Friday, August 31, 2012

How To Make Photo Greeting Cards

If you have visited my Etsy shop, Jay J Studio, you have seen my collection of photo greeting cards.  If you would like to try your hand at making your own personalized photo cards, the process is very simple.  The items you need to make the cards are:

1) The photo.  This could be a new digital photo that you get printed through Shutterfly or Walgreens, or an old photo from back in the days of film that you have in an album.  Tailor your photo to the person who will be receiving the card.  Maybe a photo of them as a child, or their wedding day, or the two of you having fun.  This makes the card special as well as one-of-a-kind.

2) Card stock.  You can find pre-scored card stock at any of the bigger craft stores such as Jo-Ann's or Michaels, or at your local craft store (I get mine from Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc, WI).  I prefer these to the window cards you sometimes see because they're far cheaper.  For around $10 you can get 25 cards with matching envelopes in either white or cream.  Make sure you buy the correct size card for your photo.  If you have a 3 1/2" x 5" photo buy 4" x 6" card stock.  4" x 6" photo, buy 5" x 7" card stock.  You want to make sure you have a nice border for your photo, plus if you use a card the same size as your photo, you run the risk of the photo not being centered on the card stock, even with the steadiest of hands.

3) Paper cutter (optional).  If you are like me and like to print your own photos, you may find your finished photo may not fit exactly on the photo paper you use.  I usually crop my photos in the printing software to make sure the photo is just as I envisioned it, and that usually means white space around the photo.  Use a paper cutter, which you can find at any craft store, to slice off any white space you have.  If you are using cream-colored card stock, this is especially important.  But if you are using white card stock, you may just want to keep the white space.

4) Adhesive.  It is important that you use the right adhesive to get the photo to stick to the card stock and stay there.  Do NOT use ordinary scotch tape.  It is not safe for photos, and even though you can't see damage right away, over time it will destruct your photo.  Instead, use a photo-safe double-sided adhesive, like Scotch brand photo splits.  You can use the individual splits and put them on the corners of your photo to attach to the card.  Or, what I like to use is the Photo Splits Applicator (below) which works just like a white-out dispenser. 

Now that you have all of your materials, you can start making the card.  As I said above, if you print your own photos, go ahead and cut off any of the white space around the photo.  Using the paper cutter takes practice to figure out where to line up your photo for cutting.  If you are still seeing white space after you cut, just snip it out with scissors.

Then apply the adhesive to the back of the photo.  This adhesive also works well to mount a photo to matting.  Just make sure in that case to apply the adhesive to the matting instead of the photo so you won't see any of the adhesive show through when you frame it.

If you are using the Photo Splits Applicator, just run it along all four edges of the photo.  If you accidentally run the applicator past the photo (I have done this), it's really easy to just pull the split off of the edge.  Just make sure you do it right away before it settles.

Once you have added your adhesive, steadily mount the photo onto the card stock, making sure you have it in the right position.  It sometimes helps to fold the card along the scoring line first to make sure you can see it and position accordingly.

And there you have it!  A finished photo card that's just you.  I guarantee your friend or relative will not have another card like yours.  They might even want to frame it later.  And don't forget the envelope.  But most of all, have fun with it and make it your own.


  1. Hey Jamie :) oh lovely Idea. Thanks for sharing, new follower now ^.^

    Follow me:

    1. Thanks for following! I'm following you now too.

  2. Thanks for sharing how to make this wonderful greeting cards

    1. You're welcome, Master. I'm glad you like it.

  3. Lovely card...can you tell me how to make these and matching Gift Card envelopes.

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  5. Thank you for sharing! A tip I can offer is to order your photo paper for future cards/projects from --affordable and great quality!