In this age of digital overload, even a well-meaning email, tweet or Facebook message can be just another annoying interruption to someone’s day. So if you really want to connect with a fellow human being this holiday season, a beautifully designed, lovingly crafted Christmas card can be a much more effective alternative.

Buying Christmas cards can also be a great way to support fellow creatives. That’s why we’re getting behind Just a Card’s Indie Week (launching on 22 November), which is dedicated to supporting independent shops, galleries, artists and designers. Sign up for the campaign here for free, and you’ll find oodles of inspiration for this year’s Christmas card choices.

Meanwhile, below, you’ll find our pick of the 20 best Christmas cards by independent artists, designers and illustrators you can order for 2021. And if you need more ideas, check out this Twitter thread, where you’ll find even more great greetings cards makers amongst the creative community.

UAL x Tate Christmas cards by various designers

Every year, the University of the Arts London launches a competition for its students in collaboration with Tate to bring us a collection of heart-warming, comical and joyful greeting cards for the holiday season. This year’s winners include Catarina Morais, Giada Maestra, Rebecca Munday, Cindy Qiaolin Sun, and Lou Mathian.

UAL x Tate Christmas cards

UAL x Tate Christmas cards

Classic Holiday Greeting Cards by Ana Curbelo

This pack of four cheeky holiday greeting cards is a great way to put a smile on loved ones’ faces this Yuletide. Designed by award-winning illustrator and artist Ana Curbelo, each card is blank inside and comes with a white envelope.

Christmas cards by Ana Curbelo

Christmas cards by Ana Curbelo

Christmas Card Set by Lauren Marina

Are you seeking some unique wintertime cards to send to family and friends? Freelance artist, illustrator, and pattern designer has five fantastic wintery designs in her Christmas Card Collection for 2021. Printed in the UK on thick card with a slight texture, they’re FSC certified recycled wood mix, acid-free, biodegradable and recyclable. Each card is blank inside for your own festive message and comes with a recycled kraft brown paper envelope.

Christmas Card by Lauren Marina

Christmas Card by Lauren Marina

Six Christmas Doors by Jennifer Combes

We love these gorgeous A6 Christmas cards, each featuring a different coloured door, crafted by Jennifer Combes of Summer Lane Studio. Printed on 100% recycled card, each card is left blank inside and come with a red envelope that’s 100% recycled too.

Six Christmas Doors by Jennifer Combes

Six Christmas Doors by Jennifer Combes

Wander by Dear Prudence Studio

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, check this out. This clever concertina card from Dear Prudence Studio features a wondrous wintery scene that’s perfect for Christmas. Printed on Buckram embossed 350gsm card, it could also work at any other time of the year as just a general greetings card.

Wander by Dear Prudence Studio

Wander by Dear Prudence Studio

Christmas Spirit Card by Lisa Maltby

Sheffield-based illustrator, designer and lettering artist Lisa Maltby brings us this Christmas Spirit card in all her usual trademark style with strong colour, intricate detail and a dash of nostalgia. We might just purchase one to keep for ourselves and display on our mantlepiece.

Christmas Spirit Card by Lisa Maltby

Christmas Spirit Card by Lisa Maltby

Christmas Cards by Jacqui Lee

Illustrator Jacqui Lee makes colourful illustrations for people, brands, and businesses, and her Christmas cards on Etsy are a treat for the peepers. Each pack contains three A6 cards printed on luxurious 324gsm eggshell white paper. They are blank inside for your own message, and each comes with a white envelope too.

Christmas Cards by Jacqui Lee

Christmas Cards by Jacqui Lee

Walk on a Christmas Night by Isabelle Feliu

A wintery scene, showcasing Isabelle Feliu’s charming painting style and pastel palette. And yes, that does look like a cat on a lead. This card via Wrap comes packed with a soft grey envelope in a clear biodegradable cello bag. It’s left blank for your own message.

Walk on a Christmas Night by Isabelle Feliu

Walk on a Christmas Night by Isabelle Feliu

Christmas Cards by Taaryn Brench

Taaryn Brench is an independent designer and illustrator based in Leeds, and this year she has some beautifully upbeat Christmas cards to snap up from her online shop. Hand-painted in gouache and digitally printed on recycled uncoated stock, each one is supplied with a Kraft envelope. A pack contains five A6 cards with three different designs.

Christmas Cards by Taaryn Brench

Christmas Cards by Taaryn Brench

I F’ing Hate Christmas by Sharon Caddie

Are you feeling in a Scrooge-like mood? Have friends who feel the same? Then this sweary Christmas card gets straight to the point. The genius creation of Sharon Caddie, an art director based in Glasgow, these cards are individually hand foiled using a traditional printing press in white or rose gold. They’re also foil blocked at the front and back; come as singles or packs of three, five or 10; and are accompanied by a matching envelope.

I F'ing Hate Christmas by Sharon Caddie

I F’ing Hate Christmas by Sharon Caddie

The Gift of Giving by Avila Chidume

Avila.Diana was founded by Avila Diana Chidume back in 2018, with the goal to overcome stereotypes and change the world’s perceptions of underrepresented communities. Clearly, Christmas isn’t just for people of one skin colour, and so this card features two black hands exchanging a Christmas present with festive snowflakes in the background. It’s sold in packs of 10, and the message inside reads ‘Merry Christmas!’.

The Gift of Giving by Avila Chidume

The Gift of Giving by Avila Chidume

London Christmas Card by Wilde & Sinclair

Isn’t this card adorable? It’s the work of illustrator and author Victoria Williams, aka Wilde And Sinclair, who says, “London is my hometown, and I wanted to capture the vibrancy and bustle of Christmassy London at night.” Not only are they fabulous cards, but Victoria has pledged to give 30p from the sale to the volunteer-run organisation London Wildlife Protection (LWP).

London Christmas Card by Wilde & Sinclair

London Christmas Card by Wilde & Sinclair

Polar Skates by Mister Peebles

How could you make polar bears cuter than they already are? By putting them on roller skates, of course! The creation of Mr Peebles, an East London creative also known as Helen, these A6 cards are printed in the UK on 300gsm white matt card. Blank inside for your festive wishes. Each card comes with a recycled manilla envelope.

Polar Skates by Mister Peebles

Polar Skates by Mister Peebles

Lantern Christmas Card by Saffron Russell

We’re big fans of Saffron Russell, a Shrewsbury-based illustrator working with ink, watercolour and digital illustration. And so, we’re excited to see these magical handmade cards available on Etsy for this year’s Christmas. Printed in full colour on 300gsm recycled paper, these A6 cards are blank and uncoated inside, come with a white recycled envelope, and are free of plastic packaging.

Lantern Chrsitmas cards by Saffron Russell

Lantern Chrsitmas cards by Saffron Russell

Christmas Cards by Ashwin Chacko

Here’s a bright, colourful and refreshingly original take on the Christmas card from Ashwin Chacko, an illustrator and designer based in Dublin. There are three designs on offer: Joy to the World, Together Apart and Dabulous Christmas.

Christmas Cards by Ashwin Chacko

Christmas Cards by Ashwin Chacko

Wells Christmas Card by Rebecca Pymar

Rebecca is a painter, illustrator and printmaker from Norfolk known for her stripped back, stylised and precise style. And it works perfectly in these unusual Christmas cards, featuring her illustration of beach huts below a snowflake-speckled sky.

Wells Christmas Card by Rebecca Pymar

Wells Christmas Card by Rebecca Pymar

Four Birds of Christmas by Abi Stevens

The work of Abi Stevens, an illustrator living in Cambridge, this set of four Christmas cards is inspired by the first four days of The Twelve Days of Christmas song: a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, and four calling birds. Each of these exquisitely detailed cards is 14.8cm x 14.8cm square, blank on the inside, and come with a white envelope.

Four Birds of Christmas by Abi Stevens

Four Birds of Christmas by Abi Stevens

Christmas Cards by Maxene Brown

Based in Birmingham, illustrator Maxene Brown has a fab set of fun cards to buy on Etsy this Christmas. Each set features four unique card designs, printed on recycled silk, blank inside, and accompanied by a Kraft envelope.

Christmas Cards by Maxene Brown

Christmas Cards by Maxene Brown

Wreath Christmas Cards by Rosalind White

Based on a fantastic acrylic painting by Bournemouth artist Rosalind White, this pack of eight 6×6″ greetings cards come in pink and mint colours. They’re printed on eco-friendly FSC, ISO certified paper, and 15p from every card sold will be donated to Women’s Aid.

Wreath Christmas Cards by Rosalind White

Wreath Christmas Cards by Rosalind White

Sticker Tree Christmas Card by Jot

Who wouldn’t love one of these lovely cards, printed on white 300gsm recycled card and accompanied by a cool grey envelope? Not only is the design beautifully minimalist, but each card comes with a set of 9 red bauble stickers, ready for the sender or recipient to decorate the minimal Scandi-inspired Christmas tree.

Sticker Tree Christmas Card by Jot

Sticker Tree Christmas Card by Jot

Home Alone by Aspect Illustration

This magical scene couldn’t be more Christmassy, but the monochrome treatment means it will stand out on any mantlepiece more than most. This unusual card comes with a black envelope and is left blank inside for your own message.

Home Alone by Aspect Illustration

Home Alone by Aspect Illustration

Minimal Christmas Cards by OFFCUTSbyplot

We’re suckers for a nice geometric design, and here’s a great one to send this Christmas. These handmade cards come in a set of six, with two variations in each pack. They’re printed on Oatmeal 320gsm and come with a Kraft brown envelope, both of which are made from 100% recycled material.

Christmas Cards by OFFCUTSbyplot

Christmas Cards by OFFCUTSbyplot

Woodland Animal Christmas Cards by Chris Millard Creative

Brighton based artist Chris Millard specialises in animal illustration prints, and he’s blended these into traditional Christmas cards in a way that just works brilliantly. Each pack contains five cards featuring a different animal illustration and five Kraft envelopes.

Woodland Animal Christmas Card by Chris Millard Creative

Woodland Animal Christmas Card by Chris Millard Creative

Filfthy Animals by Hole in my Pocket

Christmas isn’t Christmas without seeing eight-year-old Kevin McCallister fight off unwanted intruders from his dream-like huge home, so anyone will love this cute festive card from Hole in my Pocket. A shop run by architect and artist Allistair J Burt, there are plenty of others to choose from, including Bing & Bowie, It’s a Wonderful Life and Last Christmas. But this is our pick of the bunch.

Filthy Animals by Hole in my Pocket

Filthy Animals by Hole in my Pocket

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