Makin’ it: Thank you notes out of your own photographs

I’ve been making cards, like the one above, from photos of my kids since they were born.

I learned Photoshop as part of my first real job; I made graphics for movies each week, essentially creating a miniature version of the film’s poster with the title font and an image. Knowing my way around that application has allowed me to create graphics for this blog for many years. But suddenly, being able to add words to images is nothing special. There are a handful of websites and apps that make it easy. Maybe you’re already doing it on your phone.

I wanted to introduce you to PicMonkey because that’s the one Heather and I like right now.

What can you make? How about a thank you note in which you show, rather than tell, the recipient that her gift is appreciated?

Take a photo of a gift in use, and add a message from your child.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. When you arrive at, click Edit a Photo (as shown above).
  2. Upload your photo.
  3. Locate the icon that represents adding text to the image. It is a cartoon-ish letter P.
  4. Type your text and watch it display. You can adjust the color and size as much as you like.
  5. Save the image — and if you plan to print it and pop it in the mail, save in the highest resolution available.

For this one, I also added a frame from the Craft Scissors category. Fancy.

For my husband’s birthday, I printed a photo of all of us after using PicMonkey to add mustaches and sunglasses to our faces. The site offers a lot of options that make me feel like the fastest graphic designer in the West.

Do you like to make stuff? Check out the rest of our Makin’ It series of DIY projects for parents