Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DIY Christmas Cards

I really love Christmas and one of my favorite things to do is design Christmas cards. Actually I like to design all kinds of cards, birth announcements, invitations, etc. It's a lot of fun. I use shabby princess digital scrapbook papers and embellishments to make them and I'm going to show you how to do that too. All you need is a photo editing program like CS5 or elements and a connection to the internet so you can download your goodies.

Step one:

Visit shabby princess and choose and download your paper which will be the back ground of your Christmas card. Don't worry about the color of the paper, that can be changed later. For this example I'm using Urban Kiwi.

Step two:

In your photo editing program of choice (I'll be using CS5) open up your background paper and then crop it down to the desired size; I'm using 4x5 about the size of a post card. Then turn it black and white.

Step three:
Select the entire 4x5 image using the rectangular marque tool, then right click and select new layer, then right click again and select fill, then white (or color if you'd like a different color). Say Ok, it should turn the image white.

Step four:
Now, select the layer titled "layer 1" and move the opacity down to 65%. Then right click any layer and select flatten image.
OK, now we have our background ready, it's time to embellish it!

Open up any image you'd like to use, then click image, image size (at the top left of the screen). Then reduce it to about 1000 pixels wide, say OK.

Now, set it so you're able to see both images. On the photo you've decided to use click the background layer, then drag it to the card background. Then use "control t" to drag it around, make it smaller, etc.

Alright, we need some color in here, I'm thinking red.

Using your rectangular marque tool make a box, select new layer, then fill, then color and choose whatever color you want. Say OK.
Now you can fill that box with whatever text you want, for inspiration I peruse stationary website like this one.

The key to getting it to look like this is using multiple text boxes and using your opacity bar. It still looks a little plain though. We need more embellishments which is where using brushes comes in handy. deviantart.com is great for finding embellishments. All you do is type Christmas brushes into the search box at the top, then download whichever brushes you want and save them in a folder on your desktop. Here is a screen shot to help you with loading your downloaded brushes:

I decided to use a snowflake brush and here is the end product:

Once you have your finished product head over to shutterfly or kodak.com (or whcc if you've got it) and print out however many you need. I think this is a great alternative to ordering them online and spending $30 for a pack of 30. With my printing company, WHCC, I can get 30 for under $8. But I don't need 30, I need 10 which makes this even better because I won't be stuck with 20 extra cards that I paid for but won't be using.

So there you have it, a thrifty and unique spin on the tradition of giving out Christmas cards! I just want to remind everyone that shabby princess papers are for personal use only, not for resale.

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