March 21, 2019

Printing Your Custom GIMP Holiday Cards - page 2

Printing Holiday Cards Even if you Don't Have a Printer

  • December 17, 2009
  • By Akkana Peck

Or you can use a kiosk. These range from the cheap kind at your local drugstore to the expensive sort found at camera stores.

With either type, be wary of anything labeled "greeting card". For some reason, to kiosk manufacturers and makers of Windows printing programs, "greeting card" means an oddball thing kind of like a wide skinny postcard on flimsy paper that doesn't fit in normal envelopes. Me, I want a standard folded card with space inside to write a note -- like a card you'd buy from Hallmark.

My local Walgreens charges about $3.50 per 8.5x11 print, but you don't get your prints right away. You go through a long setup, then set a time when you can come back and pick up your prints. It might be easier to order them on the web to pick up at your local store rather than making two trips.

Camera stores and FedEx Office (formerly Kinkos) have kiosks that print on demand, but they're a bit more expensive. The quality is very good -- but be careful of size. The Sony kiosks print photos as 8x10", but on 8.5x11" paper, with an asymmetrical white border. What were they thinking? If you want a good looking card you have to slice off some of that border before you fold the card. There's also a "Print by Sony" pattern on the back side (the inside of your card).

Most kiosks don't offer any preview, so be sure you print a sample to check the layout before you order a print run of 30 copies.


figure 3
figure 3

One final tip: for getting nice crisp folds, I find it works best to place the printed photo face down on a clean, slightly soft surface, like a magazine. Make sure the ink is dry, so you don't smudge it. Measure to find the fold line, lay a ruler along it, and crease the paper using a not-quite-sharp object like a letter opener (Figure 3).

Fold the cards carefully along the crease, slip them into 6"x9" envelopes and you'll have professional-looking cards that your friends will be proud to put on their mantles.

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