Tips and Tricks to Make your own Christmas Card

This is a sponsored post and giveaway in partnership with Nakturnal.

Every year I make our own Christmas Card with family pictures. For the past two years I have been entrusted with doing the same for my parents’ Christmas Card (pressure, I know). Sometimes I use our own pictures taken throughout the year, and this has mixed results. It certainly does the trick, but I recently came across a few sites that give me some new ideas to make your own Christmas Card. I’ll have to implement some of these ideas for next year!

Plan your Outfits

I am starting with the clothes because of our Christmas card picture from last year. It looks nice, right? My talented sister in law took pictures for us and did a nice job.

Go Mama O 2015 pic.png

2016 Christmas Card picture: Daddy O., Big Sister, Mama O., Little Brother.

But THEN a family member pointed out that it looked like my legs really belonged to Daddy O., and I can see that since the color of my pants match his sweater. Oops. I guess that it does look a bit weird.  Maybe I should have used a black and white image instead. All in all, everyone is smiling, so I am okay with it. For next time, I will plan outfits a bit better!

One year I really want to have matching outfits or pajamas with my entire family. Daddy O. is not yet convinced of this plan. Maybe we could go with some family ugly sweaters, like I saw from Target on Pinterest. With a Star Wars theme, I may be able to talk my entire family into it.

Ugly Sweater from Target.com

Family Star Wars Ugly Sweaters, what could be better attire for a Christmas card?

Brush up on Photography Skills

We haven’t planned well enough in advance to have professional photos taken, but I always drool over the professional pictures that are featured on the beautiful holiday card sites. How cute is this picture below? I also love the gold foil.

confetti-branches-kate-spade-christmas-card-Paperless Post

I love the adorable grin and nose wrinkle in this photo card.

signs-of-joy-pei-design Christmas Card Paperless Post

If you’re a DIY photographer, check out this post on Making Lemonade called “Tips for Amazing Holiday Photos.” I definitely pinned it, as it has so many links and ideas to try.

This infographic from Skyes Cottages reminds me a lot of my high school photography classes and is another excellent resource.

Tell a Story

While we went with pictures from this past year, I found a card that told a story that fit a “Year in Review” theme.   I included the pictures below from our family trip to Arizona and Big Sister’s big accomplishment: riding her bike without training wheels!

I love these two pictures from this year, as they tell a story about fun things that we did together as a family. Pictures like this are ideal for holiday cards. A year in review card, like this one below, is a great way to combine a family photo with more text than other photo cards, which is a nice hybrid between just a greeting and a full fledged newsletter.

Year in Review holiday photo-card -Paperless Post

I also like this Calm and Bright Card for something that I could have done with a picture from vacation.

calm-and-bright-card-the-indigo-bunting photo card Paperless Post

I think this is another nice choice for a vacation photo that you have on hand, but just set to black and white. It looks very glam with the gold foil!

konfetti-gold-card-kelly-wearstler Photo Card Paperless Post

How to Save or Display Holiday Cards

With all of the work that goes into making Christmas cards, you should find a nice way to display them during the holidays. Currently I place the cards that we receive in a festive looking basket, but I am thinking of trying a new way to display cards after finding this pin on Pinterest from Hip2Save.

how-to-display-holiday-cards-hip2save

She has covered canvas with ribbon to display cards in her picture above and shares a lot of other cool ideas from around the blogosphere – hanging them from a banister, attaching ribbons to kitchen cabinets and clipping cards on with a clothespin, and more.

I really like the idea of hole punching all of your photo cards from each year, and putting them on binder rings, as blogger Oh Louise does. Aren’t they cute?

oh-louise-how-to-make-christmas-card-books

She gives step by step instructions on her blog post.

Now that we’ve talked about outfit planning, photo composition and selection tips, shared some great holiday card options, and gave a few display ideas, it’s your turn:

What are YOUR Favorite Ideas for Making your own Christmas Cards?

What did you think of these tips and ideas for making your own Christmas cards? What will you try for sure? Your comments on this post will enter you in my giveaway!

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Comment on my Rafflecopter entry form for a chance to win:

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Coins will be awarded in January, giving you the perfect way to send New Year’s greetings in case you didn’t have time to make your own Christmas card.  There are also many gorgeous other print or online card options from a wide variety of designers. Check them out!

ENTER by clicking on the link below:

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The winner will be selected December 22, 2016 via Rafflecopter. Additional terms and conditions can be viewed in the entry form. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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Choosing our Holiday Card

I wrote about our holiday photo card in a few other posts already. I found a new website with some excellent card options called Minted.  In that first post back in October, I chose a few of my favorite cards….or so I thought.

Later that week I lamented that taking good pictures of my kids is a seemingly impossible feat. You can see my attempts here.

At big sister’s birthday party, we decided to take some more family pictures at a decidedly BAD time – at the end of the party. Here’s what we ended up with:

My kids' idea of a good picture.

This is my kids’ idea of a great picture!

It is kind of funny because it captures the energy and excitement of a three and five year old.  It also looks like I have a tail because I’m sitting on my food.  I don’t strive for perfection in my holiday photo card…just a few fun pictures that show our smiling faces will do fine in sending some holiday cheer to loved ones.

Initially these two card were my clear favorites.

When I spent some time on Minted’s site dropping in images, they just didn’t work well in the different sized fragments of the tree or heart.  When I showed Daddy O., he commented, “Why are you sending a broken heart Christmas card?” Hmm…I hadn’t looked at it that way.  These sample cards use similar pictures, all taken at once. I didn’t have such pictures at my disposal, so I needed a plan B.

In mixing different pictures taken throughout the year, another card format would work better for my family. Several photo slots, interesting font style, and color were some of my requirements. Without further ado, here is our card style:

Minted Holiday Collage Photo Card

A card with multiple pictures may work best for our family.

I ordered the cards and opted to have them delivered faster – without a printed proof.  I already received them and I loved how they were packaged with a handwritten note.

Thanks Tammy! The cards look great!

Thanks Tammy! The cards look great!

Do you have your holiday cards all set for this year? What type of format do you typically use? What other photo gifts do you create for family?  Personally I love creating cards and calendars every year. It gives me a chance to look back through pictures, remember many fun times, and count our many blessings.

Have a great week and lovely Thanksgiving!