How to make a postcard

Postcard and flats (larger than 4×6, but still only one sheet) are the most common mailing we work with, and what can seem to be a pretty simple thing to design, can be more complicated than you’d expect.

The Post Office used machinery to scan and sort mail. Here’s a link if you’d like to see a better idea of this process:

It’s ideal for postcards to be laid out in a way that works in harmony with mailing technology. Planning your design in a way that makes it easier for the Post Office machinery and regulations will help your mailing get to its destination without an issue. Here are a 5 quick tips to help you design your postcard or flat effectively.

1. Leave Space for the Barcode

During the mailing process, the Post Office prints a barcode 5/8ths of an inch from the bottom of each piece. It’s best to keep this area blank; if they can’t print directly on the area, they’ll instead put a sticker over the bottom with a readable barcode. Any information or imagery will get covered up in that case, so avoid putting anything important in that area.

2. Watch Your Ink Coverage

Postal regulations ask for less than 10% ink coverage on the side of the postcard that’s getting the address. While it’s likely that a postcard will mail even with slightly more ink coverage, keeping the background white is the easiest way to make sure there won’t be any issues.

3. Keep Your Fonts Legible

When designing a mailing, keep in mind that the clearer the font is, the faster and more likely it is to get to your recipient. Addresses are scanned via an OCR (Optical Character Reader) machine at the post office that processes more than 55,000 per hour, that information is used to sort postcards and letters for their destination.

Simple, common fonts are usually best, especially if they don’t have a serif (the tails and embellishments on certain letters). We suggest Arial, since most computers have it, and it’s easy to read. Also, choosing to use Arial (or your other selected font) for other content on your flat item will give your piece a more consistent and cohesive look. However, you can certainly style your address panel, just try to avoid very scripted fonts such as: Script MT Bold, Lucida Calligraphy, or Palace Script MT.

4. Make Room for Your Addresses

Postcard and flat sizes vary between 3.5×5 and 8.5×11, which means the amount of space you can work with will be different with every size card. The Post Office requires 3 inches from the right hand size of card and the address should be printed on the top half of the card. Depending on the size of your card, this could leave some room below the address for other information or any graphic that you’d like to include.

Good:

Bad:

As long as you keep the top half of the card free for the address, you can use the bottom half of the card for information. Here is an example of how you can use the space under addresses:

5. Make Sure The Top Right Corner is Clear

If the mailing is greater than 500 units, the Post Office will offer bulk mail discounts. This allows a company to print a permit number, called an indicia, in the corner in lieu of a stamp. If you choose to do mailing services, this might be a better option. Keep the top right corner clear of any printing, and it will ensure that the indicia will be readable for the Post Office’s OCR machines.

If your mailing is going out with live stamps, it’s still a good idea to leave that area clear. Sometimes toner or ink may lay thick on top of the paper, making it harder for the stamps to adhere. We look at stamps as live money, as should you, so don’t lose them!

Knowing a little more about the process can help you design and lay out your postcard with its use in mind. These tips will save you the headache of having to have your postcard redesigned or rejected by the Post Office. You can also save the time altogether, by checking out our resources page here (that should be a link) or have our in-house design team work with you on a print-ready design. Send us an email, [email protected], we’re here to help.

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How to make a postcard

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Craft a postcard for your next project with Canva! Whether you’re promoting your business, getting the word out about your event, or just creating a fun and personal way to share your artwork, start with an awesome postcard.

How to make a postcard

Design a postcard with our treasury of striking layouts

Think of the last time you were in a gift shop: Remember the rack of generic, humdrum postcards? Skip the rack and create something special! Show your penpals and loved ones you care by designing your own postcard with Canva. Our easy-to-use tools help quickly transform your photos and ideas into a ready-to-mail postcard. Even if you’re a novice designer, with our collection of professionally designed layouts anyone can create a splendid, memorable postcard.

You can even design a postcard for more than just correspondence: create a postcard to promote your business, service, or event. Designing a postcard is a flashy, friendly way to get your message in the mail, passed around town, or shared across the internet.

How to make a postcard

Open Canva on your desktop or launch the app to get started. Log in or sign up using Google or Facebook then search for “Postcards” to start designing.

Explore Canva’s wide range of postcard designs made in various styles and for various occasions. Choose the perfect design then start customizing.

Change the text, colors, fonts and backgrounds with just a few clicks. Keep fine tuning until you find the right combination of elements and ingredients for your postcard.

Get creative with millions of images, icons, stickers, shapes, font styles and color schemes. Use the drag-and-drop tool to move things around. Apply photo effects and animation features or add video and music.

Order beautiful, high-quality prints of your postcards through Canva Print and enjoy free shipping. Or, save your design as a PDF, JPG or PNG file. Remember you can always edit your design any time.

Send an imaginative postcard with our vast image library

The postcards you find at the store only offer a few options: photos of local landmarks or stale greeting card sentiments. Why stop there? Our incredible library of over 1 million stock photos, graphics, and illustrations opens up tons of possibilities, with breathtaking photos from all over the world and every conceivable activity. With plenty of images available for free and premium images priced at only $1 each, designing your own postcard is ten times as fun at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought card.

Want to truly make your postcard one-of-a-kind? You can upload your own photos and use them alongside any of our layouts to share photos of your vacation, your family, or your favorite shots from your Instagram feed.

Don’t design alone, create your postcard with a team!

Whether you’re a group of backpackers creating a postcard to commemorate your trip or an artist’s collective promoting a show together — we make it easy for people to design together. You can easily share your postcard design with anyone, and by checking one simple box, you and your friends can edit and work your postcard together.

We even store your postcard design in the cloud, which means you can access it from any computer with an internet connection or on the go with our free iOS and Android apps. So no matter where you go, you’ll be able to design your postcard to mail at journey’s end.

Send your postcard to Canva Print or share it digitally

Once you’re completely happy with your postcard design, just click on the ‘Send to Print’ button and we’ll take care of producing them for you . With brilliant colors and high-quality paper and finish options, your postcards will look absolutely amazing! Best of all, we’ll deliver them right to your doorstep.

Would you rather save a stamp? With one click you can share your postcard to Facebook, Twitter, or even send it directly to someone’s email inbox. No fuss, and no need to wait for the postman!

How to address a postcard?

On the back of the postcard, fill out the name of the recipient on the left hand side and the address of the recipient on the right hand side. Fill out your handwritten message on the lines provided. Then sign your postcard with your name.

What are postcard sizes?

Most postcards are somewhere in between 3-4 inches high and 5-6 inches long. This smaller size is best for marketing purposes and quick correspondence. If you prefer longer messaging and more flexible design, some larger sizes for postcards are 4 x 9, 5.5 x 8 and 6 x 11.

Do postcards need return addresses?

A return address is not required on a postcard; you can simply fill out the address of the recipient. Keep in mind, however, that a return address is a good idea if you think there’s a chance your postcard won’t reach the recipient.

Want to make a postcard pen pal? Get your warm, personal correspondence off to a great start by sending a photo postcard designed with Canva.

How to make a postcard

Transform your pictures into a fun-filled photo postcard

Remember the joy you felt the last time you got a postcard in the mail? Never forget: it is better to give than to receive. Share the love! Give your friends and family their own warm fuzzy feelings by transforming your photographs into a heartfelt photo postcard.

With Canva’s easy-to-use tools and customizable layouts, you don’t even need to be a computer whiz to remind someone special you’re thinking of them. Don’t wait another moment, show your loved ones you care by sharing a silly, serious, or splendid photo postcard today!

How to make a photo postcard

Sign up for Canva using your Facebook or Google account. After that, log in on your phone or desktop and search for the “Photo postcard” design type. Start from scratch or choose a template.

Explore Canva’s library of professionally designed photo postcard templates. Find themes for travel, wedding, birthday, graduation, art show and more. Click the template you like to start designing.

Browse millions of high-quality, professional stock photos, images, illustrations, icons and more. Use the photo effects and animate features to spruce up your design.

Choose your own background, color scheme, font style and ingredients. Upload your own photos, images and artwork. Resize and rearrange text boxes and adjust the layout as you see fit.

Happy with your design? Share directly on Facebook or Instagram using the handy “Share” option, email it to family and friends or download and print. You can order high-quality prints of your design with Canva Print.

Accessorize your photo postcard with our high quality images

Every warm, personal postcard should be chock full of well-loved photos and memories. Choose one of our beautiful layouts and start adding special moments by uploading your own custom photos, then dragging them into the design. You can even edit, crop, and filter your photos right inside Canva, to save you time and plenty of post-processing headaches.

Next you can accent your photo any way you like. Search our vast collection of over 1 million stock photos, images, and design elements to add stamps, sparkles, or groovy sunglasses balanced on your best friend’s nose. We have plenty of images you can use for free, and premium images cost only $1. There’s no reason not to invest in a well-placed rainbow!

Work together to make an amazing, sentimental postcard

Photo postcards can give your correspondence a personal touch, but there’s no reason the whole gang can’t get in on the fun! If you’d like to collaborate on your photo postcards with some friends, simply check the box in the “Share” button to allow others to edit your design. Show your friends how to access Canva online, or help them download our free iOS and Android apps from the App Store and Google Play. Soon they’ll be editing, tweaking, and, most importantly, adding their own photos, so your postcard can commemorate the good times you spent together.

Print your photo postcard or share it on social media

Once your postcard is picture-perfect, we make it easy to share it with all of your friends. Simply open your design and click “Share” to post your photo postcard to Twitter, Facebook, or straight into anyone’s email inbox.

If you’d like the tactile elegance of print, we got you covered! Send your new design to Canva Print and we’ll make sure that your postcards look as amazing in person as it is on the screen. We’ll even deliver them right to your doorstep. All that’s left it to cut, stamp, and send!

What size are photo postcards?

Photo postcards are typically rectangular, at least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inches thick and no more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick. This makes them close to 4 x 6, or qualified postcard size.

How to turn a photo into a postcard?

First, choose the photo or photos you want to use for the postcard. You might customize the back of your photo to look more like a postcard, with a vertical off-centered line to separate the address area from the message area.

How do I print a photo postcard?

To print a photo postcard, you simply need to print your photo, making sure it’s the correct dimensions to be sent in the mail. You don’t need to add a photo to a standard postcard; you can simply send the photo as a postcard in the mail.

The key to creating postcards is picking the right template. If you are going to print your postcards on a specific manufacturer’s card stock, such as Avery 3263 with dimensions of 5.5 x 4.25 inches, then it’s a good idea to find that Avery template or a template with those exact dimensions.

To find and use specific manufacturer’s template

Start Publisher and click Built-In.

In the publicationtypes list, scroll down and select Postcards.

Scroll to the bottom of the postcard templates to find the specific manufacturer you will be using, and then find the specific card stock.
How to make a postcard

Find the specific card stock and select it.
How to make a postcard

The template description, on the right hand side, will tell you how the template will print on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
How to make a postcard

In the Customize section you can change the color and font schemes, and business information.
How to make a postcard

Click Create and then add any pictures and text you want.

If you are making 2-sided postcards, put things for the front of the postcard on one side of the template, and put things for the back of the postcard on the other side of the template. Then, print them double-sided.

If you are making single-sided postcards, simply print them out.

Use other templates

If you want to use a template other than a manufacturer’s you need to be sure that the postcards will fit on your paper stock. A 5.5 x 8.5 inch template fits two postcards on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, and a 4.25 x 5 inch template fits four postcards on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet.

Start Publisher and type postcard in the Search online templates box, or click Built-In and scroll to select Postcards.

Select the template that best meets your needs.
How to make a postcard

If you chose one of the built-in templates, you can change the color and font schemes, and business information. If you are printing two-sided, you can also customize what you want to put on side two of the postcard.
How to make a postcard

Click Create and then add any images and text you want.

Send a brilliant and well-designed postcard to those you love and share photos of your family, vacations, and important moments in your life.

Using Fotor’s postcard designer, you can use our customizable postcard templates to make professional postcards online in just a few clicks. Making a unique postcard is a friendly way to get your message in the mail or shared across the internet.

Now, choose your favorite postcard template from all the premium templates and design your own unique postcard with Fotor’s online postcard maker.

Find Your Inspiration among Numerous Premium Postcard Templates

You really don’t have to be a designer because designing a stunning postcard has never been so convenient thanks to Fotor’s easy-to-use postcard templates. With so many easy-to-use postcard templates to choose from, you just need to simply select the postcard template that meets your goals and unleash your creativity.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

Customize Your Postcard with Fotor’s Online Postcard Maker

Fotor’s online postcard maker specializes in designing postcards. With this one stop professional tool, you have access to a library of HD stock images from all over the world, various photo filters, creative elements, fonts, and backgrounds to customize the postcard. You can also upload your own photos, change the text colors, crop images, move and rotate elements exactly where you want and so much more.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

Get the word out with a Perfect Postcard

Design a perfect postcard for any occasion and present someone with a sincere greeting. You can send your friends a beautiful vacation postcard or holiday postcard, and you can also use it to promote your business. No matter what kind of postcard you want, whether Christmas postcards, thank you postcards, photo postcards, real estate postcards, or business postcards, you can always find your favorite one that corresponds to your idea and lets your creativity flow.

How to make a postcard

How to create a postcard on Fotor

  • Open the Fotor design feature and choose the “Postcard” layout.
  • Browse our collection of menu templates and choose the one you want.
  • Upload your own photos or just drag images from Fotor’s licensed HD stock images into the design and edit your content.
  • Customize your postcard with features, like text combinations, photo effects, stickers, backgrounds, and so much more.
  • Review and save your work, or you can share it directly to social media.

Make Postcards Now

Postcard design FAQs

What is the standard size for a postcard?

The standard postcard size is 4*6 or 5*7. Although they are the most popular dimensions, a postcard can be as small 3.5″x 5″ and as big as 6.125″ x 11.5″ and everything in between. You can choose the appropriate dimensions based on your needs.

What makes a good postcard design?

An effective postcard can garner attention, and these tips can help you design a brilliant postcard that does just that:

-Add a clear and bold headline;

-Use a captivating image on the front of your postcard;

-Add contact information like your name, phone number, and website

-Use a color that stands out from the background

What should I write on a postcard?

Some people struggle with what to write on a postcard. Here are some ideas to help you fill out your postcards:

-Write the recipient’s address;

-Address the recipient;

-Write a message to share something with the recipient;

-Sign your postcard;

What Our Users Say about Fotor

Fotor has been very useful in both my personal and professional life. It’s one of my most used creative tools on my pc.

I really love Fotor. It has made the design very accessible for me and has allowed me to improve. It also gave me the motivation I need to learn more about design and improve my skills.

Fotor has been very useful in both my personal and professional life. It’s one of my most used creative tools on my pc.

Design can be a tricky subject for any marketer, especially when it comes to creating promotional material. You basically have two options: outsource the task or put on your design hat.

If you decide to give the latter a-go, this article will help you create a clean and effective design for your next promotional postcard. It will also walk you through step-by-step where to find appropriate material as well as tools you can use to create your final product.

Step 1

To walk you through the process, I’m going to be making an auto loan postcard to send out to a targeted group of account holders. Here’s the free image I chose from gratisography.com:

How to make a postcard

Step 2

Next you’ll want to come up with the copy. Keep in mind this text will have to go on top of the image you decided on, so keep it short and simple. Let that awesome image you worked so hard to find do most of the talking for you. You should try and get your main idea across in two lines or less. It’s important to remember what we’re selling here. With a postcard, we want to drive foot traffic in our branches, traffic on our websites or inbound phone calls. It’s a good idea to keep that in mind while coming up with the copy.

I would suggest coming up with a catchy one-liner that applies to the promotion and then a short section including the actual deal for the back of the postcard. Coming up with one-liners is no easy task, but there are steps you can take to work through your writer’s block.

Try writing down 25 different options/versions of what you want to say. I know, that sounds like a lot, but don’t let yourself get caught up in making them all perfect or even good. This exercise is to help you brainstorm. You might come up with one you love or find out what you definitely don’t like. Either way you’re getting the creative juices flowing.

You can also use the image you chose for inspiration, or look into old sayings that you can put a twist on. The possibilities are endless, but don’t let that sidetrack you from connecting the copy to the promotional message.

Here’s what I came up with:

One liner: “Life can take you to some amazing places, we can help you get there.”

Deal: “Auto loan rates starting as low as #.##%”

Note: steps 1 and 2 are interchangeable. It really depends on how you want your process to work!

Step 3

Now that you have your image and copy ready to go, it’s time to unleash your creativity. If you’re worried you don’t have the artistic skills of Michelangelo stashed in your back pocket, don’t worry. There are a few easy tricks and tools you can utilize to create your masterpiece with little creative energy required.

First you’ll need to open a program that allows you to edit your photo and apply copy. The most obvious resource for this Adobe Photoshop. Since Photoshop requires a paid license for use and at least some knowledge of the program, you might need a different option. That being said, for the sake of this article I’m going to use Photoshop to create my final product. If you don’t have access, there are other online programs you can utilize to create similar results.

Using Photoshop, here are the steps I took to edit my image:

A. Once you open Photoshop, go to File –> Open and find your image. The image will import as a Background Layer initially, double click on that and it will change it from a locked background to Layer 0 (which is what you want). The Layers panel should be located at the bottom right hand of your screen.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

B. Now that you have your image, you’ll need to resize the canvas to the correct postcard dimensions. You can do this by going to Image –> Canvas Size and change the width and height. Then we just need to resize the image so it fits inside our corrected canvas size.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

Short Cut: clicking Command + T (or Control + T if you’re using a Windows computer) will allow you to resize the image and if you hold the Shift key as you change the size, the image will keep its original dimensions and not distort.

C. Now it’s time to add your copy. Using the Type tool, located in the left hand toolbar, you can click anywhere on the photo and just start typing. You also have the ability to change the font, color, size, and spacing of your copy to fit whatever you think looks best. For this postcard I used the font Roboto for the main type (which can be downloaded for free from Google Fonts), and SignPainter HouseScript (which comes with Photoshop) for “get” to add some style. I chose to make it green as well because it fits with my company’s branding.

How to make a postcard

Since the initial one liner fills up all the available blank space on the image, we can either get a little creative to add the deal information to the front of the postcard, or put that information on the back of the postcard. If you want to go with the first option, adding a solid color box can be a quick solution to this problem. I made my box using the same green color again and added the text in white on top to make it more pleasing to read. I also left room on the far right side for a logo.

How to make a postcard

D.The postcard looks pretty good as is, but since we’re already in Photoshop there are other things we can do to make it even cleaner. I personally like the look of Black & White images. If you do as well they’re pretty simple to create. Just make sure you have your Layer 0 selected and go to Images –> Adjustments –> Hue/Saturation and bring the Saturation all the way down to -100.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

In the same Adjustments tab there are other techniques you can play with to enhance the image further. I always like to use the Brightness/Contrast option to help make the image a little less flat. Here is the result:

How to make a postcard

I did some additional stylized editing, that I won’t go into here, but there are plenty of free online tutorials for Photoshop if creating this postcard has sparked you interest. Here is my final version, which you can download for free from Onovative’s Template Library:

Send a brilliant and well-designed postcard to those you love and share photos of your family, vacations, and important moments in your life.

Using Fotor’s postcard designer, you can use our customizable postcard templates to make professional postcards online in just a few clicks. Making a unique postcard is a friendly way to get your message in the mail or shared across the internet.

Now, choose your favorite postcard template from all the premium templates and design your own unique postcard with Fotor’s online postcard maker.

Find Your Inspiration among Numerous Premium Postcard Templates

You really don’t have to be a designer because designing a stunning postcard has never been so convenient thanks to Fotor’s easy-to-use postcard templates. With so many easy-to-use postcard templates to choose from, you just need to simply select the postcard template that meets your goals and unleash your creativity.

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

How to make a postcard

Customize Your Postcard with Fotor’s Online Postcard Maker

Fotor’s online postcard maker specializes in designing postcards. With this one stop professional tool, you have access to a library of HD stock images from all over the world, various photo filters, creative elements, fonts, and backgrounds to customize the postcard. You can also upload your own photos, change the text colors, crop images, move and rotate elements exactly where you want and so much more.

Get the word out with a Perfect Postcard

Design a perfect postcard for any occasion and present someone with a sincere greeting. You can send your friends a beautiful vacation postcard or holiday postcard, and you can also use it to promote your business. No matter what kind of postcard you want, whether Christmas postcards, thank you postcards, photo postcards, real estate postcards, or business postcards, you can always find your favorite one that corresponds to your idea and lets your creativity flow.

How to create a postcard on Fotor

  • Open the Fotor design feature and choose the “Postcard” layout.
  • Browse our collection of menu templates and choose the one you want.
  • Upload your own photos or just drag images from Fotor’s licensed HD stock images into the design and edit your content.
  • Customize your postcard with features, like text combinations, photo effects, stickers, backgrounds, and so much more.
  • Review and save your work, or you can share it directly to social media.

Make Postcards Now

Postcard design FAQs

What is the standard size for a postcard?

The standard postcard size is 4*6 or 5*7. Although they are the most popular dimensions, a postcard can be as small 3.5″x 5″ and as big as 6.125″ x 11.5″ and everything in between. You can choose the appropriate dimensions based on your needs.

What makes a good postcard design?

An effective postcard can garner attention, and these tips can help you design a brilliant postcard that does just that:

-Add a clear and bold headline;

-Use a captivating image on the front of your postcard;

-Add contact information like your name, phone number, and website

-Use a color that stands out from the background

What should I write on a postcard?

Some people struggle with what to write on a postcard. Here are some ideas to help you fill out your postcards:

-Write the recipient’s address;

-Address the recipient;

-Write a message to share something with the recipient;

-Sign your postcard;

What Our Users Say about Fotor

Fotor has been very useful in both my personal and professional life. It’s one of my most used creative tools on my pc.

I really love Fotor. It has made the design very accessible for me and has allowed me to improve. It also gave me the motivation I need to learn more about design and improve my skills.

Fotor has been very useful in both my personal and professional life. It’s one of my most used creative tools on my pc.

Join the Community

How to make a postcard

Since the time of their first use in the late 1800s, postcards have been an economical and creative way to send a greeting. Postcards can be made out of just about any thick paper as long as they conform to the United States Postal Services requirements for mail. In order to send a postcard using the inexpensive postcard rate within the United States, the card must be at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) wide, 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) tall and 0.007 inches (.018 cm) thick, but no larger than 0.016 inches (.041 cm) thick, 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) high and 6 inches (15.2 cm) wide.

If a postcard falls outside of these specifications they can still be sent but may require a first class letter stamp in place of a postcard stamp. Postcards sent internationally are subject to the regulations of the country to which they are being sent. These postcards, whether for personal or professional use, can be made using simple, readily available materials.

How to make postcards with items in the home:

Create a template to use as a guide when making postcards. A simple template can be made from an 8.5 by 11 inch (21.59 by 27.94 cm) sheet of paper cut into even fourths will produce four postcard templates that will be 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) wide and 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) tall.

Use the template to make postcards from poster board or card stock paper, both of which are available at craft or office supply stores.

Recycle greeting cards by cutting the front cover of the card off. Greeting cards are often the proper size, thickness and shape for making postcards. Do not use portions of the card that contain writing or any cards that have embellishments that may get caught in postal sorting equipment.

How to make postcards using a computer:

Purchase card stock that is within the specifications the printer being used can accommodate. Check the printer information booklet or contact the manufacture for these specifications.

Using the computer’s word processing program design a postcard that fits the desired dimensions. Many word processing programs include a variety of templates that will make postcards. Free postcard templates can also be downloaded from the Internet by searching for “free postcard templates.”

Print the postcard design onto card stock. Follow the printer instructions for printing on both sides of the card stock.

Cut the postcards using a straight edge and a craft razor to give the end product a finished, professional look.

These basics provide a starting point for making low-cost, creative postcards at home. Original, artistic or personal details added to any postcard made at home will make a homemade postcard stand out from the normal bills and junk mail.