41.
    Kathy said…

    Seems like this is the year of the photo card for you too. I have been doing this layout since 2004 and can see the transition from mostly traditional cards to mostly photo cards. I do miss the creative challenge of using the traditional cards.

  • 42.
    Alicia said…

    Is there a digital template package for doing something like this in Photoshop?

  • 43.
    Kathleen said…

    Love this idea—still have all my cards for years—this may be a February project for me to get them all done! I remember it from last year, but I didn’t do it—need to do it! Thanks, Ali~

  • 44.
    lindsey said…

    Ali, since you are doing project life do these layouts go into that album, into their own or do you have some other clever way you store them? Thank you for always being so willing to break down your process!

  • 45.
    Christine said…

    A beautiful layout! …I have been doing this same project since you inspired me several years ago! I love it. One day I will get around to the piles of Christmas cards dating back to the early 2000′s that I kept but never really knew what to do with and make them into a layout. Love it! Thank you!

  • 46.
    Carrie said…

    Weird thing is that my layouts like this actually date back to 2003! I know I took your idea and used it… maybe I still had ’03 cards on hand and went back and did them? Ha.

    In any event, I now have 8 layouts like this and love them. :)

  • 47.
    Deirdre said…

    Ali, neat idea. Thanks for sharing. Normally I put all the photo cards into my photo albums which are done year on year… so I get to see the kids grow in the photos!

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