Chatbooks Instagram Cards – the Easiest Holiday Cards You’ll Ever Make

chatbooks instagram cards return address

If most of my family photos eventually end up on Instagram, doesn’t it make sense to use the app to make my holiday cards? That’s what Chatbooks thought too, so it came up with the Instagram card function in its holiday card department! All you have to do is open Chatbooks, integrate with Instagram, and select the Instagram card option. The app automatically pulls in 4-9 of your most-liked photos from the year.

Luckily you can then customize it by swapping out photos, otherwise mine would have pictures of temporary tattoos and a DeLorean in it. I’m sure I’d get a lot of questions.

Easy Design

Here’s the number one reason it was so easy: there’s only one design option. This layout:

chatbooks instagram cards screenshots

Choosing a holiday card layout is the stage that takes me the longest in making my cards every year. This year it was a snap! I made the initial draft with my phone in the app, and then pulled some different photos in to complete the design, and ordered my shipment. It arrived about a week later. (This means you still have time.)

Great Quality

chatbooks instagram cards

I’m impressed with the quality of the card stock and the printing. It’s hefty weight paper and the colors look fine. It’s not too good to be true! The only thing that’s not super top-notch is the free return address printed on the back of the envelope. It seems like I did it on my own printer at home. But hey, it’s included. (The blurry second line is my fabulous digital artwork.)

I recommend Chatbooks Instagram cards if you haven’t yet done yours and you want to take care of it quickly. No deliberation or second-guessing yourself. Boom, you’re done and you can settle in to make your list, check it twice, and get yourself in the holiday mood.

Chatbooks Instagram Cards
$1 per card with free shipping – use the smartphone app for the Instagram option

I received a complimentary set of cards to facilitate this review.

How To Choose Designer Holiday Cards From Minted

Shine Bright this Holiday Season with Unique and Indie Designed Minted Holiday Cards

minted sample

I’m pleased to be working with Minted for another holiday season. As my Christmas card list shrinks because so many people have switched to e-cards (so I send them e-cards in return) I still love the process of selecting a design and tweaking it to create a combo of images of my family and a message that communicates our holiday greetings with our unique personality.

The only problem is that there are so many designs to choose from! As my friend texted me, “I’ve fallen down the Minted rabbit hole.”

Indeed. When I first started poking around in this season’s designs, I was just going to take a cursory look, but a half hour later I was still browsing through, imagining my own family’s photo in one of the designs. You can skip that part and just upload your photo right away, then load it into each design you like to preview how it will look. Minted works with indie designers to present a variety of different looks. If you like one design, you can look at others by the same artist.

But if you’re like me and you fall down the rabbit hole, you might get stuck on a design that strikes your fancy. I loved the idea of a “year in review,” and so then I fell down another hole, which is all the photos I’ve loaded onto my computer since January 2015. I wound up picking 70 favorites. That’s too many. So I loaded about 20 into Minted’s photo library, and played around with them, and came up with this goofy combo:card frontThen, because I couldn’t resist, I chose to add one large photo to the back of the card with a holiday message. (This adds $23.95 to the price, but don’t you think it’s worth it?)

card back

And since this option is free, I loaded in my address book for all the people I am sending cards to. Minted prints their addresses on the envelopes so they look classy, and it saves my hand from cramping! All I have to do is stuff envelopes and stamp them. For an additional fee you can even have your return address printed on the envelope.


I really love the quality of Minted’s cards for the holidays. There are many beautiful design options, thick and luxurious paper, classy printed envelopes, and the prices are reasonable for the quality you get. I ordered them on Monday and received them on Friday! They look and feel great. Done and done!

I received complimentary cards from Minted as part of my work with Savvy Sassy Scouts program.

Go Back To Printed With Minted

The trend toward e-Christmas cards makes me sad. I love sending and receiving real cards, and this year I’m making mine using minted.

mint christmas cardYou can purchase this design here

I’ve sent actual physical Christmas cards to friends and family since…maybe since I graduated from college? Certainly long before my children were born. It’s way more fun now that I have them as photo shoot accessories, though. I’ve never been tempted to switch to e-Christmas cards, which is certainly easier, cheaper, and faster. But there is something about the ritual of creating the perfect card, addressing the envelope, and checking off the list that helps usher in the holiday season.

Ever since my first son was born 9 years ago, Christmas has been much more fun in general, starting with holiday photo cards. I have a friend who used to keep a special album of holiday photo cards she received from people. She said it was neat to flip through it and watch the children multiply and grow through holiday greetings over the years.

Now that I’ve been doing photo cards for 9 years, I can do that with just my own little family.

One year I sent out a card with several pictures taken throughout the year on the front with the requisite “Happy Holidays” greeting, and on the back, in a small thumbnail photo spot, I included an outtake from one of the “Kodak moments.” We were at Disneyland and the kids were fidgeting and it was kind of rainy – it was a miracle they posed at all that day. But the shot was hilarious, and a lot people who received that card that year commented that that was the part they loved the most about it.

disney outtake“The magic is in the outtakes,” the caption read.

So this year, why not try a reversal?

What if I do a holiday card photo shoot and on the card itself, just include the outtakes on the front? And maybe the “real” photo on the back?

Minted has a lot of lovely designs that will help me make this happen, and a handy filter that lets me sort by number of photos (lately I have favored one big photo with writing along the bottom but that won’t work for an outtake spread), color palette, shape, size, type of paper, etc.  Like other online photo card design tools, minted lets you play around with the different templates. Minted’s tool is easy to use and if my computer is not too tired it refreshes quickly.

There are SO MANY possibilities I am having a hard time choosing. Look, I even made a sample:


mint test christmas card frontRelax. This is just a test. In fact, that is what I am doing in this photo. Relaxing.


mint test christmas card back

It will most likely come down to what we decide to wear for the shoot and our location. Last year it was the top of a hill on one of the trails at Chesebro Canyon. Not sure what we will pick this year. (And in case you think I’ve gone fancy, the “shoot” consists of our family, my mom and dad, and lots of me threatening the children with serious consequences if they don’t quit whining and smile, dammit.)

Printed photo cards have really come a long way. They don’t have to look cheap or cheesy. Minted prints everything on high quality paper, and you can even choose a small photo book with little stories about your family from the whole year.

Stay tuned to see what we picked. I say “we” to be inclusive but let’s be honest. Mama does all the work here.

I received credit at minted to facilitate this two-part feature.