I just started using Instagram (I know I am way behind the curve). What I like about Instagram is that it makes so-so pictures look good. One of the pictures I recently transformed was taken of the boys at a charity walk. I thought it would make the perfect picture to put on thank you cards to our donors, plus I thought it would be a nice picture to have printed. The problem was I had no idea where to get a decent Instagram photo picture printed. My sister got a bunch of her Instagram pix printed at PostalPix and we were both very disappointed with the quality. I did some online research to see who printed the best Instagram pictures, but I couldn't find any articles which focused solely on prints or print quality--all the articles I found focused on the spectrum of different photo products available for Instagrams. So I turned to mpix, a site a photog friend introduced me to years ago. Mpix is known for their professional quality pictures and they haven't disappointed me in the past. Unfortunately I couldn't get my Instagram pix printed in a square format, so I went with their die-cut wallet prints (roughly 3.25" x 2.275"). Their wallet prints come with nicely rounded corners and you can add a lustre coating for a small additional fee (which I always add). I ordered both color and black & white instagram pix and was very happy with the quality of both pictures (taken with my iphone and altered via Instagram). ***Update*** Mpix now offers 5x5 prints, so you can get your Instragram pictures printed out in the square format. I have ordered some and the quality is great!
On to the DIY portion...good photo cards start with good pictures. If you have that, then the rest is easy. With the wallet-sized pictures from mpix you don't have to worry about trimming or cutting your pictures, they have taken care of that for you. So really all you need is good card stock and some double sided tape. I like to use Paper Source's 4-bar flat cards, which come in a variety of colors. The cards I purchased have scalloped edges which cost $6.25 for 20 cards ($0.31 per card), but if you don't get scalloped edges it is $3.00 for 20 cards ($.15 per card). I also purchase my envelopes from Paper source which cost $3.00 for 10 ($0.30 per envelope). With the cost of the mpix prints ($.48 per print, including shipping) the total cost per thank you card card comes to $.90 - $1.09. To get a nicely printed card from an online site would cost about 2.5 times more per card (if you're only getting 20 cards).
For my thank you cards I added a message to the back of the cards and mailed them in pink envelopes.
Here is the original Instagram picture...
If you know if any good places to get Instagram pictures printed in the square format, please share!