Holiday cards are one of the main reasons we love this time of year. It’s so much fun to hear from old friends and see photos of all of the families you care about most. But gone are the days where you must trudge to Wal-Mart or Walgreens to purchase your cards; nowadays, it’s easier than ever to make your own incredibly personalized cards online… in just minutes. Our good friend, The Internet, has saved Christmas!

To us, the best greeting cards are those which incorporate beautiful design with incredible photos. If you’re stumped for creative ways to take photos (no matching sweaters, please), we have some great tips. Next, select a design from one of our favorite custom card printing companies and upload your photo to match. These new online stationery services will print and mail you the cards, or better yet, some will even mail them to your recipients for you. Here’s a rundown on our six faves.

1. Minted: Minted is like the designer’s democracy. They hold monthly design contests where any designer can submit stationery for the Minted community to vote on. It’s like you’re picking the inventory. What’s also great about Minted is that after you customize your card, a graphic designer reviews it and sends you a proof for final approval before printing. It’s always helpful to know that a professional will review the card before you send it out to all your friends and family.

2. Tiny Prints: Despite being called Tiny Prints, this service has a large array of options for customized cards. Like Minted, you can also choose the option to have a designer review or request a digital proof.

3. Shutterfly: Originally known for basic photo printing, Shutterfly has expanded into custom lines of photobooks, calendars, and of course, greeting cards. They have hundreds of templates but are more limited when it comes to customization options. However, you can have a professional review your design before printing. Plus, we really like that price point — it’s about $1 per card.

4. Simply to Impress: While they have a selection of non-photo greeting cards, Simply to Impress is a card printing company that primarily focuses on photo-based cards. While customizing your card is easy, they have less font and design options compared to Minted. After you approve your design on the website, it goes straight to print (without any additional review).

5. Paperless Post: The great part of Paperless Post is that once you create a card, you can send paper or digital versions of the card. The website is also extremely clean and easy to use. They have a ton of options for customization — you can even customize the lining on your envelopes. We’re pretty big fans of the Rifle Paper Co. designs above. Who says holiday cards have to be scenes from a winter wonderland?

6. Social Print Studio: We heart San Francisco start-ups, and we especially love this one. Social Print Studio allows you to print your favorite photos and upload them straight from your Instagram feed to create photographic goods like giant photo strips, photo magnets, stickers, and other amazing photo-centric gifts. However, you can also print really simple greeting cards. Choose from tiny square cards to 5×7 cards, then choose a holiday photo to print, or multiple photos in case you want a variety of greeting cards. The cards are blank inside, so you’ll get a chance to personalize the message on every card.

What other sites do you use for designing custom greeting cards? Tell us @BritandCo!

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