My Favourite DIY Paper and Card Websites

6 November 2012 | 0 Comments

Every year I like to make custom Christmas Cards and photo gifts for friends and family.  And even though I’m a professional designer, and could design them myself and have them printed locally, I almost always go with a DIY option online.  A friend asked today what some of my favourites are, so I thought I’d share with all of you.

Christmas Cards and Party Invitations
For years, I used Tiny Prints for Christmas Cards and party invites.  I LOVE them – their paper stock is amazing, print quality is top notch, and they have wonderful customer service.  One year my entire order was held up at the border (a fault of Canadian Customs, not Tiny Prints), and they reprinted my cards, had them express shipped, and refunded the cost for the entire thing.  That’s AMAZING service.  I love Tiny Prints.  But, just to mix things up a bit, I’ve decided to try Minted for my Christmas Cards this year.  I’ve ordered them and they should arrive next week.  I’ll let you know how they compare.

If you want to try Minted too, here’s a link for $25 off your order. 

Photo Gifts
Every year I make a family calendar for my mother-in-law, and I use the calendar maker in Apple’s iPhoto software.  The calendars are nice and big, and the photo quality is great.  I also used Pinhole Press to make a desktop calendar for my Dad last Christmas.  The paper quality from Pinhole is unrivalled, but the shipping rates from the States could be prohibitive.

Photo Magnets
Normally  I’m not a big fan of Vistaprint – I find the quality of the product to be kind of junky.  This is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for”.  I did make some photo magnets (I used the business card magnet template, but uploaded a picture instead – it’s cheaper than their photo magnet option) of my nephew a few years ago, and they turned out pretty good.  I’m going to try it again with Clara’s school photos, just as soon as I get the image files from the photographer.

Photo Books
I’ve tried most of the DIY photo book options out there (iPhoto, MyPublisher, Blurb) and my favourite for all-around quality and value is Blurb.  I like their Bookmaker Software, but some less-computer-savvy people I know say they find it difficult to use, and prefer the software from MyPublisher.

Have you made photo gifts or cards online?  Any services you’d recommend?

[image above of this holiday card from Minted]


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