MOPS Christmas: DIY Christmas Postcards for a Penny

Like most MOPS groups, we’re loaded with Christmas spirit and want to share it. But, sending Christmas cards to all of our MOPS members, sponsors, and supporters could get pretty expensive. So, instead of sending cards, we created postcards from our own photo, which cost us just a penny per card. We also get a break on the postage, because postage costs less for a postcard than for a traditional card. This is an idea we – and you – could use year-round. Here’s how we did it.

Photos: Colleen Hazlehurst

First, choose a photo that can be printed at 4×6 inches. Then, add your greeting to the image using your favorite photo editing tool. In our case, we’re sending a picture of my Christmas tree from a few years ago.

When you’re picture is ready, upload it to your favorite photo service (we use Snapfish). We waited for a “penny prints” deal, which let you buy prints for just a penny each. Buy as many copies as you need. Keep in mind, you will need to pay shipping costs to have your prints mailed to you (in our case, that was under $5). Here’s a tip: my dear friend who works at the post office recommends using a matte finish on your photos. They move more smoothly through the post office machines than glossy photos and are less likely to get smeared or smudged.

Now, when your prints arrive, transform them from photos to postcards. Here’s how to do it in three simple steps (details follow below the image):

Photo: Colleen HazlehurstHow to Create a Postcard from Your Own Photo:

  1. Your prints will arrive with a timestamp on the back of each photo. To remove the timestamp, blot a cloth (I used baby wipes) with nail polish remover and wipe away the timestamp. It comes right off. If you’re just making a few postcards, you could even use a Q-Tip. Let the photo dry.
  2. Draw a line on the back of the card, as shown, about 2 3/4″ from the right edge of the photo. Click here to see a postcard template showing the postal requirements for the back of the postcard.  Also, be sure to test your ink to make sure it doesn’t smear or show through the front of the card. Definitely do not use dry erase or washable ink. For ours, I started by writing lightly with a pen, then switched to a red Sharpie marker. Both worked fine.
  3. Write the mailing address (or place a label, like we did) to the right of the line. I made mailing labels for everyone we wanted to send a card to using the Mail Merge features of Excel and Word (here’s a video tutorial). Then, to the left of the line, write or place the return address. For ours, I made return address labels. It’s totally optional, but I wrote “To” and “From” above the labels. Finally, add a postcard stamp. Be sure you use actual postcard rate stamps to avoid over-paying for postage. Your postcard is ready to mail!

Just to see if I was doing it right, I mailed a test card to myself to see how it would look when it arrived and that the layout on the back was correct. It arrived a few days later and looked good!

As you can see, this is an easy, affordable way to send greetings to a large group. We can also use this method for other MOPS correspondence throughout the year, like birthday greetings, thank you notes, or “we missed you at the meeting” cards.

If you give it a try, please comment and let us know how it goes! Merry Christmas from MOPS of Bethel Baptist Church!


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