My Convertible Life

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Favorite Five

If you're looking for ways to use digital photos to make gifts (hint, hint...Mother's Day is in 3 weeks) or just want something to do with the 42 million pictures stored on your computer, here are some good picture projects and my favorite sites for each (from simplest to most involved):
  1. Postcards @ Winkflash: The quickest, easiest way to use your photos is to print postcards with one photo on each card. Most sites offer lots of borders and other options, but I like just using a single picture that fills the card with a glossy finish. You can print messages or addresses on the back of the card, or just leave them blank. I like to print a picture of my children at their birthday party, then use the cards for thank you notes. You can print multiple copies of the same photo or get an assortment. At Winkflash, the prices are low and they always seem to send me more than I ordered, but only charge me for the number I selected. Bonus!

  2. Notecards @ Winkflash: Almost as simple as postcards, the notecard set is great to have on hand or give as a gift and so much more fun to use than generic cards. Again, I think simple is best -- one full photo per card and you can't go wrong. With Winkflash, you can order the exact number you need instead of having to order sets of 12. Envelopes are included.

  3. Holiday cards @ Winkflash: Okay, so you're noticing a theme here. For my money, Winkflash is the best for card printing because I like to just use my photos (no borders or other designs) so that they work for anyone -- no worrying about getting Christmas cards for Christians, Hannukah cards for Jews and so on. If you want better designs, go to PhotoWorks (see below). But the other advantage with Winkflash is that you can print your message directly into the card -- no extra printing, folding and stuffing of holiday letters. I usually get the 5x7 size card so that I can put more than one photo on the front and have enough space inside for our annual update. And you can order the exact number you need instead of having to order in sets of 25. Envelopes are included.

  4. Calendars @ PhotoWorks: Lots of photo sites have calendars, but the nicest ones I've found are at this site. They have multiple sizes and styles (sample above), and the quality of the printing and materials is better than the rest. They've also recently added a perpetual calendar for keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries -- I've been wanting one for ages, so that's my next project.

  5. Photo books @ Shutterfly: When I was pregnant with Pippi, this became my addiction. I "nested" by becoming my own little yearbook staff for baby Juni pictures -- but way better than when I was actually on the high school yearbook staff because it didn't require a typewriter, scissors and glue (our kids will never understand that "cut & paste" was a literal thing before it became virtual on computers, but I digress). Of all the sites I tried, Shutterfly was the best combination of design options, ease of use and quality final product. One tip: Don't try to work in Mozilla Firefox; for some reason, Shutterfly is happiest in Explorer.
With all three sites, watch for sales and online coupons -- they all have good ones regularly and it can really make a difference. If you're interested, subscribe to their e-mailing list so you know when they're having specials.

Happy designing!


  1. Cool! Love this! I might add another good link for birth announcements and holiday cards - (you can always find coupons for them too in backs of magazines and online). They have sophisticated designs and their quality is wonderful. (I got my daughter's announcments there and they are gorgeous). As always a great post!

  2. Thanks for the link to tiny prints -- that's where we got our combo baby announcement/moving announcement cards ("new chick, new nest") and they are very cute.


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