This Instructable will show you how to make a unique set of cards, each of which can be framed by the recipients after the holiday season is over, and even easier so if you give them an IKEA clip photo frame along with the card.
These cards can be given to anyone. They are personal and unique (unless you print more than one copy of each photo). And if you give a photo frame with the card, it's a great "gift" for those people who you want to give more than a card to, but don't want to spend any significant money on.
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Step 1: Materials List
1) Digital or film camera
2) Film if using a film camera (I prefer Ilford HP5 B&W film)
3) A textured artsy cardstock (I chose black for my B&W prints)
5) 3M spray adhesive (which I prefer) or you can use gluestick
6) Exacto knife
7) Cutting mat / surface (not pictured)
8) Metal ruler
9) Brown paper grocery bags or brown paper on a roll (for making envelopes)
10) Scissors (not pictured)
1) 5x7 clip photo frames, I buy them at IKEA
2) A metallic ink gel pen for writing on dark cardstock (I used silver ink on black cardstock)
3) Butter knife (only if doing a folding card design)
Step 2: Start Shooting Photos!
As I like black & white and old towns, I visited historic Jerome, Arizona to shoot some rolls. I focused mainly on architecture and primarily gates & doors. Unfortunately my photos were film based so I don't have scanned versions to share in this step.
If you don't like the random artsy photo idea and have a photo of the recipient (and their family if applicable) that could very well work. Another option is to use photos of the recipients pet(s) if you have any photos of them, people always like pictures of their pets. Especially so if they have Chihuahuas (a phenomenon which I do not understand in the least).
Another idea is to make a list of your recipients and what they like, then go shoot photos related to those likes. And by likes I don't mean consumer goods that they want. Here are some examples:
A friend that likes to read? Maybe a shot in the library of bookshelves or book spines, you could include the spine of their favorite book perhaps (make sure not to use a flash!), if you are gifting a book to that friend the card will complement the gift.
An architecture buff? Visit the historic district downtown for some old building shots.
A friend who likes bicycles? How about a shot of a bike rack full of bikes.
A guitar musician? How about a shot in the music store of the "Wall of Guitars".
See where I'm going? This also gives you a chance to reflect on your friends and family which we so rarely do in today's hectic lifestyles.
Step 3: Develop And/or Print
Self explanatory really.
The only thing you will want to do is make sure you get 4" x 6" prints.
In today's digital world making these cards is even easier, just hop on down to your local big box store and print up your images at their instaprint kiosk. If you have a photo printer at home, even easier!
Step 4: Cut Cardstock
I went with a no-fold design. Photo mounted on the front and I wrote on the back. It requires less cardstock and I rarely write more than a few sentences in holiday cards so having a 10" x 7" area to write in on the inside of the card is useless for me.
If you bought the clip frames use a piece of the 5" x 7" glass as an Exacto guide to cut your cardstock, otherwise use your ruler. Cut 5" x 7" pieces. When the photo is mounted this will leave a nice half inch border around the photo.
If you want a folding design just cut a 10" x 7" piece and view the photos below for scoring and folding.
Using your ruler and the back of a butter knife, place a score along the cardstock at 5" in from one side. This will make the cardstock much easier to fold and decrease the chance of a crooked fold.
Step 5: Mount Photos
I personally love 3M spray adhesive, it provides excellent adhesion and the smell is fantastic.
In this step use whatever adhesive you prefer to mount the 4x6 photo on the 5x7 cardstock. A gluestick will work just fine and is cheaper than spraymount.
I have a pretty good eye so I just eyeballed centering the photos, alternatively you could use a ruler and writing utensil to mark dots on the cardstock at a half inch in from the top and both sides and mount your photos using the dots as guides.
Step 6: With Love From Me, to You
Time for the ever personal inscription... the name of this step is a Beatles tribute if you didn't catch it.
Since I went with the black cardstock I decided that a silver ink gel pen would add a classy touch.
Proceed as appropriate for your chosen cardstock color.
Step 7: Envelopes!
I prefer making my own envelopes from Trader Joe's paper bags. I normally use re-usable bags but inevitably I forget to bring them to the store sometimes. So when the holidays come I end up re purposing the bags I've amassed throughout the year for home made envelopes.
You can also buy brown paper in roll form, but re-using a paper bag is more environmentally friendly.
First you need to cut a 9" square of brown paper.
Once you have a 9" square cut, use it as a template to cut other 9" squares until you have enough to make envelopes for however many cards you're making.
Fold the square up around the card as shown in the photos. Remove the card and glue using a gluestick. Just don't glue the envelope shut accidentally!
Allow envelopes to dry, then insert cards, address and you're good to go!
Step 8: Optional Photo Frame Gift and Wrapup
The nice thing about these cards is that they can be re purposed themselves into a photo that can be hung just about anywhere making for a hopefully nice and memorable, yet super cheap gift for the recipient.
IKEA (and other stores) sell frame-less clip frames. They are quite cheap and you can buy them in multi-packs. They're simply a glass front, 4 metal clips, and a fiberboard back between which you can sandwich the card.
To make it more apparent what the frame is for if you are giving them to your card recipients, you can place a small note in the frame telling them what it is for. Wrap the frame up in wrapping paper as you would any gift.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, I certainly have as it's made me re-visit home made cards, the last time I did this was in 2003!
Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Card Contest