CREATE A GIF E-CARD

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I’m sure we’re all looking to give our mothers something special. You can certainly go out and purchase a heartfelt card, but thought it’d be very special to create something a little more personalized for this day. Here I’ve created a photo e-card by making a DIY backdrop and displaying my sentiment on a blank canvas. As another option, you can print your photos and create a card “booklet.” For quick and easy booklet printing that looks sleek and professional, visit a printing company like Kaizen Print to make this gift extra special. As always, tweak the text to your preferences. When you’re done you’ll have a compilation of beautiful photos you can create into a card to give to your mother on that special day.
To start, I created a simple photo backdrop with burlap ribbon, lace, and silk flowers. I cut two strips of burlap ribbon and adhered it to my wall with thumbtacks. I then added the lace and attached it to the wall as shown. I kept adding elements to this backdrop that worked together to create the final result.
I then attached the silk flowers by bending the stem at the head and slipping it through the holes in the burlap. Simple enough, right? With the proper lighting (and Photoshop effects), the photos turned out very beautiful for my card.
I am holding a flat artist canvas as the background for my text. I added the text later in Photoshop, but feel free to use simple programs such as PicMonkey or Pixlr online to add your text. You can also write on large poster board or foam core board to display your message as well. Though for me, adding the text in the software is easier and also saves a little bit of money. Check out our e-card below:

To send this as an e-card, I thought it’d be great to create a GIF. I’ve tailored this card to represent someone who may not have the chance to see their mother on Mother’s Day, but still wished to send a sentiment; though, you can use any sentiment that is personal to you. By downloading apps such as procreate for pc, you can create and personalise digital art for the perfect e-gift to a loved one. Coming up with the right words to say can sometimes be a challenge; so use sentiments from cards already written if that helps.

For Adobe Photoshop CS4 or higher, follow these steps. We’re assuming that if you want to create a GIF using Photoshop, you already have a basic knowledge of the program. If not, there are plenty of free websites online that will allow you to upload your pictures and create the GIF file for you. Search “gif maker” in your internet search for those free programs. I prefer Photoshop because I like the flexibility of design it gives me, especially for determining the speed of each frame. This is a pretty easy tutorial, so load the program and let’s get started!

STEP 1: Open up each of the photos you want to use in a new document. Before creating the GIF, make sure each photo is exactly the same size (Image – Image Size).

STEP 2: For each photo, unlock the background layer. Double click on the layer and click “OK.” You can rename the layer in this window if you’d like.
STEP 3: With the “Move Tool,” click and drag each photo from its original document into the same document file. Make sure the photos are centered on top of each other. In doing so, Photoshop will automatically make each photo its own layer. As you can see here, I have 7 photos, and 7 layers. For the next steps, I’ve scaled this down to 3 photos for tutorial purposes.
STEP 4: At the top, click “Window – Animation.” This should bring up an animation window at the bottom of the screen, showing a thumbnail of one of your photos.
If you see a timeline view (as shown above) instead of a photo thumbnail, click the drop up menu in the right corner and choose “convert to frame animation.”
STEP 5: Click the drop up menu button at the right corner and select “make frames from layers.”
Each layer/photo should now be its own frame, shown at the bottom of the screen in the animation window.
STEP 6: Click “0 sec” at the bottom of each thumbnail and select the delay (in seconds). Some of my photos show for 2 seconds, 3 seconds and 5 seconds. Customize the timing for each frame as you like. If your message is wordy, you might want to delay that particular frame longer, so it can be fully read.
STEP 7: Also make sure that the file loops the way you want. You have the option of it looping once, 3 times, or forever. I clicked “Forever” because I want the slideshow to start over and over again on its own. To play your GIF before saving, click the play button at the bottom of the animation window to preview.
STEP 8: Finally, it’s time to save. Click “File – Save for Web and Devices.”

STEP 9: Make sure “GIF” is selected in the top, drop down menu. Here you also want to make sure the file is sized properly for the program you’re uploading it to. If sending via email, note your email provider’s size restrictions and modify it in the “Image Size” section of this window. Click “Save,” and save it in a folder on your computer. Then you’re done!

To view your GIF, open the file up in your web browser and it should play just as you created it!!
Again, some people prefer printed photos and that’s just as beautiful. Try both!

How to Create a Roped Mother’s Day Sign

For a little extra love, I created a “Happy Mother’s Day” wall sign to add to my backdrop.
For this DIY you’ll need: 

  • Jute rope
  • Thumbtacks
  • Scissors
Guide the rope on the wall to create the letters using the thumbtacks. If you do not want to put tacks directly into your wall, tack the lettering into a piece of plywood, foam board or an artist canvas before hanging it on your wall. You can also glue the rope to a canvas before mounting.
And that’s it! I absolutely love that it appears as though tiny lights are twinkling from the letters. This card/backdrop combination is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day. It’s very thoughtful, sweet and will definitely bring joy to her day. Have a happy holiday!