I did it!
I stayed up until 12am last night, edited and sent off our 2016 Christmas cards to be printed. I am soo pleased with how they turned out and was super excited to get an email today to say that they had already been shipped especially as I didn’t even pay for the express options. I really want to share the photos with everyone but I want them to be a surprise for the people who will receive them. This means no posting to Facebook or Instagram, so instead as I used the same company and basic process last year I thought I would share that.
I have used Vistaprint quite a few times now, and every time I have been impressed with their service. In the past year I sent off for 15 T’shirts of various sizes including children’s with the same print on them and they were awesome! The order was perfect, the quality was great and the best thing was, as I am on their email list I received a special offer and got them all for $10 each… A price I haven’t seen them advertise again, and have not seen anywhere else either! I also printed a huge plastic banner with loads of photos for my sister in laws 40th birthday party which came in handy not only as a feature decoration but also as a kind of guest book/poster where people wrote their birthday good wishes. And last year I printed our Christmas cards with them. I received 50 cards with envelopes printed on linen paper for $37 including postage. This year I am printing 100 cards with envelopes (but didn’t get the linen paper option included for free this time) and with postage it has cost just over $50. For a personalised card I think that is fantastic value!
So what was my process… well firstly this year, similarly to last year, I received an email which said the better than Black Friday sale ended before Black Friday, so I deftly got my butt in gear and started to prepare. I went through Pinterest and searched Photo Christmas Cards for inspiration, you can view my board here. I didn’t see exactly what I was after as I already had an idea in mind. Since I now had a girl, a boy and a baby I wanted to do a Nativity scene. The idea had solidified when I saw a photo a friend posted on Facebook of one of her previous christmas photos. So the next step was to get costumes ready, possibly go to the shops or borrow what I might have needed. Well that was the idea anyway, but we had just had a spring shower and the effect the rain had on the wooden fence and grass outside was what I wanted to create the perfect setting for my photo, so basically what happened was me running around the house finding odd bits and pieces and adorning them on my children until I got the look I was going for. Oh and by the way while this was all happening I had a baby falling asleep in my arms….
So putting the baby down in her cot, I found a blue bed sheet which I draped around my daughter, a tea towel which I held in place with a head band for my son, and the baby bath filled with pillows then draped with a sheep skin rug for the manger. The baby at this point decided to wake – obviously realising she was no longer in my arms, so I took off her tops leaving warm pants on underneath, grabbed a muslin cloth and we were ready for our shoot. I took a lot of photos and ended up using photoshop to edit and overlay using a layer mask, two different photos to get the best image I could.
I used the fotor free app for Mac to add in an effect to my photo then uploaded it onto the Vistaprint website where there are hundreds of different designs to choose from. You get to edit what is inside the card, as well as back and this year I was even able to add more photos on the inside of the card to make it extra special. (Note the inside page here looks a bit smaller here as I cropped some personal info I had on the bottom of the page from the image.)
I really loved the finished product and received wonderful feedback from all our family and friends who received the cards. Now it’s on to updating addresses and working out how many stamps I am going to need, that’s right the fun never stops!