How to Create a Custom Greeting Card in Inkscape

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How to Create a Greeting Card in Inkscape

This tutorial to create a greeting card in Inkscape is suitable for all levels of Inkscape user. You will ideally need a digital photo for the front of the greeting card, but you could draw a design in Inkscape or use just text. In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a greeting card in Inkscape using a photo, but with text added also. If you don't have a digital photo available, you can still use the information in this tutorial to see how to layout the various elements so that you can print a double-sided greeting card.

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Open a New Document

Firstly we can set up a blank page.

When you open Inkscape, a blank document automatically opens. To check it is the correct size, go to File > Document Properties. I've selected Letter for the size and have also set Default units to inches and clicked the Portrait radio button. When the settings are as you need, close the window.

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Prepare the Document

Before starting, we can prepare the document.

If there are no rulers to the top and left of the page, go to View > Show/Hide > Rulers. Now click on the top ruler and, holding the mouse button down, drag a guide to the halfway point on the page, five and a half inches in my case. This will represent the fold line of the card.

Now go to Layer > Layers... to open the Layers palette and click on Layer 1 and rename it Outside. Then click the + button and name the new layer Inside. Now click on the eye button next to the Inside layer to hide it and click on the Outside layer to select it.

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Add an Image

Go to File > Import and navigate to your photo and click open. If you get a dialog asking whether to Link or embed image, select Embed. You can now use the grab handles around the image to re-size it. Remember to hold the Ctrl key to keep it in proportion. If you can't make the image fit the bottom half of the page, select the Rectangle tool and draw a rectangle of the size and shape that you want the image. Now place it over the image, hold the Shift key and click the image to select that also and go to Object > Clip > Set. This acts as a frame hiding the rest of the image outside of the frame.

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Add Text to Outside

You can use the Text tool to add a message to the front of the card if you like.

Just select the Text tool and click on the card and type in the text. You can adjust the settings in the Tool Options bar to change the font and size and you can change the color by selecting from the color swatches at the bottom of the window.

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Personalize the Back

Most greeting cards have a small logo on the rear and you can emulate this on your card to give it a more professional effect. You could just add your postal address here if nothing else.

Use the Text tool to add any writing that you want to include and if you have a logo to add, import it in the same way you imported your photo. Now position them together as you want them and go to Object > Group. Finally click on either of the Rotate selection 90º buttons twice and move the object into position in the top half of the page.

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Add a Sentiment to the Inside

With the outside finished, you can add a sentiment to the inside.

In the Layers palette, click the eye beside the Outside layer to hide it and click the eye beside the Inside layer to make it visible. Now click on  the Inside layer and select the Text tool. You can now click on the card and write the text that you want to appear inside the card. It needs to be positioned in the bottom half the page, somewhere below the guide line.

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Print the Card

To print the card, hide the Inside layer and make the Outside layer visible and print this 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 layer 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.