Sunday, November 10, 2013

Making a 4 x 8 Christmas Photo Card With PicMonkey

You know those people who end up on the news every Christmas Eve, frantically scrambling through department stores searching for last-minute gifts? I'm like that. But the crafty version. Substitute department stores for Joann or Hobby Lobby, and that's me. I tell you this so that you'll understand how momentous my weekend project is: I designed a Christmas photo card and ordered prints. And it's not even Thanksgiving. Whoa.

I used my absolute favorite site, PicMonkey, to design a 4 x 8 card. Let me preface this post by saying that I am NOT being compensated by PicMonkey or VistaPrint--although if they are reading and want to compensate me . . . . just sayin.' I just had a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted to do, and these services helped make it a reality. Okay, on to the tutorial.

First I opened PicMonkey and clicked on Create a Collage.

I wanted to make a flat photo card. There are a variety of layout options--I chose just a simple two-photo spread.

I uploaded a photo for the left-hand side and one of the Winterland swatches for the right-hand side.

The next step is to save the collage! I always save mine as a .png for the better resolution, but it does take up more space. Once I double and triple-checked that my collage actually saved, I went back to the PicMonkey home screen and selected Edit a Photo. I chose my collage.

There are so many awesome photo-editing tools in PicMonkey. You'll notice little crowns next to some of the options--this means they are part of the upgraded service (aka, not included in the free version). You won't be able to use these features unless you pay up.

One tip I have learned the hard way: save often, but DON'T CLOSE THE TAB UNTIL YOU'RE SURE YOUR PROJECT IS PERFECT. Once you close, the project is gone and additional editing isn't really feasible.

It took me a while to find a photo printing service that would print a finished 4 x 8 without requiring me to use one of their pre-designed templates. Many of the common photo processing places (Walgreen's, WalMart, etc.) require you to use a generic holiday card, just inserting your photos. That's not how we DIY, though! Luckily, VistaPrint offered exactly what I was looking for (and at a great price). After printing and shipping, my cards were $.80 apiece. I really hope you'll give PicMonkey a try--it's so easy. Be creative and enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the tip on VistaPrint. I tried to do the same thing last year but never found a place to print without the pre-designed template, so the entire idea got scratched. So thank you for the tip - this year will be different! :-)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I hope it works out for you. One tip: leave a larger margin on all sides than you think you'll need. When you upload your image to VistaPrint, it will automatically fit it to the card, but it trimmed more than I expected. I had to edit my design to tuck everything into the allotted space. Best of luck and happy holidays!