So to save a little scratch, I like to design my own. And you really don't need any fancy skills or fancy programs to do it. I like to use the free online program picmonkey.com. I am not a paid advertiser for Picmonkey, I just really like the program! It is fairly new, so everything is free right now; but eventually they will start charging for some of the premium options.
Anyway, it's super easy to use. Here is how I made my Christmas card this year!
Step One: Click on "Create a Collage"
Step Two: Change the pixel size. This is so when you go to have your photo cards printed, they will be the correct size and will not have to be cropped. To make 5x7 prints, your pixel size needs to be 2100x1500.
Step Three: Now that your sizing is correct, add your photos. I chose several photos so that I could play around with the design and see what I liked best. You don't have to use every photo that you upload. Also note here that I uploaded a blue wood grain design background. I got this by simply googling "Digital Scrapbook Freebies Christmas" and found several free digital scrapbook kits with all kinds of cute background designs. The blue wood grain design I used is from The Merry Little Christmas Mini Kit from Design House Digital.
Step Four: Once you have your pictures and background loaded, you need to save your file. I call this the "base design".
Step Five: You save a "base design" because for some reason Picmonkey doesn't let you add any text or symbols to collages, so you have to save the file as a blank design, and then reopen it in Picmonkey as a single photo. You do this back at the main Picmonkey screen:
Step Six: Now that your "base design" is open in Picmonkey, you can see it looks the same as the collage screen; but there are different options on the left. To add text to your design choose the "P" button. Now have fun adding text and symbols to complete your design! When you're all finished, save the file to your computer and simply have them printed anywhere that prints photos. I use Costco.
Picmonkey has all sorts of different fonts and symbols/clipart to choose from and the possibilities are endless. Here is what my Christmas card looked like when I was finished. Even if I wasn't trying to save money I'd probably still design my cards this way because I think it is super fun. I used the same method to make my daughter's birthday card this year.
Hope this helps some of you, have fun!