Pixelmator Tip #34 – How To Create A Retro Christmas Postcard

Ninja Share:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of the followers, friends, and fans of  Pixelmator Templates. We wish you all the best for the rest of 2014 and a prosperous 2015.

We love the Christmas holidays so much, that as our final tutorial of 2014, we wanted to give you one more juicy tutorial to end this year.

In this tutorial we show you how to create a Retro Christmas postcard using Pixelmator.

The final image:

Here is what you will be creating by the end of this tutorial.


Step 1:

Create a new document for the christmas postcard of size 1024×768 pixels. You can of course make your own size of postcard.


Step 2:

Lets create the basic christmas card pattern that makes up the background of the card.

First grab the Subtle Stripes pattern from Subtle Patterns. Copy and paste the pattern PNG into a new layer once you have downloaded it.


Open up the Effects Menu (CMD+3), go to Tile, and then select and drag the Affine effect onto the pattern.



Set the Affine settings as below:


This will fill the layer with the pattern (for reference, we also showed you how to do this in Pixelmator Tip #20).


Step 3:

Create a new layer above the pattern layer. Fill the layer using the paint bucket tool with a festive flat green colour #16a085.


Set the blending mode for this layer to Multiply. This will now essentially look like the two layers have been merged together.


Next to the same layer, let’s apply a vintage effect from the Effects panel. Open the Effects panel (CMD+3), then choose Stylize, and select and drag the Vintage effect onto the layer. We chose the Iris effect with the Vignette set to 100%.


Our background is now ready and is already looking very retro.


Step 4:

Now lets create the setting or focal point of our post card. We used one of our badge shapes from our Vintage Christmas Logos template. You can always use simple shapes such as an oval or a rounded rectangle for your badge.

We added the badge to our postcard with a fill colour set to #1bbda0 and a stroke set to 5px and a darker colour #0a6c5a.


Next we want to create an outline of our badge to give it some emphasis.

The outline will be a dotted line larger than the badge itself. We did this simply by duplicating the badge, and making the duplicate slightly larger than the original and centre align it to the original badge (use the automated pharmacy alignment guides in Pixelmator to help you do this).

Next set the Style settings for the larger badge as below (select FX beside the layer on the layers panel or hit CMD+7). Note there is no Fill, there is a stroke of 5px set to the same dark colour #0a6c5a, and the style of stroke is set to outside, and dotted.


This gives us a nice retro badge in the middle of our retro poster.


Step 5:

Now for our main character, we wanted to create a Christmas Ninja. We used our ninja logo shape, and the santa hat from our Christmas Shapes V1 template. The ninja is set to black colour (of course), and the santa hat is angled and set to a nice christmasy red #d00023 and no stroke on either shape.


Step 6:

Now let’s add some snow to our christmas ninja – it is the season after all. Select the Ellipse pen tool.


Use this tool to draw some custom ellipse shapes to our ninja to create the effect of snowfall. Just use a white fill and no stroke for each of the shapes you create.

To start, we’ll add some snow to the hat and feet.


And keep adding more snow where you think it could look good – such as the ball of the hat, both arms, and more snow on the hat itself. It is a good snowstorm.


Nice, our Christmas snow-covered ninja is now complete.

Step 7:

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Let’s create some heavy snowfall. Add a new layer at the top of all other layers. Select the paintbrush tool, we choose the Sparkle brush set, and created a duplicate of the top right brush. We then set the following custom brush setting to get a snow effect.


Use the mouse to brush some snow sparingly all around the layer. We tried not to cover the Ninja too much with snow, and also left some obvious space at the bottom of the badge for some text.


Step 8:

The final step is to add some text to the postcard to complete the design. We used Futura and Jane Austen fonts available in Pixelmator and Da Font to add our Christmas greeting.


Congratulations, you have now created your own custom retro Christmas postcard using Pixelmator.


All of the shapes and badges used in this tutorial are available in our Ultimate Christmas Bundle (at a 50% discount) or in our Store as freebies.

We hope you take some time and recharge over the holidays.

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