Mother’s Day is right around the corner. And if you don’t have a card yet, don’t panic. You can print your own. Here are some ideas to dress up the card. This makes it look more pro rather than just printing a basic 5×7 and sending it off.

Pick an image

Pick a photo that says Mother’s Day for the mother in your life. Flowers make good subject material. I photographed an iris, added some paint texture, shadows and gave it an overall pink and magenta tone.

The beauty of making your own cards is the personalizing the image for the recipient. My mother-in-law loves birds and flowers.

Create a card template

Make a template so most of this work is done for your next card project. When the template is complete save it as a Layered PSD. Then simply add a new image, tweak the text and you are ready to go.

mothers day photo card make your own
Layers palette for Mother’s Day card template

Make a file to your desired size. I’ve chosen a 5×7 at 300ppi (1500×2100 pixels). Fill with a light gray tone. Because I am using a plain border around the image, I’ve made this exactly 5×7 inches. I add a one pixel black Layer fx stroke to use as a cut line. If you wish to print your image full bleed you would want to increase the size by a quarter of an inch.

Make a rectangular selection just inside the background layer (1414×1979 pixels) and create a New Layer (Cmd J on Mac; Ctrl J on Windows). To give the card a more finished look I added a Layer fx with settings Stroke of 5 pixels and Inner Shadow of 48 pixels. This gives the appearance of an inset frame.

There is a Curves Adjustment Layer over the two background layers to control brightness. If you wish to have the ability to change the color as well you could add a Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer.

mothers day photo card make your own
Finished Mothers Day card


Sign a white piece of paper with black Sharpie ink marker. Scan the paper. If you don’t have a scanner you can make a photo of the signature. Invert and add as a Layer set to Screen Blend Mode. Learn more about the reversed signature technique here.

Add text

Add a text layer. I used Athelas Bold Italic text with a Bevel and Emboss effect, but you can get several fonts from Adobe Fonts if you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber. Soft light layers were added below the text to help make it legible due to the darkness of the print.

Print it

Your significant other will appreciate the personalization this technique brings to your holiday greetings. You can also make this a client card for marketing, but that’s an article for another day. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob