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Five ways to create and send holiday photo cards

Lauren Crabbe | Nov. 21, 2011
The holidays are fast approaching and so is the pressure to send out your annual greeting cards to update family and friends about your fabulous life and beautiful children. We looked at five of the best, most user-friendly options that make it easy to design and send photo cards. Starting with the Apple programs you already have on your Mac or iOS device, and ending with sites you may not be familiar with, here's a walk through a veritable winter wonderland of photo card-making options.

You can edit the text of your card, though there aren’t as many font options as there are in iPhoto. The Colorful String of Lights card, for example, offers only six fonts, which were all cursive. When you are finished designing your card, you can add a personal return address to be printed on all of the envelopes. Unfortunately, Pear Tree can only send cards to you, not to individual recipients, so you will have to buy stamps, lick envelopes, and send cards out yourself.

Pros: It offers gorgeous, chic designs, bulk discounts, and return address printing on envelopes.

Cons: There aren’t many layout or font options and you cannot send cards to individual recipients.

Cost: Cards, from $0.55 (not including shipping)

Tiny Prints

Tiny Prints offers the best services from Pear Tree and Shutterfly. It has great designs and it will send your cards out to recipients for you. The layouts range from basic one-sided photo cards to elaborate paper ornaments and pop-up options. The “Narrow Your Search” bar helps you navigate through Tiny Print’s 460 different holiday cards. Within each theme, there are several different layouts featuring either single or multiple photo spaces, and horizontal and vertical orientation. You can also turn almost every theme into a round, ornament-like card—a simple yet unique design.

Once you have chosen the perfect layout, you can import photos from your computer, Shutterfly, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, and SmugMug. If you haven’t already, you can edit your photos in Tiny Prints, rotating and sizing each, as well as adding effects like Sepia and Black and White. Tiny Prints, like Shutterfly, lets you send out your cards to different recipients in one simple step—you just have to pay for the stamps. You can import addresses from their downloadable spreadsheet template, or your Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook contacts.

Pros: You can choose from a variety of unique, edgy designs, get bulk discounts, and send cards to different recipients from the site.

Cons: Not all text in the layouts is customizable, so if you like the shape of a "Merry Christmas" card, but want it to say "Happy Holidays," you're out of luck.

Cost: Cards, from $0.59 (not including shipping)

 

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