Homemade Postcards How-To

Last summer I started making my own postcards, because the choice of postcards in stores is often unimpressive and because they don’t make postcards for many of the places I visit. Now I always carry my very small “postcard kit” with me so I can make them anywhere with access to a photo lab or photo printer. It’s pretty easy to do, and generally cheaper than buying postcards, so if you want to try it then here’s how I make mine:

1. Take a photo you’d like to use for a postcard, and get it printed by a photo lab or on your printer with a blank photo card.


2. Gather all the stuff you’ll need: Photos, 4″ x 6″ (10cm x 15cm) cue cards, Double-sided tape, Scissors, Pen, and a bit of time. I used to cut rectangles out of cereal boxes, but cue cards are much easier to use and already have lines on them. However, you need to get good thick cue cards like the brand in this photo, not the paper thin ones.


3. Check the size of your cue card against your photo. My cue cards are about 1.5mm longer than my photos, so I cut off about 3mm to keep the cue card from being visible when you’re looking at the photo side of the postcard.


4. Mark a section off that’s big enough to fit the address of the recipient, plus the stamp and maybe an airmail sticker, then write your postcard and don’t forget the address.


5. If you screw up the writing part, flip the card over to the blank side and start again. Once you’re happy with your text, cut double-sided tape and carefully put it on the non-text side of the card. Make sure it’s 1mm or less from the edge of the card.


6. Remove the backing of the double-sided tape and stick the back of the cue card to the back of the photo. It can be a little difficult to line it up nicely if you don’t have steady hands, and if you let the tape touch the back of the photo then it’s quite hard to get it unstuck, so take your time to do it carefully.


That’s it – just get the appropriate postage on there and send it off.

3 thoughts on “Homemade Postcards How-To

  1. That’s neat. For the tricky part of trying to get the photo onto the sticky surface without it sticking down a bit crooked, one way is to peel back the backing paper just part way, then line up the photo exactly on the other end (still non-sticky) and while holding it down there, press down onto the sticky end; then peel the backing paper off all the way and press down the rest.

    Another cool way to send a postcard if you can’t get to a printer but can get online is to use http://hazelmail.com/Index (US$1.50/€2.00 sent anywhere from anywhere) but then you can’t handwrite the message.

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