By Cathy Pascual, Digi/Hybrid Fashionista
With the price of gas skyrocketing, I bet lots of SISters are staying at home this summer. I for one have no tropical getaways planned any time soon. Hawaii will have to wait another year :(
But that doesn't mean I have to give up one of my favorite vacation pastimes. You know the one. Lazily sipping a tropical drink or iced coffee or [insert your favorite summer drink here] in a cafe or bar or sandy beach and scribbling a few postcards to family and friends....telling them all the fun things you are seeing and doing....wishing they were "here."
On occasion, I would even write postcards to myself. As a travel journal. When I was in Australia a few years ago, I wrote one every few days, addressing them to myself. And when I got home, I had a succinct account of my trip without lugging around a journal. Plus the postcard itself (postmarked stamp and all) was a unique souvenir of every city I visited.
So if you are staying home this year ("staycation" seems to be this year's buzzword) or even if you forgot to send postcards while you were away, I have the perfect quick and easy hybrid challenge for you:
All you need are:
- photos of your trip/staycation. If you are staying at home, take shots of the local beach, park, zoo or even your backyard. Pick your most picturesque photo(s). Something that will entice the recipient of your postcard to visit YOU. Or if you forgot to send postcards during your latest summer vacation, choose your best shots. It's not too late to send a postcard about your trip.
- photo editing software (if you would like to edit your photos or add text)
- printer (it's a hybrid challenge after all)
- photo paper
- cardstock (for writing message and address on the back)
- paper trimmer/scissors
- journaling pen
Before we start, there are a couple things you need to know.
If you plan on mailing your postcard, you need to know some measurements. According to the USPS, a postcard is: a rectangular cardstock mailpiece not contained in an envelope with a length: 5 - 6 inches and height: 3 1/2 - 4 1/4 inches. So you could get away with sending a regular 4" x 6" photo as long as you mounted it on cardstock first to make it sturdy enough to go through the mail.
If you intend to keep your postcards - which I am going to do - size isn't an issue. Go crazy :)
Here how I made mine.
- Choose your photos. Although I've already been to the park countless of times, the beach, a strawberry festival and local art museum, I discovered that my most summery shots were captured right in my backyard. Just steps away from my house, a grassy green lawn and the cool shade of a tree was all I needed to relax. So, I chose photos of a cool glass of water, a colorful beach towel, the green canopy of a tree and my daughter Sofi dressed in a sundress. Edit your photos as you normally would. Convert one to black and white for contrast.
- Open a blank document in Photoshop (or other photo editing software). The size of your document should be a length of 5 - 6 inches and a height: 3 1/2 - 4 1/4 inches (the size of a standard postcard). Drag 2-3 photos onto blank document. NOTE: Instead of using ONE photo per card (which you could do to make it even simpler), I wanted to layer a few images together. So I paired a shot of a water glass on top of a rainbow towel with a black white close-up of the same towel. And a self-portrait of me lying on the towel with a shot of the tree shading me from the sun. And finally three photos of my daughter Sofi enjoying the shady refuge on the porch. I cropped and resized my photos as needed.
- Add text. In keeping with the minimalist theme, I added a single word ("cool", "calm" and "collected" to each postcard in an understated font (Geosanlight). Of course you could add any message you would like - the name of your city, a personal message etc. For an airy look, reduce the opacity of your text (in the layers palette). Merge photo and text layers. (In Photoshop, select both layers and hit CTRL + E.)
- Print your cards. To print mine, I dragged all three cards on to an 8.5" x 11" blank document. I had to move them around a bit to make them all fit. Then I printed on photo paper (glossy or matte). I used matte, but I recommend glossy if you plan to mail it.
- Add a postcard back for message and address. Adding another piece of cardstock to the back of your photo will make your postcard sturdier. It will also give you a place for the mailing address and a short message. As a special gift, I created a simple "postcard back" for you! You can either download the PNG file - which will allow you to resize/recolor as you desire or the PDF version which you can simply print out (it will fit standard postcard sizes.) Print on card stock or a heavier weight photo paper. Using your photo as a guide, cut the postcard backs to size and adhere to photo (back to back). Trim any excess.
Download PNG file here:
Download printable PDF here:
And there you have it. A fun way to use some of your favorite summer shots!
And if you don't end up mailing these babies to your family or friends there are lots of things you could do with them:
- Mail them them to yourself. This will give it a nice aged look - LOL. You will also get a neat postmark!
- Make several and bind them into a mini book or journal. Use the backs to journal, add embellishments or other ephemera.
- Make a set of 10 or more, tie it with bow and give it away as a gift.
- Pin them to your bulletin board, refrigerator or wall for inspiration.
So I challenge you to make one (ore more) hybrid postcards. Link me up to your creations here at the digi blog and I'll choose one winner to receive a $5 gift certificate from the SIStv Boutique!
Deadline: I will give you until Monday, July 21.
Have fun and please let me know if you have any questions: email@example.com.