Every mother is different but I’ll tell you one thing they all have in common:
You’ll probably win a few points with your mom if you give her a nice card on Mother’s Day.
The problem is, if you’re above the age of 10, macaroni glued to a piece of construction paper probably won’t cut it…unless you’re the person who made this:
If you didn’t grow up to be the artistic talent your mother always thought you would be, don’t fret. If you start with a mother’s day card template, you can still make a heartfelt card that looks pretty nice too.
How to customize your mother’s day card template:
- Pick a template that you think your mom would like.
- Customize the card’s message (you gotta put in a little bit of work, ok?).
- For extra credit, customize the color scheme, font, and images to fit your mom’s taste.
- Download your beautiful mother’s day card and email it to her. Or print it out and give it to her the old-fashioned way.
Follow these mother’s day card design tips to create something worthy of your momma’s special day. Be sure to scroll to #10 for tips on how to optimize your card design for print.
1. Create a custom illustration using icons
Are your drawing skills less than stellar? You’re in luck. You can create artful, professional-looking illustrations using icons.
You can use icons in the same way you would use stickers (but in a totally grown up way). Once you’ve thought of a concept for your card, search for icons to make your illustration.
For example, this cute moon and stars illustrations was made by combining different icons:
Here’s another example, this time with a letter sending motif:
You could even go for a more abstract design, if your mother is into that kind of thing:
Design pro tip: Use icons that have the same visual style. Using icon with different style can make your card design look cluttered.
Here are three basic icon styles:
2. Give your mother’s day card a decorative border
A beautiful border can add a real touch of class to your mother’s day card.
Because you have limited space on your card, one option is to make your border the main visual component.
If you decide to use a busy, decorative border, then make sure to add a solid background to help your text pop.
For example, this mother’s day card template uses a red square to make the yellow and white font stand out from the floral border:
This is also a great example of how you can still add texture to your sections that use solid color.
3. Combines two to three different font styles
Typography is arguably as essential to your design as the images you use. Font selection can have a big impact on how the mood and message of your design is received (in fact, I did a whole study on font psychology).
On a card, where the focal point of your design is a written message, font can be the key
As a rule of thumb, use no more than three font styles in one design. Use one decorative font for the main text on your card, then use one or two more simplistic fonts for the supporting text.
For example, look at how this mother’s day card template tastefully combines three different font styles:
4. Use a neutral background color to make your illustrations and text pop
You might be tempted to used bright colors and tons of quirky visuals to impress your mom. But showing a little restraint can pay off.
When you combine a neutral background with a few bold accents, you can end up with a design that your mom will swear you paid someone else to make (just kidding–she totally believes in you, right?).
Pick a neutral background color like a light blue, pink, or grey. Then, use bright colors for your fonts and icons. Boom, the result:
5. Create a picture frame mother’s day card template
I’ll spare you the “picture-perfect” pun.
Want a creative way to show your mother she’s always on your mind? Make a picture frame card with a picture of you two together (or your dog, if you suspect she likes him better).
Start with a simple frame, then decorate it with icons of things your mom likes. Then, insert your photo in the frame.
This is how I imagine Harry Styles would decorate his card for his mother.
Here’s the template if you want to try and top that:
6. Use an unconventional frame shape
Just because your mother’s day card is a square, doesn’t mean your frame has to be.
Unconventional borders can make your mother’s day card design more interesting.
For example, contrasting your square-shaped card with a circular background can make for a pretty darn cute design.
Break up the circle with an icon or some text. This will make your card design more interesting.
You could also do a star-shaped border, a heart…the possibilities are endless.
7. Create a simple pattern design
Patterns are pleasing to the eye. Using a simple pattern can give your card a classic and cheery look–almost like wrapping paper!
For example, alternate between two shapes. You can create this effect easily using icons:
Design pro tip: When picking colors for your icons, use complementary colors like purple and yellow or blue and orange. For more color tips, read our guide to color selection.
Another easy pattern hack is to invert one shape to create an alternating pattern, like in this mother’s day card template:
Another pattern hack is to not use repeating icons, but to repeat the colors. This is a good approach if you don’t want your card design to be too symmetrical or matchy-matchy.
By using the same colors, you can still create a cohesive pattern.
For example, this mother’s day card template uses repeating shades of grey to make the different icons fit cohesively into one design:
8. For something a bit different, create a chart
Do you want to create a loveably geeky card for your mother? Then show her how much you love her, with data to back it up.
Use a fun chart for an unconventional card design. Charts aren’t just for visualizing boring data–they can also present information in creative and unexpected ways.
You could, for example, chart everything your mother does for you in a week using a line graph. Or you could use a pie chart to show the different qualities that make your mother so amazing:
Design pro tip: Because you have limited space on your card, keep your chart relatively simple. Use one pie chart, bar chart, word cloud, or venn diagram. Don’t overburden your chart with too many data points.
9. Give your card a mixed media look for a more traditional touch
When you design a card online, your first thought might be that it needs to have a modern flat design. Not so!
You can still incorporate more traditional design elements into your design. Patchwork designs, images of nature, and watercolor designs will add a more traditional feel to your card.
For example, a watercolor swatch can add a classy touch to your card:
Script fonts will also add a traditional touch to your design.
Script fonts mimic handwriting or calligraphy. They can make your messages feel more like personal–perfect if you won’t get a chance to visit your mother in person on Mother’s Day.
10. Optimize your mother’s day card template for print
Many of the mother’s day card templates in this article are designed to be e-cards. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. If you would like to print out your card, there are a few simple things you can do to optimize your card for print.
Design your page to be folded in half
Even if you use an e-card template, you can modify it for print. This is where a freeform template editing tool will work better than a more rigid template.
Let’s say you start with a card template that has a portrait orientation. First, change your page orientation to landscape. Then, resize the visuals to fit the new page dimensions.
Make sure that the page is evenly split in two–you’ll be folding the page down the middle. Using a grid can help you to evenly divide your page evenly.
Use a readable font
If your card is really nice, you mom might even want to display it in her living room. When designing a card for print, use a font that is readable from a few feet away.
As a rule of thumb, use at least 10 point font. Your font should also contrast enough with that background that you can easily read it.
Voila: a mantlepiece masterpiece!
Export in high quality
To avoid your card coming out blurry when you print it, make sure you export your card in high quality. As a rule of thumb, export your design in at least 300 dpi.
High quality PNG or PDF are both appropriate formats.
Now you’ve got the tools you need to make a memorable card for your special lady. Now what are you waiting for? Get cracking!
Next stop: Father’s Day!