The Holiday Season is in full swing now and every year at more or less the same time we starts the same routine all over again. One of this routines is nothing else than sending Greeting Cards to our family members, relatives and friends. You know the drill, we go to our favourite Card Shops and start trawling on tens of the same card design that we see every year. Smarter (and less technically-challenged) individuals would go to the Internet and starts getting their cards from their favourite online Card Stores, though the same routine still applies, i.e. they go through hundreds of designs to find one that fancy their liking. Boring!
Wouldn’t be great if you can use your own Instagram Photos to create your own Greeting Cards?! It would be unique and personal unlike the generic cards people usually get from the shop. Awesome!
Well, luckily you CAN do that!
Here are 5 Online Services that will turn your Instagram Photo into a unique and personal Greeting Cards:
INK361 is a newcomer to Instagram Printing business, but they have already a portfolio of products including photo prints in standard paper, canvas or metal. They also provide service to print your Instagram Photo to create a custom Phone and Tablet cases. And last but not least it prints Photo Cards.
You need to register your Instagram account and link it from the website. INK361 will create a special Instagram Gallery for you complete with your own personalised INK361 URL. From this gallery you can select which of your Instagram photo you want to print for the card.
The Greeting Cards
Unfortunately there aren’t many sizes to choose for Photo Card in term of paper size. INK361 will only print on 5×5″ size. The photo is printed on 100% recycled matte paper.
One card will cost you $3 each. There is apparently volume discount if you order 10 or more.
I can’t seem to find any info about shipping cost in the website, so I just had to do a mock order to find out how much I need to pay for the delivery. It seems that, at least for delivery to UK, INK361 has a flat rate shipping cost, which seems to be $12.50.
For one off printing, INK361 Photo Card is a great solution. I like especially that they are using recycled paper. Let’s face it, how long do you normally ‘store’ your Greeting Cards before your throw them away? A recycled paper would come a long way to save our earth.
In addition, INK361 often runs promos which count toward your order. For example at this time they have Promo Code TRYUS25 that gives you 25% off the total cost of the prints, this will save you quite a lot.
Twenty20, or formerly known as Instacanvas is an online marketplace where you, as Instagram users, can register and start selling your shots at their online ‘gallery’. You just need to link your Instagram, pick which photos you want them to be in your ‘Public Gallery‘ and you have your own Instagram shop.
But this is not all that Twenty20 does, just like INK361, it also provides Printing Service with product ranging from standard paper print, canvas, framed, acrylic, iPhone cases, and Greeting Cards.
The Greeting Cards
The card is printed on 10pt. matte card stock and, the same as INK361, the card measures in 5×5″ in size.
You will need to pay $3.19 for one card, or $23.00 for 10-Pack.
The shipping cost is FREE, if you live in the US, but otherwise you will need to fork for $10.
Compare to INK361 this is a much cheaper alternative, especially if you live in the US.
Printstagram joined other online outfits that offers printing service for your Instagram photos. As well as the usual standard printing, Prinstagram also offers Photo Books, Calendar, Stickers, Poster and recently Contact Cards (cool Instagram business cards).
The Greeting Cards
Unlike INK361 and Twenty20, Printstagram gives us 3 choices of paper sizes (4 if you use the iPhone App). These are square 4×4″, classic 4×6″ or 5×7″ and the tiny size 2.2×2.2″ (iPhone App only).
A set of 36 square cards will cost you $25. The same will do if you order a set of 24 cards for both the classic sizes. While the tiny cards will cost you $15 for a a set of 24.
You will need to sign in to your Instagram account to load your photos to the gallery where you can pick which photos you want to include in the pack.
Shipping in the US costs $7, while for the rest of the world you will need to pay $12. This is a flat rate per shipping no matter how many item you order.
I think it’s quite nice that we can choose the card size, and it costs just a shy above $1 per card including International Shipping, which is even cheaper still compare the two competitors above.
Since I’m based in the UK I thought I will include a couple of local online services as well in this list. One of them is Inkifi. As well as Greeting Cards, Inkifi also offers Polaroid, Framed, Canvas, Acrylic prints, and also Mini Photo Book, Fridge Magnets, even T-Shirt.
The Greeting Cards
Inkifi’s Instagram Greeting Cards from is printed in 300 gsm symbol card and comes in one size – 6×6″ square. The cards come with envelopes and you can order an individual one or in packs of 10 or 25.
You will need to pay £2.99 (about $4.8) for and individual one. Packs of 10 for £13.99 ($22.8) and packs of 25 for £24.99 ($40.8).
As I expected, shipping cost for UK address is FREE. For International delivery the cost is a flat rate £4.95 (around $8).
Inkifi prints the largest card from all the online printer featured in this post. They are not as cheap as Printstagram but it is cheaper than the other services so far. And if you live in the UK it could be a good alternative.
Some companies like INK361, Twenty20, Printstagram and Inkify were born out of popularity of Instagram. Other older and more established online printing services like Zazzle augment their already extensive products by offering Instagram users to use their Instagram photo as the source image when they create the product. One of this product is of course Greeting Cards.
The Greeting Cards
Greeting Cards from Zazzle are printed on ultra-heavyweight 120 lb. card stock with gloss finish. You have 1 choice of size – 5×7″, though you can choose portrait of landscape orientation.
Whilst the choice for sizes is almost non-existence, the area where Zazzle shines above the rest is customisation. You can practically design your card the way you want it looks like. You can resize and move the photo (Instagram is only one of the source where you can get your image from). Add multiple text and place it anywhere you want on the card. Finally, you can do all of these, not only on the front side of the card, but also on the back and inside. You can even add different photo on every side (that is 4 photos per card)!
The cost to create one card is $2.95, but as you can expect from a major retailer, the more your buy the cheaper you pay. For example when I change the order quantity to 10, the cost per card is down to $2.45 each, and when I went for 25 cards the cost drastically went down to $1.75 each.
Unfortunately here comes the most complicated and expensive bits. While the other online services choose to go for free domestic shipping and flat rate International delivery, Zazzle employs a more conventional way in how it calculates the shipping cost. This most probably means that the more you order the more shipping cost you need to pay. This also means that it’s not easy to say exactly how much you need to pay without actually going through the motion of buying.
But as an example, if I buy one card, the shipment to the UK would be $4.95, while a package of 25 cards will cost me $16.24. So, there are a lot of trade off between the card’s price and shipping rate here to be considered.
But here is the good news, Zazzle online stores are available in many countries (including the UK), which means that you can get the products in your local currency and the shipping rate might be a lot cheaper for domestic shipment. And even if it doesn’t have exactly one in your own country, they might have one closer.
I like the fact that you can customise the card to your heart content, and having an already established company behind it gives me a lot of confidence. But this is not exactly the cheapest route to take if financial is a concern.
Nevertheless, it might not be a good place to get custom Christmas Cards, but I think it is perfect for something like Wedding Invitation where total customisation is needed. And by the way, Greeting Card is not the only product you can use Zazzle with your Instagram photo. Maybe you want to create a T-Shirt, or a Mug with your favourite Instagram photo?
Home Printing (Bonus Tips!)
There is of course one last alternative to turn your Instagram photos into Greeting Cards … print your own! If you have in your possession a decent colour Ink Jet printer, you could easily get a Microsoft Word template to create greeting cards (try Google it), use your Instagram photo in it and print them out yourself. As a matter of fact you will have a total freedom to decide how it would look like.
But then again, who would have time to do all of these when there are still Christmas shoppings to be done and other little things we need to do, right?
The choice is yours.