How to Create a Greeting Card in GIMP

A woman holding a card
Kohei Hara/Getty Image
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How to Create a Greeting Card in GIMP

A woman holding a card
Kohei Hara/Getty Image

Even beginners will be able to follow this tutorial to create a  greeting card in GIMP. This tutorial just requires you to use a  digital photo that you've taken with your camera or phone and does not require any specialist skills or knowledge. However, as you'll see how to place elements so that you can print a greeting card on both sides of a sheet of paper, you could produce a text only design easily if you haven't got a photo handy.

 

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Open a Blank Document

In order to follow this tutorial to create a greeting card in GIMP, you first need to open a new document.

Go to File > New and in the dialog select from the list of templates or specify your own custom size and click OK. I've chosen to use Letter size.

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Add a Guide

In order to place items accurately, we need to add a guide line to represent the fold of the greeting card.

If there aren't rulers visible to the left and above the page, go to ​View > Show Rulers. Now click on the top ruler and, holding the mouse button down, drag a guide line down the page and release it at the halfway point of the page.

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Add a Photo

The main part of your greeting card will one of your own digital photos.

Go to File > Open as Layers and select the photo you want to use before clicking Open. You can use the Scale Tool to reduce the size of the image if necessary, but remember to click the Chain button to keep the image proportions the same.

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Add Text to the Outside

You can add some text to the front of the greeting card if desired. 

Select the Text Tool from the Toolbox and click on the page to open the GIMP Text Editor. You can enter your text here and click Close when finished. With the dialog closed, you can use the ​Tool Options below the ​Toolbox to change the size, color, and font.

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Customize the Rear of the Card

Most commercial greeting cards have a small logo on the rear and you can do the same with your card or use the space to add your postal address.

If you're going to add a logo, use the same steps as you used to add the photo and then add some text also if desired. If you're using text and a logo, position them relatively to each other. You can now link them together. In the Layers palette, click on the text layer to select it and click on the space beside the eye graphic to activate the link button. Then select the logo layer and activate the link button. Finally, select the Rotate Tool, click on the page to open the dialog and then drag the slider all the way to the left to rotate the linked items.

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Add a Sentiment to the Inside

We can add text for the inside of a card by hiding the other layers and adding a text layer.

Firstly click on all the eye buttons beside the existing layers to hide them. Now click on the layer that is at the top of the Layers palette, select the ​​​​Text Tool and click on the page to open the text editor. Enter your sentiment and click Close. You can now edit and position the text as desired.

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Print the Card

The inside and outside can be printed onto different sides of a single sheet of paper or card.

First, hide the inside layer and make the outside layers visible again so this can be printed first. If the paper you are using has a side for printing photos, ensure that you're printing onto this. Then flip the page around the horizontal axis and feed the paper back into the printer and hide the outside layers and make the inside layer visible. You can now print the inside to complete the card.​

Tip: You may find it helps to print a test on scrap paper first.