Custom DIY Holiday Cards on a Budget

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Oh how I LOVE Christmas Cards! I love creating them & most of all I love receiving them from friends and family! I wish I could send them to every one of my friends & acquaintances but have you taken a look at postage lately? … It ain’t cheap ! And if you’ve ever priced the trendy photography print websites you know that each heavy cardstock photo card will cost you in the range of $2.00 and up!   I always like the cards with options for front and back photos and  holiday greetings . But these options cost more $ as well.

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Over the years I have found ways to be creative and save money when it comes to our annual Christmas card.  I  have been asked by people who I highly admire and who usually have the BEST Christmas cards…”What kind of paper do I use on our Christmas Cards and where do I purchase them? ”  So here’s my secret…Some years it is Winkflash.com, other years it has been Sam’s Club Photo Lab but it’s not what you think.  I do not head to the “photo card” tab on my screen but go to the “order prints” tab.  I simply order a matte finish, 5×7 print for under $ 0.50 a print.  Some times this will be less if there is a promotional discount on all prints.  And usually there is during the holidays.  WIN!

I design the  front of my Christmas Card with my photography editing software.  I use Photoshop Elements 10.  I create a separate image with our short Christmas Greeting and family update for the back with whatever images I want to include.  I now have two separate images ready for me to upload to the photography lab of my choice.  I prefer to order the 5×7 size because it is what looks comparable to the cards I receive each year and I can put our family newsletter on the back at a decent size where people can read it..

20151217_102040 So, I have two “pictures” to upload.  I usually send out 70-100 cards each year.  We’re talking about ordering 140-200 prints.  That is quite a LOT!! But I ‘m still keeping my cost low because can you imagine what that cost would be if I were spending $2.00+  on each card?  My cost usually for one card is around $1.00 and I’m getting to customize my card the way I want with more family information.

20151217_102224When the pictures are mailed or handed over to me, I begin gluing the front and back of my pictures together creating a very sturdy Christmas card.  In the past I have taken a glue stick and have glued the entire back of the print.  This year I thought I’d try something different and use the adhesive spray that works well with photography prints for scrapbooking purposes.

20151219_095946_resizedI found it to be pretty sticky but it  got the job done quicker because I just laid out all of my pictures, face down and began spraying at one time.

I have had great success with simply gluing the prints together. I have kept some of my remaining cards for years and they have never detached  themselves.  In my opinion the weight of the my cards and the weight of the higher end cards you custom order are the same.

This year I also thought I’d take a new creative approach and lighty spray a gold glitter/dust on my cards.  I really liked this effect and will do it again in the future. I did have some areas where the dust was thicker than others and all I had to do was take a cloth and gently dust off the excess.

I occasionally do have to trim the edges of my cards due to me not lining up the edges just right.  I have invested about $10 in a paper cutter to trim the areas that need trimming.

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20151217_103421You can order 5×7 envelopes for pretty cheap off Amazon.com or go to your local hobby store and find the size and color you want.

Yes, it does require a little extra effort to design, glue, and trim your cards. But because I like to save money and do things that make my cards a little more unique, I don’t mind.

Now it is off to the post office where I have to buy festive stamps to place on envelopes.  I sure wish I could design and create my own stamps to save $ but I don’t think the government will let me do that.  There are just some things that you can’t DIY :>)  Merry Christmas!!20151216_144448

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