Postcards & Passports

Using Travel Photos to Make Cards & Books

This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019

For years, a good friend of mine has been making these beautiful cards with travel photos. She uses them for her own correspondence, and she gives them as gifts…all packaged up just like this.

Travel Photos

It’s one of my favorite birthday gifts every year! Lorraine travels often, and she has a good eye for what makes stunning travel photos. In fact, I love how sometimes she focuses on the little details: like a window sill overflowing with flowers…or a brightly colored produce display.

Travel Photos

At first, I hesitated to use her cards. They were so pretty I hated to part with any of them. But as she has kept me regularly supplied, I can now send them to others — happy to share something so nice and knowing I’ll have more to look forward to.

Travel Photos

But what if you don’t have a Lorraine in your life? You can make cards like these too. I asked Lorraine if she would share her secrets, and she said she’d be honored! So here they are:

(I have included links primarily for your convenience. You can certainly buy these products locally. If you do purchase anything through these links, I will receive a small commission, but it will not cost you any more)

You can make your own photo cards

1. Buy good quality card stock with a linen finish and create your own cards; these cards are about 4.5″ x 6″ when folded in half. Lorraine often creates cards with a mix of colors: ivory, white, or light blue. (She buys her paper and envelopes locally at Kelly Paper in Kearny Mesa).

2. Print your own travel photos (Lorraine prints hers at Costco); trim photos if necessary to leave a margin all the way around it on the card. Lorraine’s photos are 3.5″ x 5″.

3. Glue the prints to the front of the blank cards, in a portrait (vertical) or landscape format; Lorraine prefers using rubber cement glue.

Travel Photos

Portrait or Landscape mode

4.  Pencil in the location and date under the photo.

5.  Purchase good quality linen envelopes that are just a little larger than the size of your card. If you’re using an envelope size chart, an A-6 envelope is 4.75″ x 6.5″.

6.  If you want to give your cards as gifts, purchase clear cellophane bags (like these from Amazon); use ribbon to tie bag closed. Lorraine buys her bags from Michael’s or floral supply stores. A typical set  is eight cards with envelopes.

7.  Another tip is to use parts of photos (smaller details, or good parts of an otherwise not-so-good photo) to make tiny little cards for gift enclosures, gift tags, etc.

Travel Photos

Some of the travel photos I’ve taken

8. When taking travel photos, Lorraine says she just shoots what she likes. You can do the same. Whatever appeals to you whether it be landscapes, architecture, patterns in nature, or cultural/ethnic portraits — it’s all fair game!

These photo cards are wonderful for the receiver, who now gets to see some of the fun places and things you got to visit on your travels. I can guarantee you it’s something your family would especially like to receive.

Or make simple photo books…

You could also use the same concept and create photo “books” to give to family. Just cut out pieces of card stock, attach your photos, and punch a hole in the corner and combine with a book ring. You can write about your experience on the back side of each page and design an interesting cover for your book, too.

Travel PhotosI hope you’ve been inspired by Lorraine’s photo cards! Make some for yourself, for your friends and family, and maybe even to sell on Etsy! As long as they are your own photos, why not? And if you like the idea of making these cards, but don’t have your own travel photos, there are several online websites that offer free public domain photos for your use. Try Pixabay, LibreStock, or Unsplash. These photos you can use for personal use all you want, but generally not for commercial ventures.

Much thanks to Lorraine Hansen for her inspiring travel photos and the cards she lovingly crafts for her friends!

Want to read some more fun crafty travel-related posts? Don’t miss these:

Travel Photos



17 thoughts on “Using Travel Photos to Make Cards & Books

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  4. Joan

    I just love these cards, but you are right. I don’t ever want to give them away! Maybe I should just frame them and put them on display.

  5. Tatiana

    What a lovely idea! I’m totally into DIY and I’m always looking for new inspiration! And I have so many photos I just love too much to just stay digital. Thanks for the post!

  6. Samantha Sparrow

    This is such a good idea and a lovely gift or keepsake for yourself. I think I’d quite like to try and make fridge magnets out of my travel photos, or maybe even a keyring. You’ve made me feel really creative!

  7. Judy Zehrung

    Thanks Tami. I did this with photos I took at Buchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. They are great gifts, as well as note cards tp use.

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