Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Land of Nod Inspired Holiday Card

It's that time of year again.

The time of year that I look forward to checking the mail for those fun and festive Christmas cards.

I also enjoy trying to think of new ideas for our own family's holiday card.  Executing them is a whole other story. ;)

There are many amazing sites that offer fabulous designs.  For most of the years, we've had good luck going through the likes of Shutterfly and Snapfish.   But these past couple of years we've ended up doing our own thing using Photoshop.

Although I easily fall in love with many of the designs offered from different sites, I really like the freedom that Photoshop brings.  Not being restricted by certain colors, font types, styles, etc...is especially nice if there's something I have in mind that's not necessarily offered anywhere that I could find.

If you don't happen to have photoshop, picmonkey offers a ton of fun edits for free.

After flipping through The Land of Nod's catalogue and seeing this backdrop (the one featured in the second picture), I was inspired to try and incorporate a similar idea with our card.  I loved the simplicity of their background.  I thought it was such an ingenious and creatively fun way to feature some of their stockings.

The thought was to have our four girls sit together as if they were in a sled.  Then remove whatever background to make it entirely white.  After that, add a sled to look hand-drawn and some simple "snow flakes", along with the words "Laughing all the way..." contoured around the sled/girls.

Trying to get all four to look at the camera and smile/laugh was impossible.  This shot was the closest we got.  The older three were on the same page, but our youngest actually had her head completely looking the other way.  I had to poorly photoshop her head from a different picture onto her body in this picture.

Here's our holiday photo card from last year:

Using photoshop and ordering them as "prints" instead of holiday cards has been less expensive.  This was true with these photo booth pictures especially.  We were able to get 3 cards from 1 single 5 x 7 print.  The kids had fun playing with the photo booth props, which we got from Oh Happy Day.  We also used the template for the photo booth layout here.

The past few years we've ordered our cards as regular prints from Costco ($0.39/each).  I mention to the person working there at check-out time that these are our holiday cards and ask if I can have envelopes and each time they're happy to give me them.  It never hurts to ask. 

Here are some of the many, many outtakes:

Each year, since our youngest has been born, we've attempted that whole lay on the ground and connect hands and feet to give that ariel snowflake look.

Still no luck. #shocker

The pic below.  The one with the child running towards me, sticking her tongue out.  Yeah, she's usually the most cooperative of the bunch.

I thought we'd have better luck trying to do a jumping shot, since they are constantly in a state of motion anyway.  

Nailed it!  

I have a rounded edge paper punch and figured to use it on the 4 corners of the print to give it a more finished-off look.  Any craft supply carriers seem to have a wide variety of paper edge punches.

You can also have fun adding a little somethin' somethin' to the back of your envelope.

This year we put "Ha Ha Ha" on the back to tie into the whole "Laughing all the way" thing.

Last year, we did a sort of play off of Instagram and used a comment bubble followed by @recepient'sname and #photobooth #4crazygirls, etc... on the back of the envelopes.

Do you have a certain system or any tips that work well for you with doing your family's holiday cards?  Is it a painful or fun process?  Or maybe a little bit of both?

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