Acorn Acorn 5

Holiday Card

holiday card2.acorn

This tutorial will guide you on how to make your own greeting card.  Gather images you would like to include on the frame of the card.  If you wish to use the images shown here, links to them can be found in the photo credits at the end of the tutorial.    

snowflake mini.acornstar mini.acorngingerbread man mini.acorncandy cane mini.acorn

For the snowflake and star, follow the instructions given in the shape brushes tutorial to make them into a shape brush.  For the candy cane and gingerbread men, the background needs to be removed.  For more detailed information on removing a background, read How to Remove a Background.  

Create a new image in Acorn, File ▸ New (⌘N).  If you are planning on printing your holiday card, be sure to set the resolution to around 200 ppi.  The color of the background doesn't matter since you'll be changing it in a minute.  Set the dimensions of the image to a multiple of 4 x 6 to allow for easy printing later.  This tutorial will use 800 x 1200.  Click "OK".   

Select the fill tool from the tools palette and click on the color well in the tools palette.  Pick a color from the colors palette for your background and click on your canvas to fill the layer with that color.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.37.47 PM.png

It's time to use the shape brushes you created from the snowflake and star.  Click on the paint tool in the tools palette, then select the color you want to use in the tool palette color well.  With each snowflake or star you brush on, change the brush size and opacity.  Go ahead and put them all over the canvas leaving a little space for other images you may want to include.  If you don't like where you brushed, just use ⌘Z to undo it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 2.43.30 PM.png

Now drag and drop your other images into the layers list.  Be sure to place them above your background layer.  Make duplicates of the layer if you want the image to appear multiple times in your card by using Layer ▸ Duplicate Layer (⇧⌘D).  Use Layer ▸ Rotate and Transform ▸ Scale and Rotate (⇧⌘T) to change their size and rotation to suit your desired look.  Use the move tool to place the images.  


Repeat this process for all the images you are bringing into your card frame.  


Now select the rectangle shape tool in the tools palette.  Make sure the "fill" box is checked and the "stroke" box is unchecked.  Draw out a rectangle and change the rectangle dimensions in the inspector palette to fit the entire canvas, 800 x 1200.  Make sure the edges of the rectangle snap to the edges of the canvas.  


Now draw a second rectangle.  The color of the rectangle must be white.  The dimensions used here are 600 x 800.  To line up the rectangle, choose View ▸ Guides ▸ Show Guides.  Two vertical guides placed at 100 and 700 pixels and two horizontal guides placed at 150 and 950 pixels works well.  Once you have your rectangle lined up, you can hide the guides via View ▸ Guides ▸ Hide Guides.


Now select both shapes, Select ▸ Select All.  Choose Shape ▸ Exclude Paths.  Change the blending mode of the shape layer to ‘Mask’.


Go to Layer ▸ New Group Layer.  Select all your layers and drag and drop them into the group.  Change the blending mode of the group layer to “Normal”.  


Drag and drop the image you are displaying in your holiday card to the very bottom of your layers list.  If the image doesn't line up perfectly, use the arrow keys or move tool to center it.  You may need to use Layer ▸ Rotate and Transform ▸ Scale and Rotate (⇧⌘T) if the image is too large for the framed area.  


To add a white border around the main image, click on your top most layer in the layers list.  Then go to Layer ▸ New Shape Layer.  Select the rectangle tool again, but this time uncheck fill, check stroke with a setting of around 10, and corner radius with a setting of 10.  Select white as the color of the border in the stroke color well.  Draw out your rectangle with the dimensions of 600 x 800 and using the move tool, place it to frame the main image.


To give the white rectangle frame some depth, add a shape shadow.  You can learn more about how to do this in 'Drop Shadows'.  

Add a new shape layer to the top of your layers list.  Click on the text tool and choose your font.  Play around with size, placement, color, etc.  This example uses Lucida Calligraphy.  Once you have the text the way you want it, add a shape shadow.  


To wrap up your card, use the move tool to move around any of the border images that may need re-placement to create a more balanced look.  

holiday card.acorn


Photo Credits



Candy Cane 

Gingerbread Man 

Santa Baby