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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sending and receiving Christmas cards! I love doing photo cards, but they can be very expensive to put together, especially when you add in the cost of professional photography. I imagine it’s easy to spend a couple hundred dollars on Christmas cards!
Today I’m going to share all my tips for creating lovely Christmas photo cards on the cheap! This is how I make our cards – and I never spend more than $30!
#1 Use A Tripod and Wireless Remote
The easiest way to save money is to take the photo yourself, but getting the perfect shot for your card can be a challenge. I’ve learned the hard way (the very hard, dozens of pictures later and we still didn’t get it way) that having a tripod and wireless remote makes life so much easier! I use the rear facing camera if I want to see how we look in the frame without getting up and down a bunch of times.
This wireless remote is $9 on Amazon and you can find good tripods for around $20. These come in handy any time you want to take a group photo – my Mom and I both have a set and use them every time our family is all together!
#2 Create Your Card in PicMonkey or Canva
Use a site that’s set up for photo editing, not Christmas Card production. I have an annual subscription to PicMonkey which is great for making cards, invitations and gift tags. They have lots of templates that make the process really easy. Sometimes I’ll look through some online photo card sites for inspiration before I get started.
PSA: PicMonkey’s “7 day free trial” is not free – they make you pay for an account before you save any of your photos. It’s a great, easy to use editing program – but don’t fall for the free trial. 🙂
#3 Print Your Cards At Walgreens or Walmart
Once my card is ready to go, I upload it to Walgreens.com as a photo. Don’t go to their Christmas card design area – upload it right to the photo center as if it were a regular old picture. I usually print them as 4×6 glossy prints and pay around $.30/card! I’ve found it’s helpful to order just one as a test to make sure it comes out the way you expected, especially if you’re ordering a lot of cards.
Walgreens always has coupon codes this time of year. Usually after Thanksgiving they offer 50% discount on regular photo prints. I use Rakuten to get the coupon code + earn cash back on my photo order! (If you join Rakuten using my referral code, you get a $30 cash back bonus after you spend $30!)
*Update for 2019’s card: this year I tried printing it at Walgreens and it came out awful. Walmart saved the day! I like that you can connect your phone to their photo kiosks and upload the photo card you created at home, right there. They’ll text you when your pictures are ready – I had to wait less than an hour.
Of course the photos you print at Walgreens don’t come with envelopes, but you can pick those up very affordably at Walmart or on Amazon. I can easily have enough cards and envelopes to send 25 cards for less than $15!
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a photographer or ordering your cards online – but if that’s not in your budget, you can still send really nice photo cards! Here’s the first one I made – look at those skinny kids! 🙂