MAKING GARDEN PHOTO POSTCARDS

For those of you with a few rubberstamping or scrapbooking supplies, it is very easy to turn your pretty flower and garden photos into custom postcards. These directions assume you have your own color printer and want to use it for printing. Alternatively, you can use a photo processing lab if you don’t mind risking the muse running off.

The objective is to cut 4 postcards from an 8.5 x 11 piece of colored card stock (sometimes called cover stock). The dimensions of the 4 postcards are 5.5 inches by 4.25 inches. You can obtain colored card stock from the scrapbooking department of any big box craft store.

8.5 x 11 color cover/cardstock cut into four postcards
8.5 x 11 color cover/cardstock cut into four postcards

If you want some of the card stock as a border for your photo, then your photo can be no larger than 5 inches by 3.75 inches to allow about a ¼ inch of colored card stock as margins.

1.  Make all your photographic adjustments to the photo in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

2.  Open a word processor like Word or WordPerfect and set all four margins to .50 inches. My photos will demonstrate with Word as it is the more popular word processor.

Photo of actual monitor screen
Photo of actual monitor screen
  1.  Choose Columns, select two columns.
Photo of actual monitor screen
Photo of actual monitor screen

4.  Inside your word processing program, select INSERT.

5.  Choose the photo you want to use from the appropriate Lightroom or Photoshop folder.

6.  The photo should now be on your word processing page.

7.  Click on the photo to activate the sizing handles. Sizing handles allow you to change the size of the photo/graphic. These handles appear at all 4 corners and at the mid-point on the 4 sides. Click and drag to change the size. I would suggest that you enlarge or reduce the length and width of the photo by the same amount so that you don’t warp the image.

monitor screen with size handles
monitor screen with size handles

8.  I size the photo and then put my regular wooden ruler up to the screen to see if I have achieved a photo approximately 4.75 inches wide and 3.5 or 3.75 inches long. I choose this size because I prefer to have the colored card stock as a border). Continue to click on the sizing handles and drag until you achieve these dimensions for your photo.

9.  Once you have the perfect size in WordPerfect, right-click and COPY. You have “saved” the new size dimensions to the clipboard (an internal computer clipboard you can’t see). With Word, I found that I had to size EACH photo after copying it but the margins of the “columns” you set up earlier will help you correctly size the photo.

10.  At the bottom right-hand side of the photo, hit enter to space down on the page to leave room between the photo already on the screen and the new photo to be pasted under it.

11. Press PASTE. Repeat until you have four photos on your page.

12. Use a good photo paper such as Ilford Galerie Professional Inkjet Photo Range “Smooth Pearl Paper”. You may need to experiment by printing a document on regular copy paper until you determine whether you need to insert the photo paper into your printer tray with the shiny side  face up or face down.

13. PRINT one copy of the four photos on the Ilford Galerie Professional Inkjet Photo paper.

postcard four photos-2303

14. Cut the photos apart. A paper cutter gives clean, straight lines.

15. Turn the photos over and adhere double-sided tape to all four sides, close to the edge of the colored card stock.

16. Eyeball the margins of the colored card stock so that all four margins are about the same size.

17. Press the photo onto the card stock being careful to place a sheet of paper over the photo so that you don’t smudge it as you press it down on the card stock.

Completed photo postcard fronts
Completed photo postcard fronts

18. Turn the colored card stock over and stamp or write “Postcard”, affix address, message, postage stamp and mail. Personally, I type my postcard message in WordPerfect, setting up the page with four postcards just like I did with the photo. I then print on 8.5 x 11 sticker paper. For many years, I bought my sticker paper from a local Xpedx office but I’ll be ordering it next time because they closed the local office.