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Looking forward, reflecting back — the new year is an opportunity to bring your best into the next. If you’re not one for Christmas or Hanukkah greetings, welcoming the hope and ambition of the new year may be a more universally celebrated tradition that rings especially true after 2020.
With these new year card ideas to inspire you, send a little joy in the form of snail mail to friends and family this season. We promise — the connection this thoughtful gesture creates goes well beyond the simple piece of paper that sparked it.
Pro tip: All of the designs below our part of our New Year Cards collection!
One classic tradition with DIY new year cards is to highlight multiple of your favorite photos from throughout that year. Think of these as the stars of your camera roll — the everyday moments at home, a weekend trip, the perfect pet pose, that one shot where (miraculously) no one was blinking. Choose a few photos that encapsulate your year, and be sure to feature everyone in the household!
To refresh your memory, take a look at your Instagram feed for shots that were worth sharing, or check out the “For You” album on iPhone Photos for an auto-curated highlight reel.
While many big events and plans experienced postponements and cancellations this year, we’ve seen much creativity and commitment in making celebrations happen. No matter how big or small, they deserve to be documented! For you, maybe it was the backyard wedding, the drive-by graduation parade, the secluded birthday hike, or the virtual baby shower.
These major moments still happened, in what may have been the most memorable of forms. They’re what kept us all looking forward, and will keep us smiling every time we look back. Including these milestones on your new year card is a convenient way to inform and include loved ones who care, but maybe couldn’t make it there.
Time flies, but you can always leave it to the seasons to remind us of where we stand. We love the look of finding one quintessential photo from winter, spring, summer, and fall, and displaying them in a four-image layout. To make this theme more visually striking, try incorporating snow, blooming greenery, a sunny day, and fall foliage as your backdrops. Another unique option for the coming year would be to take a photo of the same subject (people, your home, etc.) in the same spot with changing scenery for each season.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but with a storied year like 2020, why not have both? Walk friends and family through a summary of your timeline, or maybe spend a sentence to give an update on each member of the family. Some card designs have plenty of space for text on the back side for more detailed text and paragraphs (plus more photos, if you please). Another option is to put your words front and center on the Our Story Holiday Card. Want to have a little extra fun word-smithing? Write a poem to keep it playful.
In a year filled with unique circumstances, time at home, and new perspectives, many people found an opportunity to make the most of it. Did you learn a new skill, or refine and old one? Did you work on an artistic craft, build a business, or teach the kids something to help fill the time? It’s these silver linings that kept us going, so they’re worth sharing with loved ones through words and pictures. A multi-photo layout works great for highlighting a handful of smaller accomplishments (though if you want to make a card with a dedicated shot of your homemade loaf of bread, we’re sure it’ll bring about many smiles!).
One way to give rise to feelings of hope and happiness through a single card is to exercise your sense of humor. In spite of hardships, a lighthearted outlook can be just what your circle needs. A few happy new year card ideas using humor include: photo outtakes with the family, odd scenes that were characteristic of the year, mask portraits — the photos don’t have to be perfect. In fact, the more relatable and candid, the better! Pair that with a simple phrase like “What a year,” “Bye 2020,” or [insert something about a dumpster fire]. You’ll be sure to get a few laughs, plus a spot on the fridge.
Weren’t able to arrange a professional holiday card photo shoot? It’s easier than you think to set up a simple at-home backdrop to get creative on your own! Grab a bed sheet and string lights or get crafty with holiday decor to create a mock photo booth, right from your living room or backyard. Self-timer on your smartphone will do the trick — and maybe you’ll get a few fun outtakes in the process! For more ideas of photos to take from right where you are, see our At-Home Photo Shoot Ideas.
Who knew at the beginning of this year that we’d spend the majority of it with face coverings? Lucky for us, they’ve become increasingly fashionable and normalized over time. But who couldn’t help but snap a selfie in awe of how odd it seemed? One thing many of us have learned in 2020 may simply have been how to smile with our eyes. Show off your favorite mask shot — ironic or not — with one of the most timely new year greeting card ideas out there.
For small business owners, this year was particularly challenging. If you’re someone with clients or customers, use these professional or DIY happy new year cards to touch base with them. Whether you’re a photographer with many weddings moved, or a freelancer with many new partnerships to nurture, the simple gesture of snail mail can go miles in keeping you top of mind and showing gratitude for your community.
We’ve spotted many creative cards made by our community, and this one always catches our eye. Use a plain background (refer to Idea 07!) and your camera on self-timer to snap shots of each member of your household — individually or together in various combos, outtakes and all. By turning this series into a photo strip, you can capture more moments and emotions than in one single photo. Don’t be afraid to incorporate seasonal or household props to make poses come more naturally!
Have new year card making ideas of your own? Don’t let set designs stop you from exercising your creativity! Use a program like InDesign or Canva to lay it all out, customize your text, and print it exactly how you envision. Our Design Your Own Cards give you pure white space to have some fun, while still enjoying the high-quality feel and 100% recycled paper our customers know and love.