Christmas Season is in full swing, which means you’re probably scrambling to do all the things, right? Decorating, baking, shopping, and enjoying time together are important… not to mention getting Christmas cards sent! If your still want to send cards, here are my tips for getting last-minute Christmas cards out, even if you haven’t started yet!
In addition to beautiful products, Shutterfly offers some awesome services that will help you get your holiday cards sent in a jiffy! Make sure you take advantage of the time-saving shortcuts below.
Pick one good picture first.
You make your job TONS easier if you choose one picture you love, and then find a card that fits it. Going into the process with a few photo options makes the process so much more complicated, because then you sit there and struggle with which picture would work best in which design.
That’s too many variables! The fastest way to get your cards done is to pick one image that you love first. Same goes with the back… if time is of the essence, then pick one beautiful picture and don’t spend your time with fancy collages!
Use the “Use My Photo” feature at Shutterfly.
Once you have a photo chosen, Shutterfly makes it super easy to preview your photos in their designs. Click on the orange “Show With My Photos” button on the top of the left sidebar. You upload the image you want from your account, and then it pre-loads them into the product images in the product catalog so you can quickly see what the finished design looks like. You can still use all the filters on the side, but you don’t have to go into every product to test it out.
This is useful in several ways – first, it makes it really easy to see if your picture works better in a horizontal frame or a vertical frame. Some pictures could go either way, but some pictures clearly work better in one direction. I find that seated pictures of a family usually work better in a wide frame, and standing pictures usually require a vertical area for your picture – either a vertical card itself or a vertical frame on a card, like mine.
The other thing I love about Use My Photo is that it helps you see what color combinations and styles are working with the picture you chose.
This year we had a beautiful photo with a unique color scheme, florals, and cool greenery. When I uploaded it with Use My Photo, I immediately saw that the red backgrounds clashed horribly with our outfits and photo. That insight saved me so much time, because I could veto any layout with red accents or background and not waste my time with them.
Recognize that you can change colors quickly if you need to.
The other awesome thing ab0out Shutterfly is that there are tons of designs that allow you to change the color of the background to match your photos. Just look for the custom color palette icon, and those ones have elements you can customize from a bunch of options.
This is awesome if you have a specific non-traditional shade you want to feature : want mint? You can do that. Mustard? Totally possible. I ended up going with this “Gleaming Greetings” design, and I used a navy-black shade that worked perfectly with our color scheme, but I considered going with a fun pop color too.
Let Shutterfly address and mail cards for you…
One of the biggest time-saving techniques I can suggest is using Shutterfly’s addressing service. You can have them just print on the envelopes, or you can have them mail them for you too! Using pre-addressed envelopes lets you save time and effort, especially if you have them mail the cards to your recipients.
If you already have a spreadsheet of names and addresses, it’s easy to upload at into Shutterfly’s system. They print the envelopes, you pay for shipping and handling, and suddenly sending Christmas cards doesn’t feel like work at all. Plus, your address book will be ready for next year too!
NOTE: the 2016 mailing service deadline is Wednesday, December 14th!
…or at least buy Return Address labels!
If you don’t already have a spreadsheet of addresses ready, it’s not going to be quickest to use the tip above. If you’re trying to get your cards out fast THIS year, then I would skip the addressing service and just get them done.
One of the best time saving options is to buy cute return address labels. No one wants to write their own address over and over again! And address labels are so cheap that it absolutely worth your time – plus, you can get ones that match your cards! These ones were part of my matching holiday card suite, and I love their subtle nod to the card design. In general, I think matching envelopes, liners, and labels are super festive!
Enlist help stuffing envelopes.
Once you cards arrive, have a stuffing party! My 6-year-old and 4-year-old love helping me stuff envelopes. If I teach them where they go, they do a decent job of applying sticker labels and stamps to envelopes. Even my 2 year old likes to help put finished envelopes in a basket for the post office. Put on some fun music and pound it out in an hour or two – it’s worth it!
Those are my tips for sending last minute cards. You can totally get these done in time for Christmas delivery – now get going!
I received product free of charge for this post, but I asked Shutterfly for the opportunity because I like them so much!
For other tips on holiday cards and gifts, check out these posts: