March 24, 2019

Make Your Own Holiday Cards with GIMP - page 2

Using Your Own Photos

  • December 10, 2009
  • By Akkana Peck

If you don't have any fun fonts installed, try searching the web for free fonts. Download .ttf files to .fonts inside your home directory (create it if it doesn't already exist). Or if you're on Ubuntu 9.10, install the packages ttf-larabie-deco and ttf-larabie-uncommon for lots of wild fonts.

Once you have text you like, you might want to add a Filters->Light and Shadow->Drop Shadow to it (Figure 5).

figure 5
figure 5

Be sure to save your image in GIMP's native format, XCF. That way you'll save all the font and layer information. If you need a JPG to put on the web or mail to someone, or a PNG to take to a print shop, you can always Save a Copy.

Spice up the image

Looking good -- but my tree looks a little bare, don't you think? I wanted some decorations. Nothing fancy, just some plain round balls. So I used File->New to create several new images, 100x100 pixels with a transparent background (that's in Advanced Options), then used Filters->Render->Sphere Designer. I set the foreground color to different colors instead of white (Figure 6)

figure 6
figure 6

to create some ornaments that I could Copy and Paste onto my tree (Figure 7).

figure 7
figure 7

I made another change to that photo besides the ornaments, too. Have fun with your card! Go wild!

Once you're finally finished with your card, you'll need to print it. Don't despair if you don't have a photo quality inkjet at home. There are lots of options, including online printing sites and photo kiosks. The next article will offer some printing tips for either case.

Happy holidays -- and happy card-making!

Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and the author of Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional. You can find more musings about greeting cards and printing on her blog, Shallow Thoughts

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