How to Use Photo Templates on the Zazzle Site

How to Use Photo Templates on the Zazzle Site

Everyone loves personalized gifts and cards. Zazzle photo templates show up on all products from stationery to gifts and home goods. If the designer adds a template, for text and / or photos, it means the customer can easily change what shows in that sample template to wording and / or a photo of their own! It’s pretty cool, and very easy for anyone to do.

Zazzle is a print-on-demand company and they are known for easy customization of products. One of the best things we can do as designers, who are affiliated with Zazzle, is to create templates and therefore make customization super easy.

zazzles photo template

Change a product and make it your own using text and photo templates

We create mock-ups, or samples of products (like the one on the left above), so customers can get an idea of how the finished product may look. This looks better than a blank card / invitation / gift. It gives the customer a good idea of how the product will look in reality – with a photo and wording.

I hope the customer will think, “Let me add my beautiful photo and make that card look even better!” It is exciting to see a card printed with a personal family photo or picture of a new baby. This is why Zazzle is so successful – they do it better than anyone.

Zazzle’s photo templates are fun to use and are a big part of designing for the company. But I sometimes wonder if all customers instinctively know what they are and how to use them. Customers have contacted me needing help, and it’s one reason I decided to write this page.

There is no reason to be intimidated when faced with a template product. Zazzle is full of products ready to customize and it’s fun to create your own item!

Let’s see how it’s done.

New Zazzle Photo Templates Tutorial

I wrote a page about templates a few years ago, but Zazzle has upgraded their design tool, so here is the new photo template tutorial.

Once you understand how to change the photo, the text is even easier.

The templates, or photo holder areas, will be pre-sized and your photo will be added to that spot.  The picture you add may not fit exactly, but it will take up the entire area.  Usually only a slight cropping of the edges will happen and will be unnoticeable. 

Once you find the perfect product, on the product page to the right, is a template area. There may be a lot of templates showing (as in a wedding invitation or program), or only one. Templates will only show up if the designer of the product has created them.

photo templates change

Templates are under the blue “Personalize” button

The text templates will show up first, so scroll down to find the little photo image and the “Change” button. It’s always best to use a photo that has the subject as close to the center as possible. You may also choose to crop your own images before uploading, and that is fine.

zazzle photo templates beach wedding invitation

Replace the sample photo on this beach wedding invitation with your own

My example is a beach wedding invitation with a horizontal (landscape) photo of the couple at the top. That sample photo will need to be replaced with one belonging to the purchaser.

change photo template

The buyer will select a horizontal photo from their personal photo collection and add it to the template. Always select a photo that is oriented the same – horizontal or vertical – as the sample image. Most of my templates are set to “fill” the template area. That means there will be no awkward blank spaces or edges showing where they shouldn’t. Your photo will fill the same area as the sample picture in the template.

Let’s pretend that is my personal photo below (it is not, it’s a public domain image) and I have replaced the first photo with my own. Now my photo shows where the sample one was. Looks good huh?

zazzle photo template tutorial

Now a new photo is in the template area, and it’s time to customize the text.

Once you love the look of your own photo, which will be printed on the end product, fill in each text template line with your preferred text. Choose the paper and edge shape and add to cart! Check the Zazzle website for sales and discounts and receive bulk order discounts as well if ordering 25 or more of these cards.

If you would like to make further changes to the item, the “click to customize further” button can be found at the very bottom of the template area.

customize further photo template

If you choose to customize further, some options may be: 1. Changing the fonts and / or font size and / or color of text. This can be done in the section beneath the product. 2. Remove design elements. An example would be to remove the starfish on this product. To delete an element, click the “X”. 3. Change background color. This can only happen if the background is a solid color and not covered with an image. This is not an option on this sample product unless the background scene is deleted first.

Also, sometimes a photo needs to be moved and / or re-sized to fit the template. The customer can do this if they go into the design tool area. See how to move a photo.

design tool zazzle

Click the “Done” button in the top right-hand corner to get back to the ordering page.

Often the design tool is too much for a customer to navigate, and I would rather make the changes they need myself. Contact me and I will make all the changes you need.

This simple beach wedding photo invitation is part of the “By the Sea” design set at Sandpiper Wedding. Click the link to see it and more matching items to customize.

Other Products That Have Photo Templates

Almost every product Zazzle sells can include a photo template – if the designer of the product decides to do so. And a customer can start from scratch and create their own as well.

Couples love the option to share photos on all types of wedding stationery. From ceremony invitations to thank you cards, adding a picture will make the item that much more personal.  Photos can set the mood and they incorporate the theme of the event. 

Engaged couples often hire a professional photographer to take pre-wedding engagement photos. When the designer creates a photo template on products, that photo can be added to save-the-date announcements, postage stamps, wedding programs, and table number cards – to name a few!

Sometimes I create cards with more than one photo template. Our multi-photo thank you cards have five photo templates, and each one will behave as the example on this page.

Weddings are not the only time photo sharing takes place. Christmas cards are also fun to send with more than one photo. Big families especially love to use our multi-photo Christmas cards and New Years greetings.

happy new year custom photo card

Multi-photo Happy New Year greeting for a big family

Some products will allow the photo to move either up and down, or side to side, like on this photo sticker. It depends on how the designer sets up the template.

If the product does not have the space to create a large, movable template, the customers photo will fill the template and will not be movable. Remember, what you see on the preview page is exactly how the item will print.

Need more help? Contact me at:

photo template wrapping paper

This wrapping paper has 2 photo templates!

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