This year, save yourself the hassle of sitting through a painful mall-photographer photo shoot, and skip the hellish lines at the post office. There are a variety of Web and smartphone apps out there that can quickly, easily, and creatively meet your greeting card needs. All of these options will digitally send your creations (a very eco-friendly solution), but there are some that print out postcards for fans of snail mail. So whether you’re looking for custom designs and text, cheesy cliche sentiments, or just want to include a personal photo, here are our favorite digital solutions for season’s greetings.
If you’re looking for cheesy, look no further. In addition to its more formal options, Sendables has an entire section devoted to holiday cards that put your face front and center in a variety of cliché settings. And the cards aren’t image-only: you can pair the pictures with seasonal songs as well, and even animate them so it looks like the person of your choice is singing along. There are free options but if you want more selection, you can become a member and get access to the premium cards for a dollar a month.
The creations from PaperlessPost are so stunning and classic that you’ll forget you’re sending them online. There are more than enough options to choose from, including 66 that you can add your own photos to. You can choose from a wide range of custom fonts as well as photo filters. They range in price, and staying true with its roots, PaperlessPost has a stamp and coin system. Some cards are free and others cost one coin–when you sign up you get your first 25 coins or stamps for free.
Sincerely Ink, Android and iOS (free)
Sincerely Ink offers a selection (albeit a more limited one than some other options, like Red Stamp) to create your own cards from your mobile device. You choose from the designers, upload your photo, enter addresses, and Sincerely Ink takes care of the rest. In detail, that means it sends a 5×7 card out to everyone on your list. They cost a minimum of $1.69 each. Delivery takes 3-7 days.
If you want the simplest of card solutions, CardKarma is a good place to start. You can choose from already designed cards or switch out images and text to add your own. These are true e-cards, however, so you’re limited to sending them via various social networks or email (you can embed them as well). All cards are free.
As it goes with most apps of this nature, the thing itself might be free but it’s what inside that will cost you. That isn’t the case with Postcard.fm. While the site doesn’t have a stylish collection of designer creations, it’s entertaining and easy to use. Upload a picture, grab an MP3 file, add a message, and email your card away.
SnapShot Greeting Card, iOS (free)
SnapShot doesn’t have quite the surplus of options as its competitors do, but it’s incredibly easy to find a border for your holiday photo and send it on its way—in physical, postcard form. The customizable fonts are also a nice touch. Better yet, your first card is free. After that cards are about $1.50 each.
TinyPrints has thousands of holiday cards to choose from, and it covers the seasonal celebration bases as well as giving users myriad size and design options. You can create collages or just simple cards. Prices range from $0.79 to $4.47 (for 25) and if you order before December 16 you get expedited delivery for $5. There’s also a sale at the moment for 20-percent off holiday cards.
Red Stamp, iOS (free)
Red Stamp is the iPhone card-maker of choice, and it secures this reputation with new designs and the same user-friendly interface. You can send beautifully designed digital or paper cards with your own words and photo inserted into them. There’s also an option for shopping online if you feel confined by your iPhone screen.
justWink, iOS (free)
With clever cards to choose from, you can customize quickly and send in moments. You can also set reminders for yourself using the app if you need to send greetings at a specific time (or if you’re just likely to forget). You can send them via email, Facebook, or SMS.