Craft Chat

A Tale of Two Cards

I have a confession to make: I made a major oops when it came to our Christmas cards this year.  I was all set to be frugal, and my plans totally failed, so I ended up paying way too much for TWO cards this year.  Major fail!

In the interest of complete honesty on this blog, I shall now tell A Tale of Two Cards:

My original plan was thus–

  • take pictures with my camera in San Francisco = free
  • Digital file of card image from Etsy = $9.99
  • 50 foil-lined envelopes from Etsy = $8.00
  • 75 prints from Walgreens (with coupon) = $9.00
  • Total = $26.00 for 75 Christmas cards

Doesn’t it sounds gloriously frugal and special and fool-proof?  Well… reality was not so much.  The image from Etsy was great.  In fact, here it is:

Check out Partysmartdesigns on Etsy to see her other cards

The problem was the printing.  When it arrived from Walgreens, the colors were so washed out and faded that you couldn’t even see the polka dots.  And although I had ordered the prints in “matte,” they were still unmistakably photo prints, not the nice card stock  of “real” cards.  It just looked… cheap.  And after all that fuss taking pictures the day before my trip to AL, I wasn’t entirely pleased with the picture we chose.  I didn’t want to wait another two weeks to get prints delivered from a different source, so I moved to Plan B.

(Did I mention that the envelopes I ordered shipped to our old address in MS?  Yeah… that happened too.  Thankfully, my friend Heather is actually living in our old townhouse, so I’ll be able to get them from her in a couple weeks… poor Heather, this is the second package sent to her because I forgot to update our address!  So you see, this whole Etsy venture was doomed to fail.)

I succumbed to the holiday pressure and went to Shutterfly.  Last year I used Shutterfly and had great results–but I had a coupon, so it didn’t matter that the card cost almost $2.00 (PER CARD)!  This year, I was definitely price-conscious, and although I like the card we ultimately chose, it was still way too expensive.  I agonized over the available options, chose different pictures, and wrestled with the annoying automatic-cropping until I was finally satisfied.  I like the final product, but I felt like I chose rashly because I wanted to get the cards done quickly.

All that being said, here is the final result!

Holly Jolly: Katie and Sam Dornan 2011

I did like the fact that you print images and text on the back of the card, and I love the result, even more than I like the front:

2011: Sam's graduation with a master's degree, a move to San Francisco, & surgeries. Cheers to 2012!

If you’d like a merry card sent your way from The Amateur Librarian, please feel free to send your mailing address to ktdornan(at)  And of course, I’d be happy to share mine if you’re inclined to return the favor!  I’ve already mailed out all of the Shutterfly cards, but I’ve got plenty of failed prints I’d be happy to send your way–I’m here so we can all laugh at my mistakes, right? 🙂

Final Card–

  • take pictures with my camera in San Francisco = free
  • 50 cards from Shutterfly = $56.00
  • 50 envelopes from Shutterfly = free
  • stamps = $24.00
  • Total = $80.00 😦

I’m embarrassed to say we spent over $50 on fifty cards… next year I will probably use an online card site as the first resort, but I’ll do more price comparisons first, for sure.  I’ve heard good things about Vistaprint and TinyPrints…and I’m sure there are a ton more out there.

Did anybody actually have success with this year’s card–both cute AND frugal?  I’d love to hear about it so I can prepare better for next year!

4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cards

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