Make Your Own Postcards

In these days of email and instant messaging, people often forget how nice it is to receive a letter or card in the mail. Communicating the old fashion way adds a personal touch to things, your handwriting for example. If you want to make a postcard 100% your own, why not make your own?

Materials required:

  • Poster board
  • Pictures or artwork
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

In this case I’ll be making postcards from standard 4″×6″ photograph prints and a 22″×28″ piece of poster board.

Step 1: On the poster board, using the ruler draw a grid with 4″×6″ cells.

grid on poster board

The grey areas can be discarded or recycled.

Step 2: Cut along the lines, when you are done you should have 20 4″×6″ rectangles.

4"×6" piece

A single 4″×6″ cut-out.

Step 3: Paste your photograph onto the side of the paper with the grid lines.

Make sure to evenly spread out the picture, and smooth away any lumps.

Step 4: On the back of your postcard, write your message on the left and the addresses on the right. Save space at the top-right for the postage.
Step 5: Once you’re done making all the postcards you need, send them to your friends, family and penpals!

Notes: The maximum size for a postcard is 4¼”×6″. It must be rectangular (square sounds technically safe, too), and no smaller than 3½×5″.

While I am aware that it would be easier just to print photos onto premade postcard photo paper, I still think that seeing how this looks handmade adds a little bit of human essence to it that premade photopaper lacks. I need to work on my penmanship and cutting skills (and spelling, see “Contry”), all-in-all I think I’ll really send some of these out one day. I think would be happy to receive one.

Just a Little Something I’m Making

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Public Domain Photos

Over the weekend I want you to make something and document your process with photography and/or video. You can choose anything you would like show us – how you make your family’s secret cookie recipe, how to fix your skateboard, build a better paper airplane, crochet a winter hat – anything.

Your going to have to choose whether photography will be best for you or video. In either case be sure that you include three things into your demonstration: A clear introduction to what you are going to make, a description of the materials and tools needed, and finally go through all the steps. For great examples of a photo based tutorial, look at this description of how to build an indestructible LED lantern. And I really like this video tutorial for fixing a leaky freezer, it’s not that pretty a video but it helped me save a bunch of money!

If you make a video you’re going to need to upload it to Youtube (create a Google Account if you don’t already have one) and embed it in a post. And If you wish to edit the video, try using the free video editors on a Mac (iMovie) or PC (Moviemaker). These editors tend to have share to the web functions to upload directly to Youtube.

If you do a photo based tutorial, be mindful of the pixel dimensions of your images. Web based images should not be much more that 600 pixels wide, and most digital cameras (including phone cameras) exceed this dimension.  There are web based image editors such as pixlr to do this, and here’s a tutorial for resizing an image in pixlr.

There’s a lot of tutorials on the internet by regular people that just enjoy what they do and want to share how they did it. Why do you think people do this? What compels them to not only make something, but share the process of making with others?

As a final part of your tutorial post, I want you to reflect on how well you think you did (it’s ok if it didn’t turn out exactly as you’d hoped). A big part of sharing what you’ve made and your process of making is to narrate. That’s kind of obvious for a tutorial, narration is built into it. But I want you to think of narration as part of everything you make, even your blog posts. So be sure to end with how you feel about the final product – the tutorial itself – and tell us if how you think people may or may not actually use it and why/why not.