It’s that time of year again…holiday prep time! I wanted to kick off my Holiday Prep series this year with a look at custom holiday cards. I’ve sent out a photo card every year since Don and I got married. This is our tenth holiday season as a married couple and over the years I have tried several different photo card providers, including everything from high end custom stationary companies that you order from within a shop to Martha Stewart for Kodak Gallery (now Shutterfly), Paper Source, cards I’ve edited and ordered through iPhoto on my Apple computer, and most recently, Tiny Prints. All of these have been wonderful cards that I’ve loved.
This year I was surprised and delighted when the lovely folks at ErinCondren.com reached out and offered to provide me and Don with our holiday cards this year. As a HUGE fan of the brand, I was more than a little excited about this generous offer. They sent me a nice variety of sample cards from this year’s collection for me to look at in person before choosing to order. I was blown away by the quality of not only the gorgeous designs, but also the crisp printing and thick cardstock used for in their lineup. ErinCondren.com has four overall holiday card categories to choose from. Their Premium Cardstock Classic Collection includes 39 different designs to choose from with different color schemes for many of the options. There are also several layouts of each design available, with possibilities ranging from the 10H or 10V (3.875″ x 9.5″ with horizontal or vertical orientations), a square design (5.5″ x 5.5″), the Z Fold (4.25″ x 5.5″ folded that opens up to 16″), and the classic A7 (5″ x 7″). The Premium Cardstock Postcard Collection includes 15 designs with some different color palette options that measure 4.25″ x 6.” These are great if you want to keep things simple without the need for envelopes and return address labels. They also offer Premium Cardstock Non-Photo Cards if you’d like to take advantage of one of their beautiful designs without the need for a photo. There are 8 designs to choose from in the A7 size with several designs offering different color palettes. All cards come with one free design proof and are available in either their premium 130 lb cardstock or a double-thick 260 lb card stock. You can also opt for rounded off corners or stick with the standard squared ones.
I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous Double-Thick Foil Collection. Talk about a deluxe photo card! There are two designs offered in this collection, including the Fleur Feliz and Paisley options. Each design is offered in several color palettes, including green, blue, and red (as well as brown in the Fleur Feliz) and three orientations, including vertical, horizontal. and a collage style. The Fleur Feliz has a gold foil stamped backing and the Paisley has silver. Each is constructed with double thick cardstock and comes in the A7 size. I chose the red vertical Paisley design, because I really like the bright and playful color palette on the front and the orientation fits our holiday photo nicely. I found it very easy to upload and format our photo on the website using their included software. I love how our cards came out! I left a specific note for the desginer addressing my concerns about the paisley design cutting into Don’s head and they did a wonderful job formatting it so it’s just right. One of my favorite details of the card is the little pawprint they added nexct to Winnie’s name, which was a surprise bonus I didn’t know about until the design proof came through. All in all, I am very pleased with the final result and can’t wait to send these to our frtiends and family.
Once you’re done formatting your custom cards, you are given the option to pick out what color envelope you’d like. Out of the thirteen options provided, I decided on red to match the overall tone of our card and give a nice holiday feel. I also appreciate that I was able to order some extra envelopes, which come in handy in case of a labeling error in our holiday card assembly line, which is known to happen from time to time at our house. I also jumped on the chance to order custom return address labels to match. I’ve always liked to include a sticker seal on our envelopes for that extra special touch and usually buy inexpensive ones at an office supply store. By using the gorgeous ErinCondren.com custom ones this year I not only save myself having to print out return address labels, but they really tie the whole presentation together with the matching design.
In addition to our photo cards I like to include a holiday letter every year as a way to keep our loved ones both near and far in the loop with our lives. Lately I’ve taken to formatting and printing these out on nice heavyweight paper half sheets, which we then fold in half before placing in the envelopes with the cards. That way I can include as much information as I want without worrying about formatting to fit inside a card’s design or a fancy printed paper. While I’ve done both in the past to great effect, I’ve decided with such beautiful card designs in recent years that including a simply formatted holiday letter seems fitting.
One last special touch I like to add for that extra pizzazz are custom photo stamps. I’ve created and ordered mine through Zazzle for years now. It’s just a little thing, but every year I get a lot of positive feedback about how people enjoy seeing our little Winnie right on the envelope! The editing widget included on the Zazzle website is easy to use and true to the final product you receive in the mail. Zazzle is also a great resource for many different customized items, which make for great holiday gifts.
There are some awesome promotions happening for a limited time only right now. Save 30% off your holiday card order at ErinCondren.com with code BEJOLLY30 at checkout, good through November 13, 2014. You can save 15% on your custom photo stamps at Zazzle.com with code VETERANDAY14 at checkout through November 11, 2014. These are great savings to take advantage of this week and get your holiday card and stamp order in early!
Check out my coordinating video if you’d like a closer look:
I am so excited to be hosting two giveaways to kick off the holiday season!
Giveaway #1 is an Erin Condren Gift Card giveaway. There will be FIVE winners! The Erin Condren Holiday Card Gift Card Giveaway will run until Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open internationally (you can find information about Erin Condren international shipping costs here). All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. Five winners will receive a $200 electronic gift card for use at ErinCondren.com. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog and post contact the winners directly through email. Good luck!
*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***
Congrats to the winners of the Erin Condren Holiday Card Gift Card Giveaway!
The Poll Results for *What kind of holiday cards do you like to send?* out of 1917 entries:
Custom photo cards (970) 51%
Store bought cards (376) 20%
Handmade cards (333) 17%
Custom non-photo cards (131) 7%
I don’t send holiday cards (107) 6%
Giveaway #2 is a generously provided by the lovely folks at Zazzle. Three of you will win a $25 electronic gift certificate. The Zazzle Custom Stamps Giveaway will run until Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open to US participants only. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. Three winners will receive a $25 electronic gift card to use at Zazzle.com. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and Zazzle will contact the winners directly through email. Good luck!
*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***
Congrats to the winners of the Zazzle Custom Stamps Giveaway!
The Poll Results for *What are the products that come to mind when you think of Zazzle?* out of 1172 entries:
Custom Stamps (352) 30%
I’ve never heard of Zazzle before (337) 29%
Phone Cases (232) 20%
T-shirts (156) 13%
Invitations (95) 8%
Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.
Big thanks to Erin Condren and Zazzle for their generosity! Even if you decide to go with other providers, I hope this post gave you some ideas and perhaps a little gentle nudging to get your cards purchased or made and ready to go in advance to save yourself a little last minute stress this holiday season. I’ll be back soon to share even more holiday goodness with you! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
* Post contains referral and affiliate links. The Erin Condren holiday cards and address labels were sent to me for consideration. I purchased the Zazzle custom stamps with my own money. I am using my Erin Condren referral credits to provide the Erin Condren giveaway prizes. Zazzle is generously providing the $25 Zazzle.com gift certificates as prizes. This is not a sponsored post or video. All opinions are genuinely my own. *