Are you late creating your holiday cards? Try Building Them with Motif for Photos


You can have your holiday cards printed with your own photos and greeting from within Apple’s Photos app on the Mac, using the Motif Photos Project extension and service.

In 2018, Apple dropped support for creating print projects from within Photos, including greeting cards, calendars and books. Instead, Apple allowed other print-service companies to build Photos Project extensions that gave users the same sort of capabilities. At first, they didn’t match up with what Apple had previously provided, but they’ve improved over time.

If you want to try to create cards this way, it is easy!

To begin, install the Motif app from the Mac App Store, which also adds the Motif extension to

System Preferences > Extensions > Photos Projects

Once you have the extension installed, here’s what you do:

  1. Select photos: Although you can add photos to your card project at any time by dragging them into the project in the Photos sidebar, it’s easiest to make a new album that contains a dozen or so of the best pictures for your card.

  2. Create the card: With your new album selected, choose:

    File > Create > Card > Motif

    Select either a 5×7 folded card or a 4×6 flat double-sided card, in either portrait or landscape orientation.

  3. Select a theme: Motif provides various themes, and although it doesn’t currently include any holiday themes for cards, they’re all completely customizable. Since cards have relatively few images, we recommend clicking Don’t Autoflow and placing images by hand.

  4. Choose layouts: Although every card page starts with a default layout, you can customize every page in various ways. Would you prefer a single image on the front, rather than a multi-photo layout? Click the layout button below the page to open the Page Layout screen, click a number corresponding to how many images you want and click the desired layout. A bug in the current version prevents this from working on pages containing text blocks, but you can still tweak such pages.

  5. Add photos: To add a photo to a blank spot on the card, drag it from the photo tray at the bottom of the window, which shows all the available images. Scroll to the right to see all the photos if necessary. Dragging a photo on top of a placed image replaces it, pushing the previous one back into the image tray.

  6. Add and edit text: Themes come with pre-defined text blocks, but you can always add your own by clicking the Aa button under the page. You can tweak the font face, style, size, color and more in the controls that appear whenever you select a text box.

Some people will create a card, drop a few photos in, change the text and be done in minutes. Others will want to tweak every last detail to get things just so—if you’re particular, you can probably spend hours on it.

To place your order, you’ll need to create an account with Motif and run through a six-step process of choosing the number of cards you want, providing your billing information, picking shipping options and entering your payment details.

After that, it’s merely a matter of waiting until they arrive and then stuffing envelopes, addressing them, and popping them in a mailbox.

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(Featured card image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)