How to Create a Custom Greeting Card in Paint.NET

Couple printing out photographs
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This tutorial to create a greeting card in Paint.NET will lead you through the process of making a greeting card using one of your own digital photos. The article will show you how to place elements so that you can produce and print a double-sided greeting card. If you don't have a digital photo handy, you can still use the information in the following pages to produce a greeting card using just text.

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Open a Blank Document

First, you'll need to open a blank document before starting on this tutorial.

Go to File > New and set the page size to suit the paper you will be printing onto. Set the size to match Letter sheets with a resolution of 150 pixels/inch, which is generally sufficient for most desktop printers.

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Add a Fake Guide

Paint.NET lacks an option to place guides on a page, so we'll need to add a divider ourselves.

If there aren't rulers visible to the left and above the page, go to View > Rulers. In the View menu, you can also select pixels, inches or centimeters as the unit displayed.

Now select the Line/Curve tool from the Tools palette and click and draw a line across the page at the halfway point. This divides the page into two allowing us to place items on the front and back of the greeting card.

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Add an Image

You can now open a digital photo and copy it into this document.

Go to File > Open, navigate to the image you want to open and click Open. Then click on the Move Selected Pixels tool in the Tools palette and click on the image.

Now go to Edit > Copy and you can close the image. This will display your greeting card file and here go to Edit > Paste into New Layer.

If the photo is larger than the page, you will be offered some Paste options — click Keep Canvas Size. In that case, you will also need to shrink the image using one of the corner handles. Holding the Shift key keeps the image in proportion. Remember that the image needs to fit in the bottom half of the page, below the guideline you drew earlier.

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Add Text to Outside

You can add some text to the front of the card also.

If the image is still selected, go to Edit > Deselect. Paint.NET doesn't apply text to its own layer, so you'll need to click the Add New Layer button in the Layers palette. Now select the Text tool from the Tools palette, click on the page and type in your text. You can adjust the font face and size in the Tool Options bar and also change the color using the Colors palette.

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Personalize the Back

You can also add a logo and text to the back of the card, as most commercially-produced cards will have.

If you want to add a logo, you need to copy and paste it ​into a new layer as with the main photo. You can then add text to the same layer, ensuring the relative size and position of the text and logo is as desired. Once you're happy with that, you can scale and rotate this layer. Go to Layers > Rotate/Zoom and set the Angle to 180 so that it will be the correct way up when the card has been printed. If necessary, the Zoom control allows you to change the size.

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Add a Sentiment to the Inside

We can use the Text tool to add a sentiment to the inside of the greeting card.

First, we need to hide the elements that appear on the outside of the card, which we do by clicking on the tick boxes in the Layers palette to hide them.

Leave the Background visible as this has the guide line on it. Now click the Add New Layer button and, to make life easier, ​double-click on the new layer to open the Layer Properties dialog.

You can rename the layer there to Inside. With that done you can use the text tool to write your sentiment and use the grab handle to position it as desired within the bottom half of the page.

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Print the Card

Finally, you can print the inside and outside onto different sides of a single sheet.

First, hide the inside layer and make the outside layers visible again so this can be printed first. You will also need to hide the ​Background layer as this has the guide line on it. If the paper you are using has a side for printing photos, ensure that you're printing onto this. Then flip the page around the horizontal axis and feed the paper back into the printer and hide the outside layers and make the inside layer visible. You can now print the inside to complete the card.

You may find it helps to print a test on scrap paper first.

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