Making traditional Christmas cards with AI

Tim Wells
3 min readNov 1, 2022

Christmas cards don’t seem to be that common anymore, not here least ways, but I have fond memories of receiving cards with festive artwork from family and friends.

I’m sure you can probably still get them these days, but most of the cards I see are more modern than the ones I’m picturing.

But what if we could make our own custom Christmas cards to hand out to people or to post to family we can’t see when it comes to Christmas day… and we could do it an a more traditional art style, but using modern technology.

Christmas “artwork” generated using stable diffusion

I started to experiment using stable diffusion to create Christmas themed artwork. The sorts of things I remember seeing on old school cards we used to hang up in the house at Christmas.

As is typical with this AI art stuff, the results were mixed. However, in among the weird and wacky things it came up with, were a few that, while not quite right, weren’t too far off either. They could certainly be suitable to have printed on cards that you could send to people this holidays.

Allow me to share some of the results.

This was one of the better ones. Still not perfect, but with a little TLC could work alright.

For all of these I used a fairly simple prompt for the AI, along the lines of “A Christmas scene, matte painting, concept art”

I may have tweaked it a little, but it was always some slight variation of that.

More Christmas themed “artwork” generated using the AI

It wouldn’t take much to open these in an image editing tool of choice, add some personal touches, maybe fix some mistakes and then print them as custom cards.

These are some of the ones that turned out alright. I haven’t shared the awful ones, because, well, they are awful. I’m sure if you try this out for yourself you’ll run into plenty such terrible quality ones of your own.

Having done this experiment, I’m thinking now about re-introducing the idea of sending cards this holiday season. I’m thinking I’ll be taking some photos and using those, but who knows, maybe I could print some of these and send them with a personal note to some online friends. Maybe we should bring back sending cards.

Do you still send and received Christmas cards in our digital world? I’m keen to know if that tradition is still alive and well these days. Thanks for reading. I do hope you’ve enjoyed. Till next time.

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Tim Wells

Self taught software developer and photographer.