As someone who appreciates the nostalgia of collecting trading cards, I realized that incorporating this cardboard passion into celebrations for our kids is a fun fusion.
But while there are numerous basketball card templates, apps, and websites readily available, when it came time for my oldest son’s Pokémon-themed birthday party, I realized there wasn’t much that offered the same level of customization.
So, challenge accepted!
Meaning, while an “out of the box” option wasn’t present, I was confident that my Canva skills could grant us the flexibility and personal touch we desired, and in turn – through this blog – I figured I could assist others seeking the same bespoke experience.
Enter, some cool Pokémon templates for you to customize and even PDF if you wish. These templates can not only be edited to capture the essence of a little one’s achievements, double as a birthday invite, or even create as your own game, but also evoke a sense of whimsy.
Could they be even more realistic? Sure. But I also wanted to keep them simplistic enough for you all to be able to edit easily.
At the end of this post, you’ll see the templates I’ve put together, but I also wanted to walk you all through a a tutorial on how I recreated these cards as templates, to show just how easy putting something like this together is with the help of Canva (no matter the theme; from sports cards to others).
Custom Pokémon Card PDF Template Instructions
Let’s now explore the steps involved in making a card template inspired by Pokémon. This is a simple process that requires some design skills, knowledge of Pokémon (or a card to reference), and a Canva account.
Assuming you have these, I’ll assume you know the basics of using Canva!
But if you face any difficulties or have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me for help as I’m happy to guide you through every stage.
1. Create the main canvas
The typical size of a trading card is 2.5in x 3.5in, so first let’s create our canvas by clicking “create a design.” From there, we will need our “custom dimensions” which is where we can add 2.5in x 3.5in.
2. Add the card frame background
The easiest thing to start with is the card background. In this case, we have a couple of backgrounds—the base yellow background and then on top of it, a textured or gradient orange.
To add a shape, simply go to “elements” and then from there you can search “shapes” or “rectangle,” etc. It’s pretty easy to find something that will work—the question is which colors you want.
(Keep in mind that—if you will be sending cards off for higher-quality printing by someone else, you’re going to keep a bit of a margin for cutting. But, they can probably walk you through that piece.)
3. Add the photo frame
From here, we are going to add the photo frame for our Pokémon-inspired creature. As you can see here I have the clouded rectangle placed in the upper part of the card, akin to a real Pokémon card.
You can place the frame wherever you want—just remember you’re going to probably want to place text above the photo and below it (more on this below).
Again, finding frame is pretty easy. Just to go to “Elements” and search “frames” or scroll down the list of elements until you find the frames section.
4. Add additional elements
Honestly, from here, you can go as crazy or as reserved as you wish. My personal templates have quite a bit of detail, but you might prefer to add less.
So, consider most of this optional, but here are some things I did.
Note: I show you how to create your own unique character, so you might want to stick around for that.
First, I wanted to add the information above the photo frame.
Again, you can freestyle a lot of this—I just knew I wanted some type of label (mine says “COOL” where the Pokémon card label says “BASIC”) and then some text, the lightning ball, and more.
- Font: Kollektif
- Label: Go to “Elements” and search “Labels”
- Lightning Ball: Go to “Elements” and search “sphere” and “lightning icon”
5. Creating Your Character
As a nice finishing touch, I utilized Canva’s “text to image” feature to create a few Pokémon-inspired characters.
To do so on your own, go to the left-hand sidebar, click “apps” and then search “text to image.” After installing into Canva, you’ll be able to “describe the image you want” and Canva will create it for you.
For some inspiration, add some animals you want your Pokémon characters to look like, colors, and more. Here I did one without specifying, one as a squirrel, and another as a dog.
Is it perfect? Not at all, but I really like how the three of my cards turned out:
That’s all there is to it. Here is the link to purchase and edit your own! To download as a PDF, simply click “download” and then select “PDF for Print” as your option.