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Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card

Alrighty everyone, this post is extra amazing….can you handle it?!  Soooo, just why is this post so spectacular, you ask?  Well, allow me to elaborate some: 1) Adorable red-nose reindeer tot; 2) 37 (yes…thirty-seven!) rocking holiday projects; and 3) an INCREDIBLE Silhouette giveaway for two lucky winners….I know I’m excited!

Even though I absolutely love the holiday season, we haven’t sent Christmas cards out for several years now.  Last year, I had planned on buying some photo cards from one of those popular online photo sites since it was my son, Rowan’s, first Christmas, but….time just got away from me.  Whomp, whomp….I felt like such a Scrooge.  Well, now that I have an amazing, incredible, WONDERFUL crafting tool known as a Silhouette Cameo, there was no way I’d be letting another holiday season pass by without sending out our holiday greetings.

You bet your festive fruitcake that I’d put my Cameo to good use and whip up a custom DIY Christmas card, and an extra adorable one to boot.  Nope….standard, boring, store-bought cards are a thing of the past!  This year I also got extra fancy, because not only did I make a custom photo Christmas card, but it’s also an ornament card.  OOOOOO, fancy indeed!

Here I’ll walk you through how I made it, step by step, so you can make a photo ornament Christmas card of your very own (red-nosed reindeer or other variety).

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card and Silhouette GIVEAWAY!
 [Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.]

This post is extra special to me….not only does it feature my little man in adorable holiday cuteness (squeee!), BUT I’m also co-hosting my very first giveaway AND it’s my first time partaking in The Silhouette Challenge!  Woop Woop!  Keep reading for all the juicy details on this AMAZING giveaway as well as 37 awesome holiday projects.

First things first….on with the tutorial!


The Red-Nosed Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card

The Reindeer File

I first purchased this cute reindeer file for a measly ole .99 cents.  It’s a cutesy little reindeer, complete with a tiny body and legs, a perky tail and antlers, and I just love how the Christmas lights are strung across the top….so adorable!  It would also be really easy to swap out the reindeer’s head for Rowan’s (and I’m all about easy!).

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Operation Head Swap

In Photoshop Elements, I opened up the reindeer file and erased its head as well as the blue (ice?) under its feet.  I also switched up a couple colors of the lights, just to even them out a bit instead of only having the red/green on the bottom and the yellow/blue on top (hey, I’m sorry but that bothered me….slightly OCD here).

I then opened up a super cute photo from Rowan’s first birthday photoshoot that featured him looking straight at the camera with the sweetest little smile on his face (before he became covered with smash cake, of course).

In that file, I did the opposite of what I did to the reindeer, and instead erased everything but Rowan’s little head.  Then I moved his bodiless head and transplanted it on the reindeer’s headless body, and then finished the design by erasing parts of his head so the strand of lights would hang down in front.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

[Note: while I used Photoshop Elements to edit the reindeer file and my son’s photo, you certainly don’t *need* to have it.  This could also be done in Silhouette Studio by using the Editing points tool and changing the cut lines of your file(s) to crop out your desired areas (a bit more on that below).]


Tracing & Adding Cut Lines

Now that my design was complete, I saved it then opened it up in Silhouette Studio.  I first needed to trace it so I could get cut lines added that could be cut with my Silhouette Cameo.  I only needed a good enough trace to get cut lines along the outer edge (hooray for not needing every layer traced individually!).  This is because I was going to be utilizing the print and cut function, so no layering of different colors/elements would be needed.

I played around with the trace settings until most of the edges had a decent trace:

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

I needed to utilize the Editing Points tool and clean up the cut lines a bit (I have a love/hate relationship with this tool….).  I spent an hour or so tidying up the edges, and I also needed to add cut points and lines into the loops in the antlers and string of lights, as well as between the reindeer’s…errrr, Rowan’s legs.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

I moved the image off to the side to check my final cut lines, and here they were.  Looks pretty darn good!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Adding a Circle for Hanging & Duplicating Cut Lines

Since this was going to be an ornament Christmas card, I needed to add a tiny hole at the top that, once cut out, I could string some baker’s twine through for hanging.  To do this, I simply used my Circle shape tool and drew a small circle at the top of Rowan’s head in the center, then grouped all the cut lines together.

I was planning on having Rowan the Red-Nosed Reindeer be the front, and then have our holiday greeting on the back.  I would therefore need to do a separate mirrored print and cut with the greeting’s design and then attach the two sides together after they were both cut out. (I hope all that makes sense!  Don’t worry, it will.)

So, to do this, I clicked on the cut lines file and duplicated it, then flipped it horizontally to get a mirror image (this would become the back side with our holiday greeting).

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Creating a *Red-Nosed* Reindeer & The Back Greeting

I then moved the reindeer image back and centered it with the cut lines.  I also added a red oval over Rowan’s nose to transform him from a cute reindeer to a cute RED-NOSED reindeer.

{I didn’t think he could get any cuter, but seeing him as a Rudolph imposter is almost too much!}

To make the greeting on the back panel, I filled in the cut lines with a red background, then added the phrase “Merry Christmas from the Backus Family.  Christine, Matt, and Rowan (the red-nosed reindeer)” in contrasting white.  I also added the year to the top by placing one number in each of the top four Christmas lights.

I then grouped all the front-side elements together and then all the ones on the back as well.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

[In case you’re curious, the fonts I used were Honey ScriptAmerican Typewriter, and From This Moment (for the ‘and’ dingbat).]


Adding Registration Marks

These ornament cards would be printed out at home, and I needed to add registration marks in order to tell my Silhouette Cameo where to cut.  I also would be mailing these in some of the red 5″ x 7″ envelopes that were left over from Rowan’s dinosaur first birthday party invitations as well as the Father’s Day paint chip holiday banners/cards for the grandfathers, so I resized my files to fit.

Once they were at their final sizes, I was able to fit three images (two of the front and one of the back) onto an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet (once I had printed out enough sheets with the front image, I then started printing only the back side, but I could only fit two per page).

I also did a double-check of my cut lines to make sure that just the outer edge and hanging circle of each were set to ‘Cut’, and everything else (such as the red nose and text) was set to ‘No Cut.’

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Printing The Ornament Cards

I printed out the ornament cards on some Target Up & Up brand soft gloss photo paper, and it worked perfectly….it was just enough shininess to fancy it up a bit, but not so shiny that it became a fingerprint trap….fingerprints on photos are the pits!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

How cute is this?!  I mean, seriously.  Once assembled, these ornament cards are going to be totes adorbs….ahhhhh…..

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Cutting the Ornament Cards

I placed the printed sheet on my cutting mat and then loaded it into my Silhouette Cameo.  Then in Silhouette Studio, I had my Cameo detect the registration marks automatically, and once it did, I instructed it to start cutting (and crossed my fingers that it would actually cut where it was supposed to!).

Glossy Photo Paper Cut Settings: After some trial-and-error and LOTS of test cuts, the cut settings that I used were the Print Paper settings….however, I increased my blade to a #3 since the glossy photo paper was obviously a little thicker than regular paper (always do a test cut first!).

  • Speed: 10
  • Thickness: 15
  • Blade: 3
  • Cutting Mat: Checked

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

A few minutes later, I had a nearly perfect completed print and cut!  EEEEEEK!  I was a little nervous prior to cutting that the Christmas light wires would be a little too intricate, but they were cut like buttah.  I just can’t handle the cuteness!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

Before I knew it, I had an army of adorable red-nosed reindeer!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


Gluing the Sides Together & Adding the Baker’s Twine for Hanging

Once I finished up my Successful Silhouette Project Happy Dance (does anyone else do one of those??), I pulled out my can of spray adhesive and attached a front and back side to each other, being careful to align the edges.

Then I cut a small strand of red and white baker’s twine, fed it through the circle that was cut out of the top of Rowan’s head, then tied the ends together to transform the photo card into a photo ornament card.  Easy peasy!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!


The Final Red-Nosed Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card

And here he is!  The cutest little red-nosed reindeer you’ve ever seen…..ahhhh, this just melts my heart.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

And here’s how it looks on our Christmas tree….I think know it’s the cutest ornament we have.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

{Oh, I know our tree looks a little sad and bare….thanks to Mr. Red-Nosed here, we can’t put up a majority of our ornaments since they’re either glass or choking hazards.  Also, we have a lovely fireplace and mantle just to the left of our tree, but you’ll notice where our stockings are hanging….once again, thanks to Little Man.  Ahhh, Christmas with a toddler….}


Making the Envelope More Festive

Since I hate my handwriting and love my Silhouette Cameo, I decided to jazz up the envelopes a tad bit as well and used my silver Silhouette sketch pen to address the front.  Check out my full tutorial here!

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

….as well as some Silhouette printable sticker paper to add some extra adorableness with our matching return address labels on the back.

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

I hope this little ornament Christmas card brings a smile to the faces of our family and friends this holiday season (and maybe for future holiday seasons as well whenever they hang this on their tree, if they so choose).  I know we’re going to cherish this little keepsake and gaze at it fondly each and every December….alright, now I’m getting all misty-eyed…. {sniffle}


But Wait! There’s More!

{I’ve always wanted to be able to say that.} :)

37 Silhouette Holiday Projects

Like I mentioned earlier, this is my first time taking part in The Silhouette Challenge.  Wahoo!  This is a Facebook group that has friendly online get-togethers where anyone with a Silhouette machine (yes, that means YOU!) is invited to create a new item each month based on that month’s particular theme.  If you’re a Silhouette addict like I am, blogger or not, you should definitely look into joining….it’s so much fun!  Plus, there’s lots of inspiration and support if you ever need some trouble-shooting help.

The Silhouette Challenge


My Silhouette Challenge bloggy buddies are sharing lots of holiday projects today, so be sure to check out all the projects below for TONS of inspiration! (Oh, and the collage here is clickable, or you can find the links below the collage as well….whatever you prefer.)

Reinvented Elf on a Shelf Book Cat-Shaped Ornament Stamped Christmas Towels M&M Milk Bottle Teacher Gift 3D Holly Berry Ornament Deer Silhouette Mirror Silhouette Christmas Craft with Double-Sided Adhesive Winter Village Display Wood Grain Nativity DIY Rustic Pallet Christmas Tree 2014 Christmas Card + Giveaway Gift Tags Chalkboard Vinyl Christmas Signs Personalized Christmas Ornament DIY Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments DIY Nativity Candle Jar Sleeve Chalkboard Charger Inspiration + Giveaway Christmas Countodwn Festive Advent Christmas Decor AND A Giveaway! All Hearts Go Home Luminarias Deer Silhouette Vinyl Wood Slice Ornaments Some People are Worth Melting For Olaf (Frozen Inspired) Ornament Personalized Pajamas with HTV 3D Reindeer Shield Decoration Trendy Christmas Cards with Silhouette + Free Cut Files Let It Snow Mitten Banner DIY Christmas Coasters Elf on the Shelf Wardrobe Simple Ornaments Stenciled Santa Sack Put on your Yamika! Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card DIY Nativity Shadowboxes Monogrammed Drop Cloth Christmas Tree Skirt Canvas Wall Art for the Holidays

1. Pineapples and Pinecones // 2. Simply Kelly Designs // 3. Architecture of a Mom // 4. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 5. Two Purple Couches // 6. Chicken Scratch NY // 7. Creative Ramblings // 8. One Dog Woof // 9. Ginger Snap Crafts // 10. The Thinking Closet // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body // 13. weekend craft // 14. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 15. Practically Functional // 16. Living My Given Life // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. The Kim Six Fix // 19. Home At Eight // 20. Queen of Everything // 21. Tried & True // 22. McCall Manor // 23. unOriginal Mom // 24. Create it. Go! // 25. From Wine to Whine // 26. GetSilvered // 27. It’s Always Ruetten // 28. Nearly Handmade // 29. Mama Sonshine // 30. Silhouette School // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Create & Babble // 33. Sowdering About // 34. Where The Smiles Have Been // 35. My Favorite Finds // 36. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 37. Designed Decor


Silhouette Giveaway with TWO Winners!

And I’ve saved the best for last!!  My Silhouette Challenge buddies (in partnership with Silhouette America) are hosting a mega-huge giveaway for not one…but TWO winners!  Check out the awesome prizes that are up for grabs:

Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card & Silhouette GIVEAWAY!

First prize: The NEW Silhouette Cameo Machine and Designer Edition Super Bundle!  ($406.93 value)

  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Designer Edition Software
  • Dust Cover
  • $25 Download Card
  • Four Essential Silhouette Tools (hook, spatula, scraper, pick-me-up)

Second prize: Silhouette Portrait Machine and Rhinestone Starter Kit!  ($219.98 value)

Pretty sweet, huh?  Wouldn’t this be a great gift….for a friend or yourself? ;)

TO ENTER: Just complete the entries in the Rafflecopter widget below or at this link.  Because of my many blog friends who helped make this giveaway possible, you have *42* potential entries, which means a lot of winning power.  So, hurry up and enter!

{This giveaway runs from today through Monday, December 15th at 11:59p eastern and is open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a U.S. or Canada mailing address. You can read the rest of the terms and conditions in the widget below.}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Phew….that was a doozy!  I hope you found some holiday inspiration and that my little red-nosed reindeer brought a smile to your face….and hurry up and enter this totally awesome giveaway!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been



Friday 14th of December 2018

can i use this with a cricut too? i bought the file, but the only thing thats showing is all the shapes separated with no color.


Sunday 20th of December 2015

I just read your copyright policy so I hope it is fine that I'm using one picture of you with the link back to your original post. I let you know when the posting is online. Thanks Angela


Tuesday 22nd of December 2015

Yep, Angela! That is just fine! Thanks so much too....I'm so glad you liked this! :)


Sunday 20th of December 2015

Hi there. great idea!!!!! Love the reindeer !!! I would like to present it on my blog as one of my favorite ideas for christmas deco with pictures. When I'm aloud I would like to take the on picture of your posting and present it on my blog - of course I'm honoring you and your homepage by including a backlink to you. Is this OK for you?

bye angela

DIY Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments || Practically Functional

Friday 31st of July 2015

[…] School // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Create & Babble // 33. Sowdering About // 34. Where The Smiles Have Been // 35. My Favorite Finds // 36. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 37. Designed […]


Wednesday 1st of April 2015

This is adorable! I love this!!