Design on a Dime

How to Create Personalized Invitations, Business Thank You Notes or Holiday Cards for .29 cents each!

In the age of the evite, mailing invitations has become an uncommon practice, even so I still find myself needing to mail them out at least a few times a year.  Now that my daughter is in school, I have also found paper invitations to be a necessity when it comes to inviting her adorable little friends to birthday parties or handing out thank you cards.  Today I am going to share with you my favorite way to create a completely customizable, personalized invitation at a budget price!

I discovered this method when I was pregnant with my son and was blessed enough to be thrown a “sprinkle”.  Because it was my grandmother who was doing the throwing and it wasn’t fully a surprise, I thought it only fitting that I help in any way that I could.  I ended up with the invitation job and because many of my family members are not digitally aware, mailing the invitations was a must.  I wanted something personal, I wanted it to be special and quirky because I was already having a party thrown for my second baby which to me in a way felt, indulgent.  But, my children are a full five years apart (and not the same sex) so it also felt very sweet and necessary.  We kept it small and tasteful, just a few close friends and family.  In the end, I loved getting together with my family to celebrate the anticipation of my son’s birth, it ended up being such a wonderful day and memory for me that I will have forever.

So I wanted quirky and personal on a budget which is not an easy accomplishment.  After a little bit of brainstorming I came up with a plan and it ended up to be a truly life-changing concept!  The cards turned out so perfect for such little cost, it is almost mind boggling that I had never thought of it before.  I have used this method several times since first discovering it and I have gotten tons of compliments on every one that I have created!  This even works beautifully for business thank you notes, holiday cards, or any other reason you may find a personalized card for.

For this tutorial I am going to be showing you step by step how I created the very first card that I designed this way, the invitation for my sprinkle.  If you Follow along these six simple steps, you will be creating your own beautiful, personalized & unique cards in no time!  Seriously, in the time it takes to write out one invitation by hand you could have an endless supply!

Let’s get started.

Step One:

Go to PicMonkey.com

cards1

Step Two:

Hover your mouse under “design” and then choose 4X6 in the drop-down.  This size will become very important when I explain the printing of these cards at the end of this tutorial.  For now, just trust me that you want them to be 4×6!  The first page you see is Basic Edits, from here you can choose to keep your card in portrait orientation or click rotate and then rotate it into landscape orientation.  For this tutorial I am going to be showing you how to design a portrait style card so I went ahead and rotated then I clicked apply to save.

card2  Step Three:

Next is the fun part!  Design your card.  Remember now that for my sprinkle, I wanted quirky.  So I decided actual sprinkles were a cute and fun play on words that needed to be a part of my invitation.  For this, I simply Googled “sprinkle background” and looked through Google images until I found the perfect one that would work for my card.

And here in the second row, fifth image is my “perfect sprinkle background”…

card3

Open that background in a new page by clicking on the image then clicking “view image” this should open the image in a new page.  If the image does not open in a new page, you may have to right click the image and then select “open image in new tab”.  Once you have the image open in a new page right click, then choose “save image as” while being aware of the name you give the image and what folder you save the image in.

card4

In this case I did not have to worry about anything in the image that I didn’t want, because I was able to crop and edit it out once I had the image opened in the PicMonkey program.  Because, the background image is very large and the edges where you see the “download from” at the bottom of the page can easily be cropped out.  Keep in mind, I am using images that may be copyrighted, I am in no way stated that you should use these images in any way to infringe on copyright laws.  I am simply using images found openly on Google to create personal invitations not intended in any way for monetary gain.  Okay now let’s move on.  

Step Four:  

Go back to your card and upload your first image.  You may choose to use several smaller images or a background with smaller images over it.  I will go over that briefly in this tutorial and go further in detail with that in my next tutorial when I go over creating a personalized Facebook banner using PicMonkey.  So stay tuned!

To upload your image click the butterfly which will bring you to the option to add an Overlay.  Click “add your own” which will then open up the files on your computer.  Remember when I said it was important to remember the name and file that you saved your picture in?  Here is why, because you must now find the file that you saved and upload it into the program.

sprinklescard

Now in this case I was able to just expand the image by pulling the corner until it filled the card and you could no longer see the part I wanted to crop out of it.  If you are using smaller images, you would want to use the standard picture editing tool on your computer to crop all the the images before uploading them to the program.  Here is the image enlarged and centered on the page.

card6

Step Five:

For this card we now need to edit out the watermarks, which again I know it not the most ethical of things to be teaching but we are not using the image for monetary gain in any way.  We are simply creating an invitation for a baby shower using an image that is displayed publicly online.  Hopefully we can all see the innocence in this!  So here is how you do this..

Go back into overlays and click “Geometric” then choose an overlay that covers your watermark, in my case it was a rectangle.

card7

Now we are going click “Color 2” and change the color of the overlay to blend with the rest of the image…

card8

And just like that, Magic!  No more watermarks 🙂

Here I will touch upon adding several images to a card.  Imagine that box is a second image.  If we hadn’t of changed the color to white, it would still be black and essentially could be any one of those overlays available through the program or anything you choose to upload, really the options are limitless and as far as you can imagine.  You could then move that overlay around anywhere on the page, add more overlays and even choose to move them in back or in front of each other by right clicking on your mouse.

But for this card, we are not going to add any additional overlays.  We are now just going to move onto the sixth and final step.

Step Six:

Now we are going to add our text.  To do this you are going to click the Tt option and choose your font.  In order to get all wording for this card to fit on the page the way I wanted it to look I used three separate text boxes and then placed the boxes on the page where I wanted them to be.  The “Please join us for a” line is one text box, the body of the text starting at “Baby” and ending with the “R.S.V.P” line is the second text box and the “Danielle, Mark & Summer are expecting” text is the third text box.  Here you can play around with color and sizing for your words to get all the text to display the way you want.  For example, I made the word Baby very large, the word Sprinkle a bit smaller, and the rest of the text in varying sizes.

Here is an in progress shot…

card11

Here is a close up of the tool you will use to edit the font sizes and colors…

card12

You will slide the size up and down or adjust it numerically and choose your colors by clicking around the color box you see directly under the word “Color:”  And, once your card looks the way you want it to, just click save and that’s it you are done!!

Here is my finished card:

finalcard

For privacy reasons I have edited the Address & R.S.V.P lines for the purpose of this tutorial.  

Finally, let’s talk about how we can now produce these cards at the whopping price of  .29 cents each!  And that’s not even a set price!  Remember in the beginning of this tutorial when I promised you it was super important to choose the 4×6 size?!  That is because we are going to now have these image printed as we would any other picture through your photo printing venue of choice.  This could be at home or at your local Walgreens, Walmart or CVS etc.  This could also be done online through websites like, Snapfish or Shutterfly.   Now at this point you may be wondering why we designed the card this way instead of just creating a photo card.  For me, the limitless creative freedom to design a card freelance without having to conform to any certain design by filling boxes with photos and going with whatever font is offered is one reason.  The other is price.  I typically always use Walgreens solely due to the convenience in location.  I happen to live close to a Walgreens so I am able to print and pick up on the same day which is a pretty ideal situation for premium high-gloss prints.  But a photo card at Walgreens costs a whopping $1.99 each!  Now if I were to need 20 of these that’s more than I can afford to spend on invitations, ever.

All of these photo printing options seem to always have coupon codes available on their websites, Walgreens definitely always does.  Right now they have one code available which will give you 40% off your photo cards.  Using that coupon code then makes your photo cards nearly .80 cents each, still more than I want to spend on invitations, ever.  The base price for a 4×6 print at Walgreens is .29 cents.  Even better, if you were to order 50 or more right now there is a coupon code available that will reduce the cost of your 4×6 prints to .12 cents each!!  If you didn’t need 50 invitations, you could always order what you needed and then fill your quota with all those adorable milestone pics you took of your beautiful babe and then make a super cute birthday album!  There is still something so great about flipping through an album of pictures, I personally love to see them released from our digital worlds and actually printed!!

These cards fit perfectly in any standard card envelope that you will have to purchase separately, these are my go to photo envelope, Amazon has a box of 50 for $6.99, which brings your total cost up to $21.49 for 50 invitations or .43 cents each all in.

So that’s it!  Go make yourself some awesome cards, invitations, business thank you notes, etc.  And send me some pictures!  I would LOVE to see them!  🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *