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Make Your Own Valentine’s Day (or any holiday) Gifts

I know, I know.

With a title like this you might be thinking that I’m that unprepared husband that is combing the convenience store on Valentine’s Day morning looking for gift cards and overpriced crappy candy.

And they’re out of everything except for microwave burritos and king size payday bars.

You know your wife won’t appreciate two pounds of the finest in 24-hour Mexican fare as a gift. And no one eats those candy bars.


So whatcha gonna make?

Well, if you waited until the last minute, I have some options. And if you have a little more time before you express your true love, I have even better options.

Let’s start with a card. And I’m not talking let’s-get-the-kids-and-the-crayons-type-of-card.

Make Your Own Greeting Card

Using my trusty computer, Shutterfly (or my printer) and Adobe Photoshop Elements 13, I’m gonna make my own personalized Valentine’s Day card with just a few clicks (and a couple of folds.)

Click on any image to make it larger.

Dad blog shows how to make greeting cards

I’ve got Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 open—both the organizer on the left, and the editor on the right. To make your DIY card, just click on the “create” menu and select “greeting card.” I have a photo that I want to use open in the editor, so I can make some color adjustments, and then use in the card, but you don’t have to have anything open to create a card.

DIY holiday cards from your printer

The greeting card dialog box gives you some options for sizing and some pre-built, themed templates. If you are scrambling to get a card done ’cause you slacked at gift-buying, then choose from the “print locally” templates to create a card you print yourself. If you have plenty of time and want to impress, then choose the Shutterfly option to have your card printed really slick and delivered to your doorstep from Shutterfly. (You’ll need to have a Shutterfly account, but if you don’t, you can register for one during once you’ve created your card.)

making cards with shutterfly

This lovely template provides you with two areas on the front to drag-and-drop photos, or just click to add one. You’ll get a chance to scale and crop the photo inside the heart-shaped mask and then also resize the mask with the photo in it.

make a card in photoshop

I chose some baby pics of our twins for the front, resized them and was ready to tackle the inside. All in about 20 seconds.

DIY valentines day card add your own photos

Onto the inside. The template gives you a collage of sorts to fill with all of your photos. And a change to write a personalized note.

create greeting cards with your own photos

Here, I wanted to show that you can just click on an image area and a finder dialog box will open to locate your photo—photos don’t even have to be in the Elements organizer to use them.

dad blog does diy holiday card with your own photos

So, a few more photos and I’m ready to type in my greeting. Family shots are great for Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Put some flower photos for Easter. Or try some cat photos in that thank you note for the crazy lady next door.

photoshop elements make a greeting card

When you’re all done, click the “Order” button at the bottom of the window, and Photoshop Elements will prepare your card for printing at Shutterfly.

photoshop elements works with shutterfly to make cards

Then sign in with your Shutterfly account to complete your card. And, again, if you don’t have an account, go ahead and create one here.

Make a DIY Calendar

Now that you see how easy it is, you’ll want to make all kinds of stuff. How about a slide show? DVD cover? DVD cover for a slideshow on DVD? How about a calendar? Just no burritos please.

use your own photos for a calendar

There’s a option and templates to have Shutterfly print a customized calendar. This one is called “Deep in Love.” Create it in time for Valentine’s Day so you don’t get in deep [blank].

making a calendar

Just click and add photos to each month. Easy. Awww. Feel the love.

dad blog makes a calendar with your own photos
I don’t want to look at my own mug here, but I have no problem seeing my lovely wife each month. (And every day too.) She did not pre-approve this pic. I like it though. Love you.

Make and Share Other Stuff

Photo collages, slide shows, photo books, facebook cover photos—all stuff easily created with Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. Let us know what you made and shared. And feel free to share it on the Photoshop Elements Facebook page.

And if you eat Payday bars, let us know that too.



Disclosure: Dadand received review software and compensation to test and post about Adobe Photoshop Elements—a company whose products we love and use everyday. We believe in every product and service we review at Dadand, and promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even when we’re trying to break the stuff we receive.

1 Comment

  • Joanna

    I use Photo shop element 12 and I made a card this morning, but all I wanted to do was to post it to Face Book. I could not post it because when I saved it, it was not in the proper format and I did not give me a choice to format it in Jpeg. What is the solution. Is there one? Thank you for your response.


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