How do I make my own photo cards from scratch?

Updated: Mar 25, 2014 03:27PM PDT

You can turn your favorite SmugMug photos into 4x8 flat cards on photographic paper and 5x7 folded cards on card stock. Just use SmugMug's handy create a card feature, which is pre-loaded with tons of great designs.

Or, you can make a card-ready image yourself in a program like Photoshop, add that image to your SmugMug site, and order cards from it. A regular photo is NOT card-ready. It must meet our specifications to print correctly.

Here's how to make your own cards:

1. Create your image a program like Photoshop. Cards must have these EXACT dimensions, or it won't work:

4x8 horizontal: 1200 pixels high, 2400 pixels wide
4x8 vertical: 2400 pixels high, 1200 pixels wide
5x7 horizontal: 4000 pixels wide, 2800 pixels high
5x7 vertical: 2800 pixels wide, 4000 pixels high

2. Keep in mind that you don't want to put any critical content (like text) close to an "edge"
The lab will trim a bit of the image away when the card is processed, so design your card to include a cushion between the content and the edge.  Also, on 5x7 folded cards, the lower left corner on the backside of the card will have a barcode printed so that is not a good spot for a critical design element.  If you're making a 4x8 photo card, skip to step 4.

3. For a 5x7 folded card, follow this template.
The lab will slice your image in half, and print both sides of a long strip of cardstock. Finally, the cardstock is folded in half to make the finished card. Here's how:

After determining your "cut" line and "fold" lines, you can proceed to design your card and add photos, text and other content. Design elements can traverse a fold, but you'll want to avoid putting someone's face on the fold, for instance. Each 5x7 side of the card will be 2000x2800 on the finished product.

4. Save your card as a JPG and add it to your SmugMug site like you would any other image.

5. Add it to your cart. Look for the purple Cards tab in the shopping cart to pick what kind of card and how many.

PROS: You can price cards that you have created (either from our card creator, or by hand from the process on this page) and your customers can buy them in the shopping cart just like prints and merchandise!

Here are some examples of card-ready images:


Vertical 4x8 flat card


Horizontal 4x8 flat card


Horizontal 5x7 folded card


Vertical 5x7 folded card











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