I just finished making our Christmas Cards for this year and I had to share with you how easy it was to create them using iPhone apps! Not everyone has access to expensive photo editing software which may leave you thinking that creative Christmas cards are not in your future. Well, I am here to tell you that I created this year’s card using only 2 apps that were only $.99 a piece. That is a cheap alternative to Photoshop. Not to mention, you do this all from your phone and save tons of money on the cards themselves. Ours were $15 for 50 and I printed them at Walgreens which means they were ready in less than an hour. Make sure you grab the coupon code at the bottom of this post in order to make this deal work for you.
Here’s what you will need:
- Retromatic 2.0 App ($.99)
- Diptic App ($.99)
- PicMonkey.com (free- and is optional for enhancement. Use that link for a free trial of the Royale features!)
- Walgreens.com photo account (free- I suggest this because they print square photos)
Here’s how you do it:
First of all, you need willing participants. Bribing generally works well. Surely you have some leftover Halloween candy you can offer? Eh. Next, you need a solid background. Luckily, we have white walls in most of our home so those work in our favor. If you are not a photographer, here is a little tip: pick a place near a window for natural light. Try to stand in a location that will not cast shadows. The least amount of shadow the better for this project.
Now, set your iPhone to take a square photo. Unsure on how to do this? Just open up the camera and shift your hand across the bottom selections until you see “square”. Have your willing participant stand in front of the solid background and try to fill the frame with as much of them as possible. Snap your picture and move onto the next person/animal/thing.
Once all of your photos have been taken open up the Retromatic app. It will ask you to “Load a photo” or “Take a photo”. You want to load one of the square photos you just took. So, open up the first one and you are taken to a screen that ask you draw the outline of target object to compose. Simply swipe your finger around the subject, tracing as best you can and connect the lines. Don’t worry about staying completely on the line because I have a little trick! Your photo should look a little something like the one below.
Now hit that handy-dandy “auto” button in the right hand corner and your picture now looks like this:
If it is not absolutely the way you want it you can still go back and choose more of the photo. Use two fingers to zoom in on the picture to get even closer on those hard to reach corners. Click the arrow button at the top right corner once you are finished and you will be taken to a screen that looks like this:
Here is where you can select a background and make your subject larger or smaller. I made mine fill the screen and chose a neutral background. Once you have it the way you like it just press the arrow button at the bottom right of the screen and choose “Save”. This will save your new creation to your camera roll on your phone. Repeat this process for all of your photos.
Now, open up the Diptic app. Select the “Jumbo” option and choose the collage with 9 squares. Start filling in the squares with the photos you just edited. Simply double tap on a square, select your photo from the camera roll and repeat the process until all square are filled. I left the center square empty in order to create our “Merry Christmas” message. Once you have it perfect simply click the “publish” option in the top right corner, select “largest” for your size, and then choose “save image” to save the new collage to your camera roll.
At this point I decided to add a few details using Picmonkey.com. There are many ways you can get your new collage to PicMonkey.com on your computer (email it to yourself and download, Air Drop it to your computer, upload it to Dropbox or another file sharing account). If you don’t have a computer you could always use another free app in order to add text to the center of the collage (Quick is a free app for adding text).
Once my details were added I uploaded my photo to my Walgreens.com photo account. Again, if you are strictly using your iPhone you can do this using the Walgreens App. You are going to want to use their square photo printing service. Prints are only $.39 a piece for a 4×4 photo! This beats about $2 per Christmas card at most places I found! Not to mention, no one will have one like yours! I submitted mine and they were ready in less than an hour! It was fantastic and the quality is great. I ordered 50 of these 5×5 square envelopes from Amazon for only $14.95. So, my total out of pocket cost for 50 unique Christmas cards was only about $29.95. That is WAY less than what I had been pricing for the number of cards I received. You may be saying “that math doesn’t add up” and you would be right. I’m not very good at math… ok, that’s true, but I also had a promo code and you can use it too! I did a little digging and found a 25% off coupon code for Walgreens: DEAL25 is good until 12/31/14. Merry Christmas!