Baby announcements: Do it yourself

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Baby announcements are a great way to let friends and family share in your special day. After all, this new little person will change your life forever! That's why you may want to create something really unique for your baby announcement- a do-it-yourself, if you will. Something that really shares how you feel about this emotional experience and that you can proudly call your own.

With the digital age upon us, just about anyone can create a beautiful and simple announcement even BEFORE your baby arrives (believe me, you'll be glad you did!). My recipe for success is to create an announcement digitally and fill in the photo and details after the baby arrives.

First, some things you need to know about creating your own announcements. It is wise to choose your envelope size FIRST. Generally baby announcements come in A-7 (5 1/4" x 7 1/4"), A-8 (5 1/2" x 8 1/8"), or square (may need special order from a place like Envelope Mall ( The two sizes shown in my examples are for an A-7 (fits this 5" x 7" card) and a 6" square envelope (fits a 6" x 6" card). I love creating 5"x7" and 5"x 8" cards because I can fit two cards to a regular piece of paper (8.5"x 11"), thereby getting the most bang for my buck (I only run 25 color copies and get 50 cards).

Once you have chosen the envelope (and therefore your card size), you will need to decide what sort of look you are going for. Do you like aged and sweet, bright and clean, or whimsical and fun? If you are a beginner with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, follow my instructions below to create the 5"x7" announcement shown here to help you get started. For more advanced users or to experiment, try creating your own announcement like the other shown (6"x 6" Baby Announcement).

To make it your own, simply change the colors, fonts, and papers you use. Of course, your photo will matter. My advice is to always keep your color scheme simple-in your photos and in your papers. Choose fonts that are fairly easy to read (especially with the important details about your baby's birth).

You can include any number of things in your baby announcements. The common things to include are

  1. First name, middle name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Exact time of birth (as stated on the birth certificate)
  4. Weight
  5. Length
  6. Parent's names (and possibly sibling's names)

Of course, you may want to include a sentimental quote or place (especially if you are far away from family) depending on how you want the announcement to come off. The main thing is to make sure it reflects who you are, and what you want to say visually.

Here are a couple of other tips I have about the printing process.

  1. For a small number of birth announcements (5 to 100), get it printed at a commercial printer like Copy Max (Office Max) or Kinko's. They can even cut them for you for $1 a cut (the entire stack).
  2. Ask for the heaviest paper possible. If they have 80 lb. cover, use that. Otherwise, ask the person to feel the heaviest white paper they have, and print on that.
  3. Envelopes can be bought from a number of general paper suppliers such as Anchor Papers or Xpedx. You may have to buy in bulk (250 envelopes), but the cost is substantially cheaper. And if you get a general size, like 5"x 7", you will be able to use them up for anything else you create.

Baby Announcement Sample (5"x 7")
These instructions are given using Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop Elements, and easier version uses many similar tools and techniques. In most cases, you should be able follow these instructions to create these cards using Elements. These instructions assume that you have had some introduction to the programs and understand the layering system to some extent. If you haven't had much experience in these programs, it is recommended that you go through some introductory tutorials provided by your software (

  1. Open a new document. File>New
  2. Name your document (e.g. Baby Announcement), and change the pixels to inches next to "width" and "height." Change the width to "5" and the height to "7." Change the resolution to 300. Push "OK"
  3. Your new document has opened. You will need to copy and paste a paper in our background (scan one from the scrapbook store at 300 dpi or buy one from a digital scrapbooking store-usually about $3.00 for a pack of 6 papers). To copy, open the document with the paper you intend to use File>Open, select the Rectangular Marque Tool and click and drag your mouse over a large section of the paper. Go to Edit>Copy. This will have copied the section of paper you just selected. Select your 5"x7" new document. Go to Edit>Paste. Your paper will appear. (LAYER 1 in the diagram) Check your layers box and make sure this is on the bottom most layer. If there is an empty layer below it, you can ignore it or delete it.
  4. Create a new layer. Layer>New>Layer
  5. Click on the Rectangle Tool. Make sure your top color box is set to white. Click and drag a box that is a little bigger than your photo. A white box will appear. Not in the desired place? Click on the Move Tool and use your mouse to move the box to the desired location. (LAYER 2 in the diagram)
  6. Open your photo in Photoshop File>Open. Use the Rectangular Marque Tool copy and paste the photo into your baby announcement document. Select the Rectangular Marque Tool, click and drag over the area you want copied. Edit>Copy. Go to your baby announcement and Edit>Paste.
  7. Move your photo to the desired location by selecting the Move Tool. Make sure your photo is at the top layer (LAYER 3 in the diagram) so that it sits on top of the white rectangular box (meant to frame the photo).
  8. Layer 4 (shown in the diagram) is a digital scrapbooking journaling element. You could copy and paste this element by opening the file in Photoshop (File>Open) and then following the instructions above for copying and pasting OR you could make a solid circle or box for a simpler look (Elipse Tool). Once again, use the move tool to place this element where you want it.
  9. Create a title by choosing a font Window>Character. Choose the font and click on the Horizontal Type Tool (or just Type Tool). Click where you would like to type. Write out the title (in this case, the name of your baby). Click on the Move Tool to get it where you want it.
  10. Click on the Type Tool again and click where you would like all of your baby information to go. Type in all your information. Be sure to use the Move Tool to get it where you want it. Be sure that both Type layers are on top of all the other layers.

That's it! Most of these commands can be repeated and can create any number of unique cards (By mostly copying, pasting, and moving it around). Take a look at the 6"x6" announcement sample to try this look-using a photo as the background then adding some jazz by adding paper and text layers on top.

Carina Gardner is the owner and designer of Digi Nirvana (, a digital scrapbooking shop, forum, and gallery. She is also currently the Communications and Event Director for the Utah Mechanical Contractors Association. She has a Doctorate in Design Communications and taught graphic design at the University of Minnesota for 5 years before moving to Utah. She loves all things "design-y." Check out more about her at her blog at

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