3 Easy Ways to Make Postcards from Your Photos (And Brighten Someone’s Day)

Photo Postcard SamplesPostcards are a lost art.

If you’re like most people, during your last trip you either: a) Dashed off a quick “Wish you were here” on a cheesy card you found at the airport, or b) bought a stack of beautiful cards but forgot all about them until you got home, or c) forgot about postcards altogether.

Hey, it’s okay. Vacations are stressful.

But who says that you can only send postcards when you’re away from home? You’ve got great photos, and it’s a simple task to turn them into postcards.

Take our advice: Spend 10 minutes today to scroll through your photos and pick three that make you smile. Print ’em out, follow our instructions, and send off some beautiful just-thinking-of-you postcards. You’ll make the world a brighter place for a few of your favorite people.

These days, our mailboxes are more likely to be stuffed with junk mail and bills than anything we actually want. We all love getting mail (the real kind) and a picture postcard by surprise can really brighten a friend’s day. Here’s three simple ways to make postcards from your photos.

Method #1: Peel-and-Stick postcard backing

Photo Postcard backingThe folks over at The Vintage Postcard Shop make it easy for you to tell a friend you think they’re swell.

All you need is one of your dazzling 4×6 or 5×7 photographs, one of their peel-and-stick postcard backings, and a friend. In no time, you’ll have scrawled a witty message, slapped on a stamp, and made your friend’s day. Ta da!

These postcard backings are made from heavy stock, so they keep your photo stiff. They’ve also got a box for your stamp, lines for an address, and they’re photo-safe.

By the way, the backing is a tiny bit larger than necessary, so you don’t need to worry about getting your photos on perfectly straight–just trim off the excess and you’re good to go!

At just $4 for ten 4″x6″ backings, they’re a steal!

Method #2: Use nothing but a photo

Here’s the super quick, super simple, super cheap photo postcard trick:

Write directly on the back of your photo to make your own photo postcard!

  1. Print your photo at 4×6
  2. Turn it over
  3. Slap on a stamp, jot down your message, and write your friend’s address, all where they would normally go on a postcard
  4. Drop it in the mail!

Yep, that’s it!

Not many people know this, but there’s nothing fancy about the postcards you buy at the store–you don’t need a USPS blessing or special paper to make a postcard, just make it look like one!

(Now you’ve really got no excuse not to send a postcard today.)

We should note that while we’ve tried this trick a number of times, we’ve never sent a photo internationally without backing. Photos by themselves aren’t nearly as sturdy as postcards or photos with postcard backing, so if it’s crossing an ocean, we recommend using method #1.

[Update: Jill wrote in to tell us that she’s received a trans-Pacific photo postcard using Method #2 (“wrinkled and a little dirty, but it arrived nonetheless.”) See her photos for proof! Thanks Jill!]

Method #3: Let the Post Office do the work

We found a cool service on the post office website that lets you create a picture postcard online and have them send it for you. You never have to touch a stamp, a pen, or even your photo!

It’s easy. Go to the Premium Postcard website and scroll down to upload your image. Once you’ve done that, tap in a message, choose a font, and fill in your friend’s address. A day or two later, they’ll print it up and send it on its way.

While this method does make it incredibly quick to send a photo to a friend (you can even send the same photo and message to dozens of friends at once!) there’s something special about getting a handwritten postcard.

If you’re short on time but can print your own pics, try Method #2. But hey, a computer-printed postcard is still better than no postcard at all!

Photos at top by kandyjaxx, S S YAP, and zachklein.