The first three years I ordered cards on-line, uploading photos. The first one worked out quite well. The second year - the store I ordered through changed printing companies and the quality sucked. The third year was OK - I found a different company, but it was pricier. Still, I was ready to get a little more creative. So, for the fourth year I bought decorative cards with envelopes and used our own ink jet printer to create the photo to be attached. It was a fair bit of work, but I quite enjoyed it.
So, this year I'm back at it again. I've decided I'll show what's involved and tally up the costs. Let's see how much it REALLY costs to make your own cards.
Here's what I bought:
- Canon Photo Paper (100 4x6) - $17.85 ... with a second package free
- Photocard kit with cards and envelopes (20 x 5 packages) - $74.90
- Mailing Labels (100) - $6.99
- Clear Labels for inside card text (60 x 2 packages) - $30.92
- Return Mailing Labels (350) $14.96
- Business Card Stock (200) - $17.95
- Ink Jet Cartridges for yellow, cyan, magenta - $20.99 x 3
First, let's add up this list, add in the tax (here in BC we currently have HST of 12%). Then we'll create a unit price and add that to find out the base cost per card. Using Excel to tally up the overall cost - $253.72 with HST. Ouch! However, the actual cost per card runs to $1.74 (without the business card $1.64). I usually end up using between 85 and 100.
My Christmas card workstation is our dining table! I love my Fiskars cutter - a best buy for sure.
First, I had to design the photo to place on the front of the card. The previous weekend I had gotten Walter to pose with some moving boxes I had decorated with crafty snowflakes. I wasn't totally happy with the results. I played around with various photos and finally came up with this:
This incorporates our early Christmas art project, the moving boxes with snowflakes and a photo of Walter taken in November at the farm. I printed off 85 in batches of five, letting them dry before stacking them.
Next, the inside label with a simple greeting and our names. Then, I spent some time typing in contact information for everyone who was going to receive a card. At this point I had a better idea of how many cards I would be producing. After printing off the mailing labels, I created return mailing labels. Business cards were next. I used some clipart to include a bit of graphics in the form of a colourful moving truck with the phrase "we're moving!" emblazed on its side.
I created a workflow space for myself and started sticking labels - inside the card for the greeting text, then sticking the photo to the card. Then labeling the envelope with the mailing and return mailing address labels. Stuffed the card in, sealed the envelope. Next!
I spent Saturday night printing the photos, and Sunday afternoon/evening doing the rest. Probably 6-8 hours total.
Will I do it again next year? You bet!