Sunday, October 7, 2012

Christmas in October - Capture a Photo of Santa in front of your Tree for FREE

WARNING: If you have little ones looking over your shoulder or in the near vicinity, come back and read this post later. Be sure to come back because this is AMAZING!!! But be warned there is a potential spoiler that I do not want to be responsible for sharing. 

I am going to leave some space here just in case :)

Just in case my little ones somehow manage to read this: Guys... I will admit it is next to impossible to capture a real photo of Santa in front of our tree because, as we talked about, Santa moves so fast you can't see him. How else does he get all over the world in one evening? So this is just something to make little ones out there smile.

Last year I was lured to a blog by the idea of creating a photo of Santa standing in front of our Christmas tree. I thought it would be amazing to set up a camera with the kids before they went to bed on Christmas Eve to see if we can catch a glimpse of Santa. Well, when I got to the site, all they were doing was providing a link to a site that sells those photos (a digital download) for $10.

I knew it was something I could make myself...but I did not have the time last year before Christmas. So, since I have a couple of months until I need this, I thought I would take a crack at getting Santa in front of out tree. Well 5 minutes later, with very little effort, this is what I produced. Might not hold up the scrutiny of my curios kids as a professionally printed 8x10, but when printed as a 4x6 or viewed on a camera and it is amazing!
This is not my tree. I used a free wallpaper download to make this... I was too lazy to try to find the photos on our other computer.

If my kids do not see this, I plan to take the 'final photo' of our tree on Christmas Eve so that everything will be exactly the same (i.e. mess on the floor :) ) and insert Santa. I will then save the image back onto our digital camera so when the kids come down Christmas morning and look at the images on the camera they will find the one of Santa! The would be so excited...I am so excited right now. How amazing will this be? That is why I am sharing this in October because I just had to get the idea out there for all of you as soon as possible.

Here is exactly how to do this! I do recommend practicing this in advance of when you need it so you won't be disappointed!

Go on the internet and find a free PNG image of Santa.  I found a site that offers one image that works perfectly, so here is the link but I can't guarantee it is a virus free site. Nothing came up with my million virus blockers but just be cautious. This is the image I found by searching for 'santa photo png' , you will find other images too that might fit better. When you find the image you like, right click and select 'save image as'.
The PNG image has a transparent background so you can overlay it on top of your tree image. It is hard to tell which images are transparent when looking at them on the internet (they usually have all white around them), but once you save them, you can see that the background is transparent. See how the Santa png 2 file has no white around it below when I save it on my Desktop? That means it is transparent.
Using Publisher, I created a new image 8x10 image but size doesn't really matter. That is what she said... sorry couldn't help myself I love The Office.

Select 'insert' 'Picture'. Find the background image you want i.e. the photo of your Christmas tree.
Enlarge the photo to be the size of the background so you don't see any white.
 Then insert picture again and insert your Santa png. If Santa appears behind your background image, click on the background and select 'Send Backwards'.
 This is how mine looked. Santa looked like he was floating in the air, so I moved him down, cropped off the bottom of his feet and enlarged him a bit to fit the proportions of the background.
 The save the image as a JPEG by selecting 'Save As' andthen select 'JPEG' fro the pull down list.

 Be sure to change the resolution to 'High Quality Printing'
Here is the finished image. I prefer the first image where the background is brighter but this is the one I used to make the tutorial and I didn't want to do it all over again.
You can either print this image at any photo printing location (i.e. Walmart, Costce, etc.) or save it back to your digital camera memory and have the kids find it there.

What do you think? Will you be able to use this?

Is anyone else as excited by this as I am?

Please let me know what you think! I would really love to hear what you think about this.
Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas


  1. This is the best idea EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so doing this!!!! Thanks so much!

  2. I love this. What a fab idea.I've Pinned it for Christmas Eve

  3. I've seen the pictures you mentioned, but couldn't get a picture of the Grandkid's tree in time to have a picture made.I can do this myself! Thanks so much for sharing this information!!!

  4. Haha, that is such a fun way of sneaking Santa in. Can I use a picture of Edward Norton instead?

  5. This is also a link where you fill out information about your kids and Santa will send them a personalized video stating their name and everything. I don't know if you have seen it before but this year was my 1st time...enjoy.

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