Friday 30 November 2012

How to make personalized calendars...

Have you started on your Christmas present list yet? I accidentally started a tradition when Ebi-kun was born of making wall calendars for the grandparents and great grandparents, now I have to make them or I would have a load of angry grandparents beating down my door!

I think most people theses days use a digital camera of some sort so making a calendar couldn't be easier. I always use Vistaprint for my calendars, the one time I used a different company, the calendars arrived with that pages in the wrong order!

If you have never tried this before, I wanted to show you how I do it, you need to carve out a couple of hours but it is very straight forward.

First you need to sort your photos. I try and keep mine in folders for each month of the year, it makes finding specific images much easier! So, the first thing I do is go through each month and pick out a couple of images for each month. I use the 'flag' option in iPhoto and flag all the images that I think I want to use.

Next, I edit the pictures, I don't crop them because that is better done once you have uploaded them. Just teak the colours, light balance that for of thing. I use Photoshop but you can do the basics with a variety of free software or just in iPhoto if you are using a mac.

Next, click through to Vistaprint and decide which calendar option you like, I always go for the personalized calendar. You can choose 'theme' or 'photo', obviously you want the photo option. Even though you picked Photo, you can still choose from a massive variety of backgrounds. I personally opt for something plain and simple as not to detract from the photo.

Next, upload your photos and then add them to your pages. You can have just one big photo or an arrangement of smaller ones. The software is really easy to use, just drag and drop. I like to work in the months setting first so I can see that I have a good range of images and layouts. I love to include some silly pictures and some showing Ebi-kuns personality as well as some from important events from the year.

Once you have the basics sorted, click on each month and crop you image if it needs it. You can also add events such as family members birthdays or anything you have planned for the family the following year. I leave this blank because the calendars go to the Japanese side of the family too.

That is virtually it. Save and preview then check out. Simple isn't it? I do recommend getting this done sooner rather than later, firstly it is a easy gift and secondly you can pick the cheaper shipping option if you do it early! Vistaprint do have loads of other items you can print your images on such as mugs and key fobs - perfect for those 'difficult to buy for people'. That is 5 gifts I can strike off my Christmas present list already *phew*.

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