Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Cheap Photo Cards for Christmas

I don't know about you, but I have noticed that with every year that goes by we get fewer and fewer Christmas cards.  I'm sure part of it is friends figure you keep up with photos and happenings on Facebook and the other part of it is expense.  Between the cost of Christmas photo cards and the postage to mail them, it's not cheap to send out dozens and dozens of photo cards.

Every year my list seems to grow, but this year I'll be trying to keep it to under 75 cards.  For that many photo cards, it can easily cost over $50 and that's not even including postage. This year I decided I would make my own cheap photo cards.  With all the online editing programs out there, it's actually really easy to do.
So here's what you're going to do for your DIY cheap Christmas photo cards.  Take a picture...or in my case take like 34,792,364 pictures because my kids don't cooperate.

Hopefully you'll get at least one good one...and if you're really lucky you'll have the forethought to leave some obvious room somewhere in the shot so you can add some text (more on that later).   If not and it seems hopeless to get a decent picture for the Christmas card just do something like this and call it a day...


Okay, now back to the cheap photo cards.  Upload your picture to your computer.  Open up PicMonkey.   I have no affiliation with PicMonkey other than I use it daily to make graphics for my blog.  It's super easy to use, free, and just plain totally awesome.

Click on Edit a Photo. (If you want to use one than one picture, like I did above, on your holiday card you can 'create a collage'.)  Find your photo on your computer and upload it into PicMonkey.  Here's the original picture I selected to use for my card this year. 


Once your photo is uploaded you can start to add elements to it like text, backgrounds or overlays.  The little snowflake icon on the bottom left gives you Christmas and holiday-related themes.   The butterfly icon will take you to lots of options for overlays, shapes, and banners.   Just play around with the effects until you come up with something you like.  You can also get some great ideas by looking on photo card websites like Shutterfly, Walgreens, and Snapfish.  Here's how I edited my photo...


When I got my photo exactly the way I liked it, I saved it and downloaded it to my computer again.

Then I went to Walgreens.com and uploaded my photo to print just like a regular picture.  TIP: I printed a single copy first to make sure I liked how it looked when it was printed.  Then I went ahead and printed my full order once everything was perfect.  I printed 75 4x6 copies at just .10 a piece with a coupon for a total of $7.50.  I really wanted the cards to be 5x7, but the larger size cost $2.50 per copy at Walgreens...um that's CRAZY talk.  (I just noticed that Walmart's prices on 5x7 prints is far better at .58.)

So I printed the 4x6 copies and I then mounted each photo on a piece of card stock that I cut to 5x7.  (I created a message in Powerpoint for the back of our card.)  I already had the card stock on hand so it was no additional cost for me.



This step is definitely not necessary if you're trying to save time and even more money. Then I stuffed them into 5x7 white envelopes I bought off Amazon - 100 for $11 - and called it a day.


And that's how you make cheap photo Christmas cards.
 
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