5 easy steps to DIY your own fabulous Christmas card

I grabbed the mail key and quickly unlocked the mail box while Crosby waited with an enthusiasm that would warrant something WAY more exciting then the mail, when I saw it…

The first Christmas card of the season.

“WTF, wait what day is it?”

November 10th.  Ok so someone is totally on their A game this year.  Dang.

“Maybe I should start thinking about ours.  I mean maybe just maybe I could have it out before January 1st!”

Anyone else with me and always scramble to put together their Christmas/Holiday/New Year card?

If you’re like me, you want your card to be unique and tell more of a story of life.  I mean most of the people on our list we rarely see.  It’s family that live states away or the old college friends or even just friends we don’t get to see as often as we’d like in our hectic lives.

As I was thinking about our card I thought, maybe just maybe you’d love a way to have a unique, fun, and EASY Christmas card too.

So a step by step guide to DIY your Christmas card was born.  The best part is the whole thing is on your phone.  BOOM.

Can’t get easier.

STEP 1:

First things first is set your expectations.  It is about the process, not the destination.

I’ll say it again.  It’s about the process.

Crosby was throwing flour off the counter and has half naked by the end.  Delilah pouted in the corner for a bit before deciding she did indeed want a cookie.  And they both ate their weight in cookie dough and frosting.  But we made memories.

Delilah gave me a hug after saying she LOVED baking with me so much, can we do it again!?  (let’s be honest is probably because we made cookies. 😉 But the sentiment was there none the less.)

Know that the kitchen will be messy and the cookies won’t be perfect. That’s ok, your kids made them.

STEP 2:

Have everything ready before your the kids are ready.  Find your recipe, gather ingredients, and  make sure your phone has plenty of battery.

TIPS:

  • Pick a day that is bright outside.  Turn off your kitchen lights and do this with only natural light. The photos will meld more cohesively with only natural light.
  • set up your baking station so the natural window light is on your kids faces’. This can be hard depending on your kitchen layout, but worth it.  Don’t try to shoot with a window directly behind them or in a dark corner of the kitchen. (use the dining table if that has brighter light)
  • Clear the counters or table, encourage younger ones to get up on the counter.  It makes it easier for them to intact.
  • Set expectations with your kids before hand.

STEP 3:

Start baking!  You want a varitey of photos so don’t worry about taking to many.

Tips on what pictures you should look for:

  • step as far back as possible and get the scene.  I try to have white space when I shoot a wide picture like this.  The white space keeps the focus on the kids and not my messy kitchen.  (cabinets can serve as white space as well.)
  • Baking detail.  This is fun to shoot straight down.  Stand on a stool if you need too.  Shoot some with hands working and some just your baking ingredients.
  • Faces.  Fill the frame with your Childs face while they’re baking and having fun.  Licking fingers or just focused on the task at hand.
  • Action shot.  Rolling out the dough or mixing the ingredients.
  • Final ‘posed’ shot.  At the end have them sit and smile.  I told Delilah to put her arm around Crosby and give him a kiss.  But whatever your kid is willing to do is great!

STEP 4:

You made it through the hard part!!  You should have a ton of photos on your camera roll now.  Do this next part maybe after the kids are in bed.

I’d like to introduce to the most amazing photo editing app, SnapSeed.  And it’s FREE.  If you’re shooting with all natural light you shouldn’t need to use their filters.

Do a simple contrast bump and brighten the whites.

If you want to know all my secrets and tips for editing with SnapSeed enter your name and email and I’ll send you all my secrets with photos to explain.  (things like how I blur the background and get the whites to pop)

STEP 5:

Now that you’ve got at least 6 photos to choose from it’s time to make your card.

  • Download Ink Cards. (it’s FREE) You could also take this to you computer now and go through Tinyprints, Minted, or whoever your favorite card printer is.  For this tutorial we’re keeping things real simple and using Ink Cards.
  • Pick a card that has a couple photo slots.
  • Drag and drop your photos till you have a layout you like.
  • Hit order!

YOUR DONE!  Easy pezy lemon squeezy as the kids say.

If you’d like a easy to print Check List just enter your email below and I’ll send it over.  Along with all my tips for editing photos with SnapSeed.  Seriously this app changed my life when it comes to taking pictures on my phone!

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