Step By Step To Making Your Own Custom Greeting Cards

Inkjet Printable Greeting Cards

Here is my step by step guide to making your own custom greeting cards at home :-

1-   In the Photo Paper Direct online shop we sell blank printable greeting cards in various pack sizes, either with or without envelopes. The A4 blank card is pre-scored so that it easily folds into an A5 size greeting card once printed.

There are 3 different thicknesses/finishes of card to choose from 210g matt printable greeting cards, glossy 260g cards and premium quality glossy 270g blank greeting cards.

2-   To design the image to be used on the front of the card you can use an online photo-editing website such as to add text/effects to a photo that you upload or you can use a browser-based graphic design program such as to design a free image for your card using their free card templates and clipart.

In this step by step guide, I chose to use the free card creator on canva to design the cards. The ‘Happy Birthday Mum’ card was made by directly editing a free design template they have, the ‘Merry Christmas’ design was made by adding clipart to a background and then finishing it off with some text and finally the ‘Thanks So Much’ card was created by taking a blank poster document in canva and adding a border, text and clipart.

Card Design Stage

3-   Once you have finished designing each image you need to download it to your computer. Now that you have saved your card front design you need to import it into a blank word document and align it so that it will print out correctly onto your greeting card blanks.  I printed the Birthday and Christmas cards as landscape and the Thank You card as portrait. I reduced the margin sizes on the blank documents to the minimum and then divided the blank page into two columns.  I then inserted my chosen image / photo into one of the columns so that it would print out correctly onto the front of my card.

There are lots of different websites and programs you can use to make your cards but please note that the instructions on how to align your card images will vary depending on which program you are using. If in any doubt, search the internet and you will be sure to find some advice.

Inkjet Card Settings

4-   When you are ready to print your finished card you will need to do a test print on plain paper to make sure that your design prints out in the correct place on your blank card. If you are happy with how the image has been printed then you need to set your printer settings to glossy / best photo print with a high dpi (instructions will be found in your pack of card) and then print it out onto the gloss or matt greeting card blanks. Before you click Print make sure to double check that you have inserted your card into the printer so that the glossy/ matt side will be printed on.

5-   Optional stage – Once your custom card has finished printing it can be can be re-inserted into the printer so you can print a personal message inside the greeting card. Before printing the text onto the actual card I would advise you to do a test print on plain paper to make sure the text prints as expected. Alternatively you could write a message by hand in the card, which is always a nice touch.

The cards you see here were printed on the following types of card :-

Birthday Card – 270g premium glossy

Christmas Card – 260g glossy

Thank You Card – 210g matt

You will be very impressed with the quality of the custom cards that you’ve created and you should be more than happy to give these cards to friends or family to celebrate a special occasion.

Inkjet Printable Greeting Cards

With our printable greeting cards you can also make Wedding Invitations, Baptism cards, Birth Announcement cards, Congratulations cards and so much more besides. The design on the front of the card could either be a photo you have taken on your camera or an image you have created on your computer. The only limitation is your imagination :)

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Print Your Own Car Decals

If you would like to make your own car decals then we have the perfect product for you!

Here at we sell Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper. You can use this printable vinyl in your desktop inkjet printer with standard ink cartridges so that you can print stickers or car decals from the comfort of your own home.

The colours appear extremely vibrant on the vinyl and it’s a very easy product to use.  All you do is pick your chosen image or images, print them from your computer onto the vinyl sheet (using a high resolution print setting) and then cut carefully around the designs and apply to your chosen surface, like your car bumper for example.

We have the printable vinyl available in Glossy, Matt and Clear. The designs printed on the Glossy and Matt vinyl papers will be water resistant but they can be made waterproof by spraying them with a fixative spray. After this spray varnish application they will be able to withstand prolonged outdoor use as the colours will not fade in the sun and the image will not wash off in the rain or during a car wash (re-applying from time to time possible).

Please note that the clear vinyl is not water resistant unless you use a fixative spray. Once you have used the spray it will then become waterproof, the same as the other two.

step by step make own car decals

I will talk you through how to make your own car decals in the step-by-step instructions below (the numbers correspond to the collage photo above) :-


1. The first thing to do is buy a pack of Matt, Glossy or Clear Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper from us. There are various pack sizes to choose from (anything from 5 sheets in a pack to 1000).

2. Once you have opened the pack of printable vinyl you will see there is an instruction sheet that explains how to print onto our vinyl sheets. Have a read of the printing guide and if you’d like to watch a video tutorial you can view that here.

3. Next you have to decide which images you would like to print out as stickers or car decals. For this project I found a few clipart designs that I liked. The website I used was but there are plenty of other free clipart websites out there. The other option you have is to use your own photos or drawings and then print them out as stickers. I pasted my chosen designs into a Word document and then arranged them so that I could get the maximum use out of one sheet of printable vinyl.

4. Before you take the plunge and print your designs out onto the vinyl….take a moment to print the designs out on a sheet of plain printing paper. By doing this you will be able to make sure you are happy with how the designs appear when printed. The last thing you want to do is print out onto the vinyl sheet and then discover the images are placed incorrectly and you have wasted your sheet of vinyl.

5. Now that you’re happy with how the images will appear when printed, you are able to print them onto your vinyl sticker sheet. To do this you need to set your printer to a high resolution (d.p.i) under printer settings so that it will print clearly on your vinyl sheet. You then need to remove a sheet of the printable vinyl from the pack and place it into your printer so that the glossy side is in the right position to be printed on. With my Epson printer this means I put the vinyl sheet in with the glossy side up. (If you are using the clear or matt vinyl please put the paper in the printer so that the matt or clear side will be printed on).  It’s now time to click print and watch your lovely new stickers being printed!

6. Once your stickers have finished printing, you need to leave the sheet for a few minutes to make sure that the ink is completely dry.

7. You need to find a sharp pair of scissors so you can cut out your images. I successfully used a quite large pair of scissors for the cutting out but a small, sharp pair would enable you to be more precise in cutting out the designs.

8. I found it easier to roughly cut around each design (leaving a white border) so that I could then take my time afterwards to go around and cut away all the white background from each image. It is much easier to accurately cut out each sticker when it is not on the A4 sheet.

9. Once you have cut out all your stickers you just need to decide what you are going to use them for. If you want to use them outside it is advisable to spray them with a fixative varnish spray so they will be waterproof and won’t fade in the sun.

10. To use the stickers all you have to do is peel away the backing paper from each design so that you can stick them down onto your chosen surface. The glossy and matt vinyl stickers have a semi-permanent adhesive which removes without leaving a residue whereas the clear vinyl has a permanent adhesive which will leave a residue which needs to be cleaned away with white spirit or turpentine. If used as a car decal then the matt or glossy stickers shouldn’t damage the paintwork of your car but that will depend on the type of paint and its condition.

11. 12. 13. I put some of the stickers that I made onto my car and some onto a plain plastic drawer unit. They were extremely easy to apply and it only took a matter of seconds to apply them. I have only prepared these stickers for the purposes of this tutorial so didn’t use the fixative varnish but it would be advisable to spray the car decals with the fixative spray before you put them on your car so you can rest assured that ink won’t be effected by the car wash or sunny weather.

The possibilities are endless for the printable vinyl sticker paper, including car decals!

Here are just a few example uses:-  wheelie bin numbers, car decals, bumper stickers, name stickers for a child’s scooter or bike, print photos out to display on your fridge, make personalised pictures to put on the front of your diary, print out glossy photos to put in your child’s keepsake book, design labels for kid’s storage containers – e.g ‘Pens’ , ‘Toys’ etc. , name label for a child’s lunchbox.

decal examples

If you want to have a go at making your own car decals then you can buy our Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper here.

Have fun getting creative!

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Sarah Bailey Transfer Paper Goodie Bag Project

Big thanks for client Sarah Bailey for sending us photos of her recent transfer paper project. Using the light and dark transfer papers, Sarah created a babygrow and goodie bags. Here are a number of photos we received:

Thanks Sarah.

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Margaret McKinnon Transfer Paper Project For Grandson & Great-grand-son

We were delighted to receive a number of t-shirt transfer paper photo examples from our customer Margaret McKinnon. Using the Photo Paper Direct transfer paper, Margaret created delightful t-shirt designs for her grandson & great-grand-son. Here are a number of photos we received.

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How To Choose Photographic Paper Finish Infographic

A common question amongst many customers is which photographic paper finish is most suitable for their photo printing. In this infographic we compare the three common finish options: Glossy, Semi-Glossy (Satin, Pearl & Luster) and Matt.

How To Choose Photographic Paper Finish Infographic

Embed this Infographic on your site:

<a href=””><img src=”” alt=”photo paper direct” width=”1000″ height=”2400″ border=”0″></a>

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Design Your Own Babygrow Using Transfer Paper

A customised Babygrow makes a lovely present for the special little one in your life. Plain Babygrows are cheap and serve as the perfect canvas for your cute (and funny) images and messages. Here’s a really easy way to customise a Babygrow using Photo Paper Direct Transfer Paper.

You will need:

  • A plain white Babygrow
  • A sheet of Photo Paper Direct Transfer Paper for Light T-Shirts
  • Inkjet printer
  • An iron (at least 1400 watts)
  • A flat wooden surface for ironing
  • Silicon fixing paper (This comes with your pack of Photo Paper Direct Transfer Paper.)

Our easy step-by-step guide:

First, choose an image for your Babygrow. You can design your own and upload it to your computer, or find plenty of images online for free. I’m using my own design for this tutorial, which I scanned and uploaded to Photoshop.

Edit your image and check that the dimensions are right for your Babygrow. If you’re using some text to go with your image, make sure to flip the text  horizontally. You can do this easily in an image editing program such as Photoshop. If you’re using MS Word, just set your text in WordArt and choose ‘Flip horizontal’ from the ‘Rotate’ options.

You can print your design once you’re completely happy with it. I would recommend doing a test print on plain paper first, just to make sure that it is the right size for your Babygrow. You can then print your design on your sheet of transfer paper, making sure to print on the plain side of the paper, and not the reverse one with the grid.

Cut around your printed design, leaving a little space (around 3-4 mm) around the edges.

Now you’re ready to transfer your design to your Babygrow! Make sure to follow the instructions for this part carefully so you can make a perfect image transfer. First, get a flat wooden surface ready to do your ironing on. You can use a chopping board or a tabletop as long as it’s flat and heat-resistant. Don’t use an ironing board because the foam and mesh in the ironing board makes it too soft and uneven, which could give dismal results. You can wrap a piece of fabric (a pillowcase or a T-shirt will do) around your wooden board to cushion it a bit.

Heat up your iron to the highest setting and make sure to turn the steam off. Your iron should be 1600w and up.
Lay your Babygrow on the wooden board, making sure to get rid of any creases. You’ll need it to be as flat as possible to ensure a clean image transfer.

Put your image on top of the Babygrow, printed side down. (This is why reversing your text is essential.)

Start ironing the paper, using a small circular motion to press every area of the image down. You’ll need to apply firm and constant pressure with your iron to push the image right into the fabric of the Babygrow. Iron for about  90 seconds. (Ironing time depends on the size of the image: 3 minutes for A4, 90 seconds for A5 and 45 seconds for A6 images.)

Depending on the finish you want for your Babygrow, you can either peel off the paper straight away or wait until it has cooled down. Peeling it off while hot will leave you with a matt finish; doing it after the paper has cooled down will give you a glossy finish. In this case, I peeled off the paper while it was still hot as I wanted a matt finish for the Babygrow, which will make it more durable enough to withstand heavy washes.

You now have your printed Babygrow. There’s just one more step to ensure that your image won’t fade or rub off when you wash your Babygrow. You’ll need your silicon fixing paper for this step (comes with the Photo Paper Direct transfer paper, but can be purchases separately here)

Heat up your iron using the same settings as before. Once it’s ready, put the silicon sheet over your printed image and iron it, making sure once again that you press every little bit of the surface thoroughly.

Take off the silicon sheet and voila, you now have your very own customised Babygrow! Don’t throw away your silicon paper as it is reusable, and make sure to wait at least 24 hours before you wash your Babygrow.



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The Difference Between Gloss Matt and Clear Inkjet Vinyl

In recent years, the use of printable vinyl sheets has grown significantly, which also brought about an influx of questions from new users. One of the more common questions we get revolves around the difference between the glossy, matt and clear Inkjet vinyl.

What Is Inkjet Vinyl Self Adhesive?

These are inkjet printer compatible vinyl or film (in the case of the clear option) with a sticky back.  The printable surface area can be printed with any Inkjet printer, while the sticky back makes it possible to apply the print to many smooth non-porous surfaces such as glass. You can print text, graphics and photos on the printable area at maximum DPI.  Common uses include car sticker, window sticker, even model airplanes and trains, the list is long.

What Is The Difference Between The Three?

The most obvious difference is the appearance of the print, whether glossy, matt or neutral in the case of the clear option. Beyond the finish, the most significant difference is the water resistant properties of the vinyl. Both the glossy and matt options are water resistant and instant dry, while the clear vinyl is also instant dry, but is not water resistant in any way.

Can The Vinyl Be Made Waterproof?

The Glossy and Matt Self Adhesive vinyl can be made waterproof to defend the image against liquid damage and UV light by applying a layer of fixative spray. The spray is designed specifically for use with Inkjet prints and will not affect the print.

The Clear Self Adhesive film cannot be made water proof and is suitable for internal use only.

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Inkjet Watercolour Paper Review

Video Transcript

So today we are talking about the watercolor paper on our site, its part of the new range of art papers that we have introduced in the last 12 months or so.  The main benefit of the art paper is apart from the fact that they are different textures and finishes is that they are all 100% acid free, they are super professional products, the acid free part of the formula means that the paper will never in time yellow or discolor so they are great for archival purposes, great for images, but have real keepsake value, they come in a white box with an insert, full printing instructions on the back, this is the water color paper as the name suggests, it has a watercolor paper texture, this is the same paper that if you were a water color artist you would use to make your drawings on except in our, in this occasion there is an inkjet coating allowing you to print on an inkjet printer.

So 100% acid free, common question we are often asked, how do you know which sides to print on these products, because they are both white and both textured and the easiest way of doing it, of figuring it out, apart from making a mark with a felt tip pen to see which side runs or not, you ruin a paper that way, you take two sheets so over here, you take two sheets of paper you will find that one of them has got a slightly more texture than the other, you are trying to print on the smoother whiter side, not very apparent on the video, but that’s one way of figuring out, so you always print on the smoother side of the paper.  So that is the paper on one side, we are using an ordinary inkjet domestic printer with ordinary inks, and this is suitable for photographs, it’s suitable for art reproduction, we are going to print a couple of different images for you to show you what the effect is, the main benefit though is that it’s a keep sake product, it’s a keep sake product you put the most precious photograph or image on it, frame it and it will be there forever and ever, the paper will not discolor, there is no acid in it to react with oxygen so it will not go brittle or yellow with time.  If you use UV stable inks then the image will be archival and will be there forever.

So here we have used the 240 gram watercolor paper to print an artistic photograph as well as a watercolor reproduction, remember this is a 100% acid free product made from the same base as watercolor artists would use when they paint on it with an inkjet coating allowing you to print these sort of images or anything else that you might think of using an ordinary inkjet printer with ordinary inks.

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Light or Dark Transfer Paper – How To Choose?

Video Transcript

So in this video we are going to talk about the differences between the light and the dark transfer paper, most of the calls about transfer paper we get in the office is with people who don’t understand why you have two different products and what product you should use for which color garment or substrate on which you are printing.  So we have two products, we have a light transfer paper which is used for light garments, mainly white t-shirts or whiter substrates and the dark transfer paper which is printed on any substrate or surface which is not white, the darker the garment, the more you need to use the dark transfer paper, there are some colors of t-shirts or surface onto which you would get away with the light, the main difference between them and that becomes apparent when you print it that one need to be printed with a mirror image and the other doesn’t.

When you are printing light transfer paper and you will see the reason why, you are printing it in mirror image, you can see this is the same image, this is mirrored, you can tell by the text but also by the orientation of the girl here, and on the dark transfer paper we print it normally, we do not mirror the image and you will see why, what we are going to do it pint the light transfer paper and show you the process quickly, this is not the main instruction video, you’ll find a full intricate video on our channel talking specifically about the light transfer paper, so we are just talking about the comparison here, quite a large white area around the image, unlike the dark transfer paper I do need to trim it but I don’t need to worry too much about going all the way to the image, I can leave an edge, the reason I’m trimming it is mainly to shorten the process and also the white area which is unprinted here will to a small extent show on the surface that you are printing, so it’s a better practice to just trim it.

So roughly trimming it, leaving a little edge around the image, I’m going to line my desk with a t-shirt, this is not the t-shirt I’m printing, this is just like as a cushioning and a bit of protection for the table below, you need to make sure that the surface on which you are printing is heat resistant and will not be damaged or affected by the heat, anything flat, table top, worktop, cutting board, as long as it’s flat never ever use a, an ironing board or anything with, which gives, which is not solid.  So here is our transfer, we printed it in mirror image and you’ll understand now why, we’re putting it face down on the garment, you’ll find in a minute when you see the dark process, in the dark process we put it face up, so the light transfer paper is placed face down that’s why the mirror image is printed on the paper and once we iron it, it will become sure again.

I’m using as you can see a simple iron, this one is 1400 watts, we recommend you use at least 1400 watt iron, if it’s hotter it’s better and I am very systematically covering every are of the transfer.  So that’s about right, I’m going to put the iron to one side, little stretch of the corner I’m peeling it away.  When you read the instructions you will see that there is another process that we ask you to do which is fixing process, excuse the noise, and the paper is supplied with the silicone sheet that we ask you to put back on top of the exposed image to give the image a quick additional press just to make sure in case you haven’t gone over everything if you missed a bit, if an area hasn’t been properly suck on, this is a fail proof stage, you peel that away here is the ready image, quite stretchable, soft and ready, as you can see the text has gone back to normal and the text has gone back to normal and the image is as was taken originally.

Now let’s talk about the dark transfer paper, very similar process, we still line the surface on to which we are working with, another shirt just to give it a bit of cushioning and protection, here is my favorite black shirt which we are sacrificing for this video, doesn’t need to be new, this is a well worn one, and here is the dark transfer paper.  Unlike the white remember when we printed the white we roughly trimmed the white edges, with a dark transfer paper you have to remove all the white areas of the print that you do not want visible, if I leave an edge, the white edge on this image, the white edge will be visible on the garment, the reason behind it, I’ll explain while I’m cutting these away, the reason behind this is that there is no white ink in your printer.  When you remove the white from the background of an inkjet print, the inks are translucent, they are see through, so if you print a darker garment using a light transfer paper, the image will be see through, you will not see anything and so what this paper does is introduce a white background to the image because we are going to take the white background away by printing it onto a black shirt.

So this white edge, if it print it like this, this white edge will be visible on a dark garment using the dark transfer paper, unlike in the light if you remember where we left a white edge around the image, I’ll show you quickly, and that white edge is not visible, it doesn’t discolor or change anything in the shirt.  So I’m going to carry on and remove this last white edge that I left here, and here is the ready image, almost ready to go, you can see that the image has been printed normally, so there is no mirror image and we are going to place this transfer face up on the garment, but before we do that we have to separate it from the carrier, it’s a little bit fiddly especially if you got big thumbs like I do, okay so we are now separating, this is the carrier, the one, the paper with the blue grids on the back, just holding everything together, peel off the corner and just separate it.

Now you don’t need to panic at this stage because this is not sticky, you can position it, reposition it, decide where you want to have it, change your mind, move around, do whatever you want, okay once you decide on the position, say we want to put it center of the garment, I got a bit of a crease of the bottom there, if I take my iron and iron directly on top of this, the unprotected ink is going to jump onto the iron and the transfer will be ruined, so what we need to do before we iron it, remember in the light transfer paper we did it after the ironing, on this occasion before we iron it, we need to protect it with a silicone paper, this paper is included in the pack, you don’t need to buy it separately, you get it ready in the pack and they are reusable, so we positioned the transfer, we peeled off the backing, it’s not sticky so you can do this at leisure, no panic, then we cover it with the silicone paper and you notice that the image is face up and with the iron directly on top using the same systematic method we did before up and down and making sure the whole transfer is covered, putting as much pressure as we can, obviously don’t damage yourself with the iron, but don’t just lightly iron it, that’s not enough, you need to actually press the transfer into the fabric as much as you can.

Just peel this away and it’s done.  That’s the dark transfer paper and the light.  Now I know a lot of you are wondering what would happen if I used the light transfer paper onto a darker garment and you know what, we will show you.  So this is not the intended use for this product, this is unlikely to work or it will not work, but what we are going to do is print a light transfer paper, so this is the one with the red grid, this is a paper designed for light garments only, white and light garments only, we are going to trim it like we trimmed the other one, very roughly, leaving al small white edge around the image, remember there is no white ink in your printer, so the white that you see on this transfer paper is the white of the paper and what we are going to do is put this light transfer paper onto a dark garment just so show you what happens, because a lot of you asked the question and it’s a bit difficult to, you know if you haven’t used transfer paper before, it’s a bit difficult to get the concept of this.

Right that’s enough for this paper, again a little stretch, a little peel, as you can see the image has gone from here, so it has been transferred onto the surface and what we have is the invisible image, because we have taken the white surface, the white background away from the image, the inks are translucent, they are near invisible and you can’t see anything, that’s why you can use a light transfer paper onto a dark garment, that’s why the dark transfer paper which we used on this side has got a white background throughout and your transfer the white background together with the ink, so the inks remain visible.

Just as a recap and a summary, you use the dark transfer on any dark colored garments, blacks, navy blues, dark greens, anything where you need the full gamete of color to be visible, remember that all the white edges will be visible, so it works best with block, square block images that, or images that you can cut around all the white edges easily, doesn’t work when there’s a lot of intricate graphics or if you have to cut out letters it’s less suitable for that.  the light transfer paper obviously works on white garments, but generally on anything where the image is significantly darker than the surface, so if we are printing on very light yellows or light pastoral greens and your image is dark black text it will work, if it’s an image like this the yellows will be lost, the whites will become yellow, then you need to use the dark transfer paper.

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Acrylic Block Photo Frames Review

Video Transcript:

Okay this is a brand new product we have with Photo Paper Direct, these are photo frames, the glass block ones and they are, we think they are amazing, really versatile, all you need to do is print an image, for example this is a 4×6 borderless on a 260 gram satin, but you know gloss will work, matt paper will work as long as it’s a nice high resolution image, you take one of these blocks, they come blank, put the image on it and there’s a little clever magnet and there it is ready to go on a mantel piece, on the side of a bed side cabinet, give it to grandma, keep a selection of them around the house and they are so easy to use, we’ll do, this one is 7×5.  Again take off the back, put in the image, back goes on, done, quite stable.  You go to a professional photographer you will pay a lot of money for these, they are not very expensive on our website, if you don’t have that size paper, no problem, you take the same image, you can print it on an A4 sheet if you have some A4 paper lying around, I know it’s a waste but you know sometimes if you have paper lying around no point buying a whole packet of the right size paper, just print it, set your printer to print a 13×18 or a 7×5 which is that or a 4×6 also known as a 10×15 centimeters, 4×6 inches, and the metal plate with a magnet, done.

So these are our photo block frames and they can stand portrait or landscape, comes in 4×6, 7×5, the same as 10×15 centimeters and 13×18.

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