How to Turn Your Child's Artwork into Professionally Printed Notecards and Greeting Cards
I surprised Ayla today with a really fun package in the mail. I turned a couple of her "Best Of" first grade artwork projects into custom notecards at Zazzle! She was totally pumped when she saw them!
"Oh wow!! This is so cool!"
In order to turn her large pieces of artwork into small printed greeting cards, I photographed them with a high quality camera (and a tripod) in natural light. Our front porch in the afternoon is a perfect place to do that. I used painter's tape to tack them to the brick wall, hanging them as straight as I could, and placing the camera on a tripod directly across from them (to minimize any distorting). I ended up with pictures like this:
Then, I cropped the images to include only the artwork (it helped that they were pre-matted pieces), and auto-adjusted the contrast and colors in Photoshop, until I had two high quality images, like this:
Finally, I just uploaded them to Zazzle and created Ayla's very own personalized notecards with her own original artwork on it. What a cool way to show off her work! She'll love sending these to her friends and family (they even come with their own envelopes).
The cards turned out fantastic! The slick printed top looks really professional, and I love that I could customize the inside (I made the inside flap a solid coordinating color) add a little note on the back:
I'm definitely a fan. We'll totally be doing this again.
- Cameleon Watercolor Cards - Art by Ayla
- Sailboat Pastel Cards - Art by Ayla
- Watercolor Fish Cards - Art by Ayla
What do you do with your kids' artwork each year???
This year, it seems like our schedule has gotten much crazier with after school activities, church events, and family activities.
To try and keep track of it all -- and make the rest of the family aware of what's going on (instead of the calendar just being in MY head) -- I've been printing a weekly calendar on computer paper and writing in our activities for the week and pre-planning our dinner menus. Then I post it on the refrigerator, which is DEFINITELY the hub of our house. :)
Well, as I'm sure you know, plans and schedules change! So, I did a lot of scratching out, erasing, and rewriting the same things for the next week. But, aside from the scratch outs, the weekly calendar posted on the refrigerator was definitely working for us. Not only did I know exactly what needed to be done to prepare for dinner every day, but I could plan out meals based on the carpool and activity schedule, to make everything a little easier on us all. The system worked....I just needed a more permanent solution that looked nicer and was easier to adjust as our schedule and plans changed.
I designed a basic weekly calendar onto two different sizes of dry erase boards (medium & large). I wasn't sure if the medium version (8" x 12") would be big enough to write all our activities on it, so I ordered both sizes to try them out. The large version is 16" x 22" and would be great for large families with lots going on every week!
I ordered the medium sized version with the basic khaki background, but I got creative with the large one to try out some color matching with our new Sherwin William's paint swatch. I used the hexidecimal value number for our paint color (Worldly Gray #CEC8BB) and just pasted that into the background color. Viola - a perfectly matched piece of decor!
Here's how you do that...
How to Change the Background Color:
Click on the "customize it" button for the product.
Click on "edit" and then "background color" from the drop-down menu.
Next, choose a color from the color pallette or click on Advanced to enter your own hexidecimal number.
Enter the six digit hexidecimal number for your color of choice (which I found for my paint color at the Sherwin Williams web site).
As you can see, it's not exactly the same color as our walls, but it's pretty darn close! This would be such a cool way to perfectly integrate this dry erase board into your own decor.
As far as the quality of Zazzle's dry erase boards, I was overall very pleased. The design printed all the way to the corners, and there is no border or frame added to the board. It comes with a black fine tip dry erase marker that clips right to the front of the board.
The slick finish on the top of the board makes it easy to write on (and easy to wipe off with a paper towel), which is exactly what I was looking for.
It's a pretty low-profile board, only about 3/16" thick.
My only disappointment was that the included "mounting equipment" was just double-stick foam tape in three strips on the back of the board.
I'm sure they stick very well, but I'm *not* confident that they remove easily without ruining whatever it was stuck to, and wasn't about to stick it to my newly painted walls or refrigerator.
Instead, I glued four magnets to the back of the board so it would not-as-permanently stick to my refrigerator. :)
The 16" x 22" version would be pretty easy to put into an open-back frame (which you can have made at any framing shop). Or, you could use something like these if you wanted to mount it to a wall:
After trying out the different sizes for a few weeks, I decided that the medium version was a good size for our family's activities, and it fits nicely on our refrigerator without being too overwhelming.
At regular price, the large version of this (de)Sign is about $40 plus shipping and the medium version is only about $20 plus shipping. Plus, Zazzle offers coupons regularly, so this could really be an inexpensive family organization tool.
I love it! I'm so happy with how my dry erase board has worked out. And now I can stop wasting printer paper on my weekly calendar scribbles. :)
- Would this calendar and dinner menu dry erase board be helpful in your house?
- What size would you get?
- Would you change the colors?
If you like this, you can buy it and customize your own here:
Or check out all of Zazzle's dry erase boards from tons of artists!
Wow! I've got all kinds of news! A new website, changes on A.Steed's.Life., and a BIG, HUGE, ONCE-A-YEAR SALE.
Over the past several weeks, my own personal webmaster (aka Ben) has been hard at work helping me put together a brand new web site for Signs by Andrea. My sign business and Zazzle poster sales have grown so much over the past year, it was time to give them both the attention they deserve. To do this, I'm separating my blog into two separate websites:
- AndreaSteed.com will remain my personal journal and crafty blog.
- SignsByAndrea.com will now be dedicated to news and information about my signs and (de)Signs, as well as a great source of inspiration for all sorts of home decorating tips and ideas.
I think you'll find the new website is easy to navigate and offers a much more pleasant shopping experience. Now you can personalize and add any of my signs to your shopping cart instantly, pay online, and track the status of your orders. It's fabulous. I'm beyond excited. :)
And this new website couldn't have come at a better time (nothing like a deadline to get us going).... Beginning today, I'm offering my HUGEST sign sale of the year. It's time to start getting your shopping underway and get ahead of the holiday rush. This is the one sale you want don't want to miss. It doesn't get any better than this:
So come on over now and check out the newly launched SignsByAndrea.com and tell me what you think!
I love how Heather used the format of my Dated Wall Art poster, but then added her own twist, featuring her & her fiance's birthdays, their wedding date, first date, and engagement anniversary. What a great idea! And let's not forget that fabulous white painted frame around her gallery wall...it grounds it perfectly! Well done. Thanks for sharing how you used your (de)Signs by Andrea poster in-action.
She's not the only one either! Check out these great ways others have used this design & idea:
ixoye307 on flickr
I dare you not to smile (or at least sing the song) while you look at these photos. On this rainy, dark day, I think it's a perfect project to share:
Painted on a 16" x 20" canvas for a client.
I am no longer handpainting this design, but printed versions of it are available for purchase in my SignsByAndrea Zazzle.com store as a wrapped canvas, poster print & greeting card!