Make your own Valentine’s Day cards – tutorial
Create inspiring greetings cards for all occasions in Photoshop Elements with our nine-step tutorial
Whatever the occasion – birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s Day – a greetings card is the perfect way to show someone that you care.
Photographic cards are simple to make and can be achieved in a number of image-editing programs. For this tutorial, we’re using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and will create a generic template, which can then be adapted at a later stage.
Cards come in all shapes and sizes, but the classic rectangle is the easiest format to start with. You don’t want to overcomplicate it at this stage – if your photograph is strong it be able to ‘speak’ on the card by itself without the need for lots of frills and added extras.
You can add text to your image if you wish, but take a good look at it first and think about how it will impact and if it adds or detracts.
When it comes to the printing stage you will need to think about the right kind of card. You can buy specially designed blank cards complete with envelopes from a craft shop, which are perfect for what we’re trying to achieve here.
You also need to think about sizes, as greeting cards work best in either A5 or A6 size. If you’re printing onto A4 paper your card will be A5 size, and A5 will turn into A6 when folded in half.
What better way to show off your fantastic photography skills than creating some stylish cards of your own and wowing a loved one this Valentine’s Day with a bespoke card?
Here’s what you need to do…
Step 1 – Source the image
Choose your image carefully, as the success of the card largely depends on it.
Step 2 – Create a new page
Go to File> New> Blank File and select whatever size you’re going to print your cards onto. Make sure the image settings are at 300dpi and RGB. You can experiment with larger and smaller size cards depending on your subject matter and printer size.
Step 3 – Ruler and grid lines
To make the task at hand easier, select the ruler and grid lines settings. Go to the View menu on the top bar and select both options. An A4 size of paper measures 29.7 x 21cm. The halfway point therefore is 14.85cm and is where you need to make a small mark.
Step 4 – Mark halfway
To mark the point select the Line Tool from the palette and create two small faint lines halfway. Make sure you’ve selected the colour palette to a light grey shade. It helps to zoom into the area and drag and drop the bar on both sides of the paper at 14.85cm.
Step 5 – Import the image
You are now ready to import your image and this be done in a number of ways. One of the easiest is to use the Move Tool and drag and drop the image into the template. You can then resize and position it using the grid lines so it fits into the space.
Step 6 – Copyright the back
Position the image in the space. Remember your halfway markers and think how the image is going to appear with a border – if you want to include one. Once you’ve positioned the image, rotate the card and select the Text Tool. Mark it with your name.
Step 7 – Inside text
As is traditionally the case with the majority of cards, you’ll need to include text on the inside. Create a new page and again select the ruler and grid lines. Depending on how your printer feeds the paper will determine where you place the text. Work out where your image is going to be and do a test run.
Step 8 – Print it out
When you’re happy, go to File> Print and preview the template. Make sure you run a test strip before you print your final image to check the colours are accurate. This saves a lot of time and money in the long run. Fold your card in two at the halfway lines you marked earlier.
Step 9 – Get experimental
Once you’ve mastered these simple techniques and have produced a format you are happy with, get experimenting!