Creating your own holiday photo cards can be fun and exciting, especially if you know how to go above and beyond the clipart of yesterday to take advantage of free stock graphics, photos and vectors that will give your design stand-out flair. To help you on your quest to design amazing holiday photo cards, we've listed below several resources you can use to find free graphics.
Public domain images
Perhaps the best way to get free graphics for your holiday photo cards is to take advantage of public domain images. Images that are in the public domain are free to use and manipulate in just about any way imaginable – and they don't cost a single penny or carry any royalty fees The only downfall to public domain images is that they're often not well-cataloged so you might have to search for awhile to find the best images. Still, free is free. There are many resources for finding public domain images, and Wikipedia has several top-quality resources listed you can try.
Stock XchangeStock Xchange is one of the best-cataloged free image sites available, and you can find tons of free holiday images here. You can search for images by style, size, license and other advanced options – so finding the perfect holiday image for your photo cards is quick and easy. One caveat – make sure you double-check the licenses to see how your chosen images can be used.
Creative CommonsCreative Commons is another website that will help you find images and artwork you can use for your holiday photo cards. Instead of listing its own hosted graphics, Creative Commons acts like a search engine for search engines that catalog media hosted on other websites. It's free to use, ridiculously simple and makes usage requirements very clear. Like most of the resources here, you'll have to double-check licenses.
Brusheezy and Vecteezy
These two websites, run by the same operation, offer free downloads for Photoshop brushes and vector images, respectively. Run a quick search on Brusheezy or Vecteezy and you're bound to find dozens – or even hundreds – of holiday-themed graphics for your photo cards.
iDesignVectorsiDesignVectors catalogs free vector designs, lists licenses and credits, and allows you to browse them by category so you can systematically drill down to the best holiday graphics for your photo cards.
Like Vecteezy, Vector Jungle is a searchable database of hosted vector images. Of special note are the awesome vector holiday backgrounds you could use for your photo card designs.
BittBox and 123FreeVectors
Like Vector Jungle, BittBox and 123FreeVectors have a lot of free vector images you can use in your designs. Unlike Vector Jungle, their catalogs are part of larger communities where you can also find design advice and tips for a number of applications.
Microsoft's Office website is full of holiday media you can use for your photo cards. Much of it is professionally designed so you can get some truly premium graphics for your Christmas cards, Halloween invitations and other photo cards for free.