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Product Recipes: Creative Save the Date Cards

Holly McCaig March 31, 2021 · 11 min read

*Before we dive on in, we’re excited to announce that Creative Market is starting a new series called “Product Recipes.” Here designers take a few different products from Creative Market and create something with them in a step-by-step tutorial. For example, you’ll have a designer take an illustration pack, typeface, and pattern to create a greeting card that you can then DIY. We hope you enjoy this series!*
Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day near. And it’s that time of year where we start seeing more couples are getting engaged. The perfect design item for your love-bird clients are Save the Date cards. When my brother got engaged and sent out these cards to notify family, the older relatives had never heard of such a thing. It was a new thing for them to see. If you too aren’t familiar with a Save the Date card let me explain.
Save the Date cards are designed to let friends and family know that a wedding is coming soon so plan for it. Often times I’ve seen engagement announcements sent out when someone says yes. But these cards are designed to make sure those that you love don’t make other plans for the big day. This is important especially if travel is involved. You have the date now, so put it on your calendar!
When I’m designing Save the Date cards for my clients I always strive to keep it simple and to the point. I don’t typically do anything more than design them on a flat 5 x 7 card. If we’re lucky, we can create an entire matching collection with their invitation suite.
The first step I take when choosing a design is get to know the needs of my clients. Do they have a certain style they are going after? What about if they want a photograph on the card? So, here I will show you three styles of Save the Dates that can meet your design needs by using some of the very creative products available here at Creative Market.
I usually look for design elements first when creating a card. Then, I choose backgrounds that will compliment. Finally, I pick fonts that are consistent with the aesthetic of the design we’re going for with their Save the Date card. Whether I draw my own or choose art from Creative Market, the process is pretty much the same. Here are some examples:

Photo Save the Date

Here the client has either had an engagement session or they have photos they want to use on their card. Personally, I prefer to use one entire side of the card design with their photo. For this I knew that choosing the main elements would be the deciding factor on the style of this card. With photo cards they can go pretty much any direction. Once I found the Ultimate Watercolor Floral pack from Carivna I had a direction. Then when I opened the pack I realized I would have everything I needed for this card. It contains banners, the floral elements and some paper backgrounds. I used the font, Mishka from Fenotype and accented with Frontage from Juri Zaech.
You Will Need:

preview1-f mishka_1-f



  1. Create your 5 x 7 file in Photoshop to get started.
  2. Open the photo you wish to use. In this case I chose a black and white photo from Sara Smile Photography so that it would contrast any colors I used in my graphics. Then, drag the photo layer onto your working card file. You close your photo file now.
  3. Using the font, Frontage, I typed the date number. For this I used the Bold as the background, duplicated my layer and then chose the Bulb option and recolored that to pink. Next, I used the Mishka font to complete the month and year placed on each side. (see screenshot A below)
  4. I started to build upon the floral design by combining various pieces from the Ultimate Watercolor Floral Pack. One thing I prefer to do when working with a lot of individual pieces is to look at the files in their folder and drag them from there straight onto my Photoshop document. (see screenshot B below)
  5. When dragging the different Watercolor files over, resize them, rotate them and move them around in order in the layers palette until you’re happy with a design. I moved some of my layers above my date layers for depth. (see screenshot C below)
  6. For the back side I used a paper file from the Ultimate Watercolor Floral Pack. Open the file and then drag that layer over to a new card file and save as your back option.
  7. Next I created another element design using the Ultimate Watercolor Floral Pack.
  8. Creating a text path I typed out Save the Date with the Mishka font. Using the Pen tool in Photoshop, draw a path that is curved. Then, place your text cursor onto the path and begin typing. There is a bit of a learning curve to this in order to place it just right. Using the the Path and the Direction Selection tools will help you adjust your path. (see screenshot D below)
  9. Following the steps in #5 I added the Watercolor files until I was happy (see screenshot E below).
  10. Lately I used Mishka font to type the bride and groom’s name and Frontage font for the details.

Screenshot A


Screenshot B


Screenshot C


Screenshot D


Screenshot E


Contemporary Save the Date

Eclectic Anthology‘s Save the Date Overlays make this job super easy. They have done most of the work if you’re looking for a clean and contemporary feel. In this case, the client doesn’t want a photo, just a simple design that gets the point across. I chose a coordinating pattern that was clean for use as a background for the back side of the card. Shh! Maker Design has some fresh patterns that are seamless and I really liked the color scheme from this set used. Because of this, I changed out the Save the Date Overlays to match by choosing a color-blend mode that was consistent with the patterns. Also, I decided to give the banner in the overlay a gradient fill that is similar to the popular foil process using TrueMitra DesignsPhotoshop Gradients.
You will need:

ea-std-1-f  arrows-and-stars-f



  1. Create your 5 x 7 file in Photoshop to get started.
  2. With the Save the Date Overlays open in Photoshop, select all layers and then drag them over to your working card file. You’ll see all of the layers now there. You can close the original Overlays file.
  3. Do the same thing with your pattern file and arrange the layers so it’s behind everything, just above your main background layers. I chose the Confetti pattern file.
  4. Next I needed to exclude part of the pattern so you can see the Save the Date Overlay (see screenshot A below). I used the marquee tool to select the area I want removed and then hit the delete key on the pattern layer.
  5. To give the banner that faux foil fill I used the Photoshop Gradients. Here’s how: Create a new layer above the banner from the Save the Date Overlays (it’s blue in the original file), then use the gradient tool to fill that new layer. I prefer to drag diagonally for a more realistic effect. Finally, clip that layer to the banner layer. (see screenshot B below – to apply clipping mask you can choose Layer/Create Clipping Mask from the menu in Photoshop. Screenshot C shows you how the layer should look if you applied the Clipping Mask properly.) Experiment with different gradients and how you place them for the final look that you want.
  6. I need to now change everything in the Save the Date Overlay that is gray in color to the navy color used in the pattern expect the Save the Date word art layer itself (because there are shadows applied to it this wouldn’t work well). Simply double-click the layer you need to change the color on (see screenshot D below) to choose a Color Overlay blend mode (in this case I sampled the navy from the pattern by clicking the color block on the Color Overlay option) or highlight the text to choose a matching color.
  7. Last I created a back side to the card that I filled with a coordinating pattern. In this case I chose the Speckle pattern. Just like you did in step 3, just drag that layer over to a new card file and save as your back option.

Screenshot A


Screenshot B


Screenshot C


 Screenshot D


Rustic Save the Dates

When I’m cruising Pinterest I am overwhelmed with fabulous rustic and barn styled weddings. It’s a fairly popular theme these days. The rustic style of a save the date is probably the easiest for me to achieve. There are a lot of great backgrounds and elements at Creative Market to complete this task. I chose to work with some of the backgrounds from 7th Avenue Designs. They have a beautiful worn and shabby chic feel to them. I also wanted an accent that would coordinate with many of the elements this bride might use in their door – chalkboard! The seamless Chalkboard Textures from Medialoot work great. I chose to use my own designs, the Ribbon Banners and Whimsy Flowers to add some text to for the front using the font, Charcuterie-Cursive from Laura Worthington.
You will need:

aimee_pp-f chalkboard_1-f

hm-pretty-ribbon-banners-vector-preview-f charcuterie-cursive2-f

hm-whimsy-flowers-vector-spring-preview-01-f creativepromo-f




  1. Create your 5 x 7 file in Photoshop to get started.
  2. You can install pattern files to Photoshop by double-clicking them. It will open Photoshop and you won’t see anything at this time. But it’s there. Choose your background layer then choose Edit/Fill from your main menu in Photoshop. Here you will choose Pattern from the options and locate your new seamless Chalkboard Textures from Medialoot. (see screenshot A below)
  3. I wanted a border using some of the patterns from 7th Avenue, so I created a rounded corner shape and filled with a background that was less busy. To do this I drew a rounded corner shape in the middle of my file. Then, I selected the shape by holding down my command key on the Mac and selecting the layer. This will give you a selection. If you’re on the PC it’s the control key. While this is selected I select the inverse from the main menu Select/Inverse. Then I fill a new layer with a dark color. This will be my new clipping area. (see screenshot B below)
  4. Now I want to apply one of the pretty pattern papers from 7th Avenue. Using the same steps from the Contemporary Design to apply a clipping mask, I will drag the paper layer to the card and apply the clipping mask via the main menu: Layer/Create Clipping Mask. (see screenshot C below)
  5. Next I open the Ribber Banners and drag those files over to my working file. Creating a text path like I did in the Photo Focus design above, I use the font, Charcuterie-Cursive to type the couple’s name on the banner after recoloring it to match the purples in the design (double-click the layer, choose Color Overlay in the blend mode palette then sample the colors with the eye dropper tool when clicking on the color block). (see screenshot D below)
  6. To keep it more feminine and interesting I chose to use the Hand Drawn Borders from Angie Makes to define the chalkboard more. I drag the file I want to use over to my working card file. They are single, straight lines so you’ll need to rotate them and erase portions so you can build an actual frame to size.
  7. The details were typed using a sans serif font, Merced.
  8. Finally to give a little more detail to the front I used my Whimsy Flowers Layered set and recolored the flowers to match. As I did in the first card design, I dragged, re-sized and rotated various flower files and leaves to create something pleasing. I recolored them using the color-overlay blend mode method and samples from the pattern paper I used so colors matched.
  9. For the back I chose to go a little more busy int he pattern. Drag the Pattern from 7th Avenue onto the working card file for the back side. You could certainly choose one of the Vintage Frames from Summit Avenue to the back if you wanted to add a photo.

Screenshot A


Screenshot B


Screenshot C


Screenshot D


Obviously there are plenty of styles out there to draw upon, it’s our job to pull that out of the bride and groom. One place I like to get inspiration is on Pinterest. Create boards with various sample options so you can point your client to it. In most cases they will be able to tell you what prefer and are drawn to by viewing other samples.

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About the Author
Holly McCaig

Hi! I'm Holly McCaig of Holly Pixels - I teach iPad Brush Lettering and make and sell Procreate brushes and other goodies. Want a free brush? Visit me at

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