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Posts from the ‘How To’ Category

Christmas in July Party Ideas – A 12 Step Guide

Just in time for July 25th – we’ve got some fresh and fun Christmas in July Party ideas to help you throw a summer Christmas party that won’t soon be forgotten! If you like what you see, share on!
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Collage Cards – Use Facebook and Instagram to Create Special Cards

Many of us have hundreds of Facebook and Instagram photos that sit in an album, but will never be used for anything beyond that. So many of those photos are full of memories with family and friends though, and deserve to be put to good use! If you have plenty of photos ready to be used, why not create a collage card using some of your favorite Facebook and Instagram photos for loved ones to enjoy?

Cardstore’s collage cards are the perfect canvas for your photos to decorate. When you choose to personalize one of the cards, the option to connect to your Facebook account is given to make the process totally seamless. Once you’ve logged in to your account, pick a photo from one of your own albums or from your Instagram album to make the cards totally personalized. Whether the card is celebrating someone’s birthday, is a thank you note, or is sent just because, it’s sure to make an impression with your one-of-a-kind photos added. Who would you send a collage card featuring your Facebook and Instagram photos to?

CS SC BLG 06242013 SHELF 31; Collage Cards   Use Facebook and Instagram to Create Special CardsCS SC BLG 06242013 SHELF 21; Collage Cards   Use Facebook and Instagram to Create Special CardsCS SC BLG 06242013 SHELF 11; Collage Cards   Use Facebook and Instagram to Create Special CardsCheck out all of our collage cards, and make something memorable with your social media!

Perfect Planning for a Graduation Party

Graduates across the country are starting to don their caps and gowns for a commencement ceremony (whether it’s from preschool, high school, or college), which means it’s time to start thinking about throwing that perfect graduation party! Between attending other parties and planning your own, it can be tough to get everything prepared and ready beforehand to prevent any last-minute stress, so Cardstore has compiled some of our favorite tips that should help to make this year’s graduation party planning a breeze!

1. Create a guest list! Since graduation parties should include everyone who has supported the grad over the years, many people invite family members, friends from school and other activities, and the families of friends as well. Depending on how formal you want the event to be, you can decide whether or not to include young children in the festivities.

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Featured Cards: Handlettering Grad Invitation, Celebrate GradHoundstooth Grad Photo Invitation 

2. Pick an invitation that celebrates the graduate. Choosing an invitation with a photo of the grad is always a favorite for recipients, but not necessary. If you can get a picture of them in their cap and gown prior to the event, it will add a festive touch to the invitations that everyone will love. If not, just be sure to include the specifics of the celebration, along with when their actual graduation ceremony is so everyone knows the exact details of the graduate’s achievement. Since graduation is such a busy season for families, try to send your invitations out 2-3 weeks in advance to make sure all of the grad’s favorite people can be there to join in the celebration.

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Featured Cards: Laurel Design Grad Invitation, Formal Grad Invitation VerticalClassic Pattern Grad Invitation YellowWatercolor Floral Grad Invitation

3. Decide on a venue. Many people choose to hold graduation parties in their own homes to keep costs low and make the party planning even easier. You may even consider co-hosting the party with another graduate so that costs can be split and you have a set-up and clean-up partner!

4. Choose a menu. Remember, graduation parties are about spending time to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduate, so keep things simple! Setting up a buffet with foods that can easily be made in advance and don’t require much reheating is often the most stress-free idea. Whether inspired by these 5 Graduation Party Menu Ideas or some of our Pinterest graduation party food finds, be sure to pick a menu that doesn’t require too much work during the actual party.

5. Decorate away! Pick a theme that the grad will love, whether that means decorating the tables with their trophies and certificates, decorating in the school colors, or picking a theme like a “Smart Cookie” party with plenty of cookies and milk, make sure the grad is on board with what you’re planning. Adding something for friends and family to sign as they leave, like a photo of the grad, is a one-of-a-kind keepsake the graduate will treasure. Be sure to check out Cardstore’s Graduation Pinterest board for plenty of graduation decoration inspiration.

What are some of your favorite party-planning tips that can be used for upcoming graduation parties?

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo: Party Planning Tips

Here at Cardstore, we’ll use just about any holiday as an excuse to plan a party, which is why we’re so excited for all the upcoming Cinco de Mayo festivities. Held on Sunday, May 5th, this seems like the perfect excuse to send some invitations to friends and host a get-together in the gorgeous spring weather. To help with all of your party-planning, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Cinco de Mayo ideas that are sure to make your gathering a success.

  • Start with the invitations. Since Cinco de Mayo is normally celebrated with bright and festive colors, pick an invitation to send to friends which features vibrant hues. Check out some of our favorite options gathered below. 

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Featured Cards: Orange Join Us, Colorful Stripes, Colorful Party Invitation

  • Plan the menu! Bring out some classic Mexican food for the occasion by making sure there are plenty of tortilla chips, guacamole, and salsa (both spicy and mild!), as well as a buffet-style taco bar.  No Cinco de Mayo party could be complete without the addition of a great Margarita, so find a favorite recipe and perfect it before your guests arrive. Don’t forget to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth too with some adorable ideas like treat-filled pinata cookies or these ridiculously cute and detailed Cinco de Mayo cookies.
  • As a finishing touch, plan out your decor. Using your invitation as inspiration, incorporate plenty of bright colors into your decorations. Piñatas can take center stage for this holiday, so why not make some of your own mini piñatas? They would not only make a great decoration, but could be sweet party favors for any little ones you’re hosting. Decorating the taco bar or margarita station with fringed paper done in the colors of your invites also gives the party an authentic and fun-filled feel. As a finishing touch, create your own Cinco de Mayo playlist or take this favorite playlist as inspiration.

How do you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? Share some of your own party tips below!

How-To: Valentine’s Day Party Invitations

Valentine’s Day has always seemed like the perfect excuse to host a party full of friends and loved ones, yet so few people really use this fantastic holiday to its full potential. Valentine’s Day is often celebrated only by couples or with the exchange of school Valentine’s Day cards between little ones, but to me this holiday featuring pinks, reds, hearts, DIY gifts, and chocolate galore just begs to be celebrated at a Valentine’s Day party between single friends, other couples, or a mix of everyone you know. Who knows, maybe some of your single friends will find love at your Valentine’s Day party?

Cardstore’s selection of Valentine’s Day party invitations feature the sweet and childlike love often associated with Valentine’s Day that make a perfect theme for a Valentine’s Day party for adults or for younger ones. Pick a design you like and add the details of the day to the invitation. Since February 14th falls on a Thursday this year, who not host a party that night or over the weekend? Be sure to include where and when the party will be, RSVP details, and whether your guests should bring something to the party. Send out these invitations as soon as possible yourself, or have Cardstore send the invitations for you, so friends can clear their calendars for your celebration.

When it comes closer to gathering decorating supplies and food for your Valentine’s Day party, be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day pinterest board! With plenty of DIY party favors, decor ideas, sweet treats, and more, this board makes it simple to find ideas that are sure to make your Valentine’s Day party the highlight of your friends’ month. How do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

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Featured cards: Elephant Hug Party card, Deer Love Party card, Giraffe Hug Party card, Chocolate Pink Hearts card

How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday Cards

One of the most classic parts of the holiday season is the giving and receiving of holiday cards . It’s a special treat to see all of the colorful and happy greetings on display, but what do you with them once the holiday season ends? Throwing them away can be difficult, and can even bring a feeling of guilt for some of us! This year, why not turn those holiday cards into something really useful- gift tags for next year’s gifts!

Start by collecting all of the holiday cards you’ve received, and select those that are decorated with festive designs and messages you like best. It’s best to keep an open and creative mind when choosing cards… and yes, you can even use photo cards for this craft! (*Tip- Be sure there is not any writing on the opposite side of the design, otherwise there will be no where to add your “to” and “from” later on!)

Once you have your cards picked out, follow these simple steps and turn your holiday cards into gift tags that will be perfect to use on gifts during next year’s holidays.

CS SC BLG step 1; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday CardsFirst, cut off the section of the card with the design or message that you want to use for the gift tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS SC BLG step 2; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday CardsNext, snip off the edges create a cute gift tag design. (*Tip- try using craft scissors to create fun edges!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS SC BLG step 3; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday CardsThen, put a hole through the top of the tag with a hole punch for the ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS SC BLG step 4; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday CardsNow you can thread a festive ribbon through the hole. (*Tip- try using yarn for an extra-special handmade look!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS SC BLG step 5; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday Cards Finally, when you’re ready to use your gift tag,  just flip it over and write in your “To” and “From” on the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS SC BLG crafts IMAGE; How To: Make Gift Tags out of Holiday CardsEveryone will love to receive your handmade gift tags, and you’ll love the feeling of putting those cards to good use after the season. Check out some “before” and “after” photos of gift tags we made from Cardstore cards, and then go give it a try!

Don’t forget to save your newly created gift tags with the rest of your holiday wrapping paper to add to gifts for next year! Will you try this fun and simple craft? Tell us about it below!

 

 

 

Christmas Photo Ideas for Pets

Purrfectly personalized holiday cards starring your pet!

Pets are an important part of our families and absolutely deserve a starring role on holiday cards. But how do you get them to appreciate this honor and behave for the best Christmas card pet photos? Try these holiday pet photo tips, reviewed and approved by our own Mr. Buckles (star of Cat Makes Card video).

Find the best lap- If you’re including your pet in a group photo, be sure they are in the lap of the person they are most comfortable with.

Pet spotlight- Group photo not going so well? You may want to consider taking a photo of your cat or dog by themselves, and just selecting a photo card with multiple photos. Here’s an example!

No flash, please! Not only is using a flash annoying for your cat or dog, it also creates bright green/gray eyes, similar to human red-eye. There is no easy way to eliminate it from a photo, even with retouching.

Speed matters- If possible, set your camera’s shutter speed on a fairly fast frame to keep up with a squirming pet.

Be prepared- Help keep your dog or cat’s attention on the photographer by bringing some of their favorite toys and treats with you to the shoot.

 

Special tips from Mr. Buckles:

Stay calm- Pets don’t do well in stressful situations. Speak softly and calmly, and they will be more inclined to sit still.

Shoot at eye level- It’s usually the most flattering for everyone, anyway!

Keep it real- Take lots of photos, even between poses. Often you can capture a sweet moment that is even more representative of your bond than a perfectly posed photo.

Best Christmas cards for cats

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Christmas cards with cats shown above: Meowie Christmas and Green Merry and Bright

Best Christmas cards for dogs

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Christmas cards with dogs shown above: Dog Christmas Tree and Bow Wow Christmas

Of course, any of our holiday photo cards would look great starring your cat or dog…  which one will you choose?

5 Great Holiday Card Photo Ideas

 1.  No cheese, please

It seems that most kids (and some adults) naturally say “cheese!” whenever they see a camera. But getting the best image sometimes involves not only not smiling, but pretending the camera isn’t even there. Try playing a game that you know makes the kids laugh, having a tickle war, or just sharing a quiet moment with each other.

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2. Get in close

 Try to get everyone in the photo touching or making a connection in some way. You want everyone to look like one unit. Take the photo below, for example. Just moving their faces closer to each other and having them all embrace each other made the photo look so much cozier!

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  3. Get on their level

When you’re taking photos of young kids, try getting down on the floor and experiencing the world as they see it. Not only will your photo be more visually interesting, but your subject will be able to connect with the camera much more naturally than when you’re looking down on them.

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4. Focus on the background

Well, not literally, but you want to make sure the background complements your image and isn’t distracting. When looking for possible locations, a brick wall, wooden fence, or some other textured surface will make a great backdrop & add subtle interest to your photo. If your background seems too busy and switching locations isn’t an option, try moving your subject further away from the background and closer to the camera. It will place more focus on the person you’re photographing and blur out what’s behind them.

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5. Leave space around the edges

For maximum usability, try leaving a decent amount of space around your subject(s). This will allow you to have art or text overlaying your photo if needed. It’s no fun to find a holiday card you love, but not have enough space around the edges of your photo to use it! 

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Hostess How To: Sending Holiday Party Invitations

It may still be October, but every day brings us closer and closer to the holiday season.. which means it’s time to start thinking about what holiday celebrations you’ll be hosting this year! Save some time and stress by getting started with your holiday planning now. Start your holiday party invitations now, and you’ll be thanking yourself when the date of your event is fast approaching! As you get started, we have these three tips for you:

  1. Determine the theme and general atmosphere for your party. Will it be a black tie affair, or a relaxed gathering? For a more upscale party, pick a holiday party invitation that shows what attire you’ll be expecting everyone to wear. If it’s a kid-friendly event, choose an invitation featuring some cute holiday characters and more vibrant colors.
  2. Select the time of day for the event. An afternoon pot-luck can be much more laid back, whereas an evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres would be more formal. Include the time of day, location, any instructions on what to bring, as well as a way for guests to RSVP (email or phone number). Knowing how many people plan on attending will help you tremendously when planning seating arrangements and a menu.
  3. Create a guest list. Decide who you’d enjoy celebrating the holidays with the most, but also be sure to consider how many people your venue can comfortable hold. Gather their names and addresses together to create a fun mix of family and friends who will make the holidays even better. (Don’t forget that you can to load addresses into your Cardstore Address Book now, even before you finalize the rest of your party planning details!)

Once all of your planning and preparation has been taken care of regarding the style of the invitation, the time and place, and the guest list, it’s time to send out your invitations! Send invitations out six to eight weeks prior to the event to help ensure your party is number one on their list, and avoids any holiday rush from last-minute party invitations.

Now is the perfect time to create and send your own holiday party invitations to help get the season started off right, the question is… what themes are you considering for your holiday party?

What to Write- Fall Holiday Cards Edition!

Creating a custom card to celebrate a sweetie? Looking to give your boss a shout-out on their big day? Here are some helpful tips on messages to include for fall holidays. We may not be in the full swing of the holiday season yet, but the beginning of fall brings plenty of other reasons to celebrate!

Boss’s Day, coming on Tuesday, October 16th, is the perfect chance to recognize your boss this year. Start by identifying what makes them such a fantastic boss (their humor? their attitude?), and then mention your hopes for an upcoming event (coffee? a big meeting?). Close by summing up what makes their leadership so valuable.  Your card should end up being sweet, sincere, honest and complimentary. Write something like, “Thank you for being more than a boss, but also a mentor. I really appreciate the time you take to share your feedback on my professional and personal development. Our weekly coffee chats are always a highlight; Looking forward to our next one!”.  Be sure to browse out selection of Boss’s Day Cards to find a card that fits your boss’s style today. CS BLOG image Fall Boss 09242012; What to Write  Fall Holiday Cards Edition!

Another fun holiday, Sweetest Day, will be celebrated on Saturday October 20th this year. It’s the perfect excuse to give your sweetheart, a loved one, or a great friend a card to show how thankful you are for all they do. Start your card by identifying your subject (husband? sister? best friend?), and thank them for something they’ve done recently that really stands out. Bringing up specific events will help them to reminisce on your times together too.CS BLOG image Fall Sweetest 09242012; What to Write  Fall Holiday Cards Edition!

A Sweetest Day card should end up being totally personal, and should read something like “Thank you to the moon and back for being the best sister I could have ever dreamed of. From late night chats over the phone to impromptu lunch dates in the city, I’m so proud to call you my best friend too”.  Personalize each card with a photo of the two of you together and a note to make this a Sweetest Day they’ll remember.

If you’re just feeling ready to welcome the fall with open arms, check out our Fall Cards that will leave everyone ready to watch the leaves change and cuddle up by the fire. In the card, write what you’re most excited about with the coming of the fall, and why you’re thinking of the recipient during this season. It could end up being a simple greeting like, “Dear Aunt Diane, I can’t wait for the cold to come this fall so I can finally wear the sweater you gave me again; it’s one of my favorites! Hope the fall brings you plenty of time to relax with a delicious pumpkin spice latte”.  Add a photo of the family on the first day of school, in a pile of leaves, or showing what you have all been up to lately along with a personalized note to catch up with family and friends before the start of the winter holiday season.

What holidays will you be celebrating this fall?

CS BLOG image Fall FallGen 09242012; What to Write  Fall Holiday Cards Edition!