DIY Photo Cards!

By this time of year most of us have already taken new family photos (or have them planned for the very near future) in anticipation of turning them into beautiful Christmas cards to share (and show off ☺).

This year, instead of having someone else print and make your holiday cards, make them yourself! We’ve prepared some tips to show you how to personalize your cards even more using your creativity rather than someone else’s ready-made template.

Check out the tips below as you’re thinking of all the people you plan to send a little holiday cheer to.

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Tip #1: When stamping on your photo, use one with lots of negative space.

DIY Photo Card #ctmh #closetomyheart #season #love #happiness #Christmas #Holiday #photo #card

To stamp a holiday message directly on your photo, choose one that has lots of negative space, like the photo above. Negative space is all of the area surrounding the subject of your photo. Using a photo with plenty of negative space gives you a place to stamp your holiday message without covering the subject—like the face of one of your family members!

Tip #2: Matte photo paper works the best with any ink.

Printing your photos on matte photo paper is the best option for using them as photo Christmas cards. Matte paper works well with any ink. If you like the raised look and feel of embossing, matte photo paper is also the best option. You can use the VersaMark™ Ink Pad and your choice of embossing powder. (For even more color options, try our mini pigment pads with clear embossing powder!)

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Keep in mind that VersaMark™ ink will absorb quickly into the matte photo paper. If you are going to stamp and heat emboss multiple images, emboss between stamping each image to make sure the embossing powder sticks to the ink.

Tip #3: Glossy photo paper requires StazOn™ Ink.

If you prefer the finish of glossy photo paper, you can still stamp on it! Just use the StazOn™ Ink Pad. This ink is especially meant to work on smooth, nonporous surfaces, and it will adhere to your photo much better. Other inks will smear on glossy photo paper.

Tip #4: Use a strip of cardstock over your photo for the stamped image.

What if you aren’t sure about stamping on a photo? Or maybe your photo doesn’t have space for a sentiment? That’s ok. You can stamp or emboss your message on a piece of cardstock to adhere on top of your photo like you see in the image below.

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Tip #5: Make your photo card a different shape.

Tired of sending rectangle cards? Shake things up this year by making your photo card a square or even a circle. (Get creative and maybe even use a Cricut® shape!)

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To create the circle card above, print a 5″ x 7″ photo. Then, trace a 5″ circle over your photo and cut it out. Finish by distressing the edges of your photo to hide any pen or pencil lines.

Tip #6: Don’t forget your envelopes.

When creating your photo cards, be sure to size your cards to fit in standard size envelopes.

Here are some examples that we used. These are common envelope sizes that you can find at your local craft store or online.

Card Size                    Envelope Type
3″ x 5″                        4BAR
4″ x 6″                        A6
5″ x 7″                        A7
5″ x 5″                        5¾” Square
6″ x 6″                        6½” Square

The photo card size refers to the dimensions of the entire card. If you like the look of having a mat behind your photo, trim your photo and then attach it to the cardstock or paper mat of your choice.

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The photo card above measures 4″ x 6″, including the photo mat. The envelope type that will fit this size is A6. You’ll notice that this card also has great negative space for stamping the holiday message.

One of the great things about making your own holiday cards is that no two cards have to be the same. You can personalize each sentiment and use different photos if you want to.

Our friends at Persnickety Prints are standing by with some great deals going on right now! Check them out to get your photos printed and get started on creating your own personalized Christmas cards this year!


Recipes

4″ x 6″ Tidings of Great Joy Photo Card (L)
B1567 My Acrilyx® Hallelujah Stamp Set, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

5″ x 7″ Holiday Cheer Photo Card (L)
D1737 My Acrilyx® Silver & Gold—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, Z3353 Basics Fundamental Paper Packet, Z891 VersaMark® Ink Pad, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

4″ x 6″ Wishing You Photo Card (L)
D1743 My Acrilyx® Gingerbread Friends Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

 5″ x 7″ Noel Photo Card (L)
C1688 My Acrilyx® First Noel Stamp Set, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock,  Z891 VersaMark® Ink Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2067 Ranger™ Silver Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

6″ x 6″ Holiday Cheer Photo Card
D1737 My Acrilyx® Silver & Gold—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet, Z891 VersaMark® Ink Pad, Z2066 Ranger™ Princess Gold Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

5″ Happy Holiday Circle Photo Card
C1689 My Acrilyx® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Ink™ Stamp Pad, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
5″ Flower-2 <7> (p. 7, Basic Shapes)

4″ x 6″ Happiest Holidays Photo Card (L)
C1689 My Acrilyx® Silver & Gold—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

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We’re in love, we’re in love—and we don’t care who knows it!

December is well underway and we are now officially justified to be completely and unashamedly obsessed with Christmas. Is there a better time to get extra creative and crafty? We don’t think so. With our hearts turned toward holiday crafts and projects, we’re finding ourselves crushing more than ever on our favorite My Crush™ Holiday Happenings book and assortment. The possibilities with this book are magically endless!

If you look beyond the obvious uses of the book, you’ll notice that what’s inside can be used in a multitude of ways that extend well beyond the original purpose. Think of this book as a Russian nesting doll: The pieces work great together AND individually. The 30 pages of whimsical designs and textured finishes are the perfect ingredients for baking up some crafty Christmas masterpieces. So go ahead, rebel against every librarian in history and take the pages out of the book! Only then can your creativity be set free to create something wonderful with all the festive bits and pieces.

To get your cogs of inspiration turning, we’ve picked three of our favorite ideas to highlight below.

First up is a new spin on a classic form of memory keeping. Enhance your traditional 12″ x 12″ pages by using the beautiful patterned papers in this mini album. They provide a lovely finishing touch of Christmas and the holidays to precious memories.

The envelopes that come in the assortment are just the right size for holding gift cards! Stick an envelope onto one of these simple cards, made from a mix of papers from the book and the assortment, and then add a little ribbon and trim. You’ll have everything you need to create a unique stash of holiday cards ready for gift giving.

How about a one-of-a-kind beautiful banner to adorn your mantle for the holidays? This banner came together in minutes by simply using Cranberry striped twill ribbon to string together the papers and vellum pages of the book along with a few cards and embellishments from the assortment. It’s so simple, but it lights up the entire room!

With decorations and gifts as cute as these, your home is sure to have an extra dose of the Christmas spirit this year. You might want to add a few extra cookies to Santa’s plate because when he comes to your house, he’s definitely going to want to sit and stay awhile.

For more inspiration on how to use the My Crush Holiday Happenings book to capture your holiday season, read our earlier post.

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