Wednesday 12 November 2014

How To: Retro Photo Christmas Cards

It's almost time for the Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up! Yay!

Today's the day when all the bloggers taking part will be sharing their festive projects... then tomorrow I'll be posting all the links to their tutorials. I'm so excited to share them all with you, everyone has made such great stuff.

I'd hoped to share a stitchy something as my link-up project, but sadly my looming deadlines has meant that this is still a work in progress... so instead today I'm sharing a quick and easy idea for making fun Christmas cards using family photos.

Is there anything cuter than kids enjoying the magic of Christmas? After flicking through some old family albums I thought it would be fun to make cards featuring some old photos... making them look like old instant photos for a fun retro feel.

You could make your cards with photos of yourself as a kid, or use recent photos of your own kids - maybe running the photos through a vintage-style filter in a photo editing program before printing them to add to the retro look? My old pics didn't need a filter to look a bit grainy!

You will need:

Blank cards - square cards are perfect for this. Use a dark or bright colour so the white stands out
White card
A piece of scrap card, a ruler and a pencil
A glue stick and some scrap paper
Bakers twine or some narrow ribbon / yarn / embroidery thread / etc
A pen
Some washi tape

To make the cards:

1. Print your photos and cut them out. I scanned in some old photos of me from our family albums, cropped them to be square and printed them onto glossy photo paper so each photo was 9 cm (three and a half inches) square.

2. Use a ruler, a pencil and a piece of scrap card to make a template for your photo's frame. The frame should create a narrow border along the top and sides of the photo and a wider border along the bottom. For my 9cm square photos I made a template measuring 9.8 x 11 cm.

Use the template to cut out one piece of white card for each of your photos.

3. Stick each photo to its backing piece of card using a glue stick. I use pieces of scrap paper when glueing, so I can run the glue stick right up to the edges of what I'm glueing without worrying about making a mess of my workspace. Carefully position the photo on the white card, then press and smooth it down hard to stick it in place.


4. Wait for the glue to dry, then punch a hole near the top of each photo. Cut a length of baker's twine or other thin string, one per card. Then tie one piece of twine to each photo.

 5. Use a pen to write a message like "Happy Christmas!" in the space under each photo. You could also add a note on the back with some info about who is in the photo and when it was taken - e.g. "James, enjoying his first Christmas!" or "Me! Christmas, 1982".

6. Now it's time to attach each photo to a card blank (the ones I used were 12.5 cm / 5 inches square) Position the photo on the front of the card and tuck the twine inside.

Then hold the twine in position, secure it with a small piece of washi tape and trim the twine if needed so it won't stick out the bottom of the card.

Your finished card will look something like this:

Attaching the photos with twine and washi tape like this means that the photos can be kept as a keepsake if desired after the card has been thrown away and you've got the space to write details about the photo on the back .... but if you want, you could skip punching the holes and adding the twine and just stick your faux instant photos straight onto the front of the cards, and write any info you'd like to include about the photo inside the card itself.

You could personalise these cards by sending different photos to different people - e.g. send your brother or sister a snap of you both at Christmas years ago, or send your mum a card showing your kids opening a gift she gave them. If you're an organised person you could also make personalised thank you cards for your kids to send after Christmas, using photos you've taken that Christmas, e.g. of the kids unwrapping or enjoying their gifts.

Or... print lots of different pictures and use them to make a Christmas garland! Punch holes and tie the photos in place at intervals along a length of twine, or use mini wooden pegs to clip the photos to a string.


Making a garland filled with old photos from your family of Christmases of yesteryear would be a really fun way to decorate as a surprise if your relatives are visiting for Christmas :)

P.S. Make sure you pop back tomorrow to see all the other projects people have shared in the Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up!

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Unknown said...

I really love this! I'm using black and white photos of people instead of gift tags, but never thought of old Christmas pics as cards, or making them look like polaroids. Now going to have to root around for old photos (and maybe "recreate" one this year for future use)

Manu said...

I thought these were polaroids! Such a clever idea :-)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks guys! x