Create Your Own Holiday Stamp: an iPhone Photography Tutorial

An iPhone Photography Tutorial by David Hayes

Just in time for the holidays, create your own decorative holiday stamp!

I grew up in a family of stamp collectors…my grandfather was a full time stamp collector/part time dealer and my father, influenced by my grandfather, was also a collector. To say that I was expected to collect stamps would be an understatement…and I did so for many, many years before giving it up for various reasons. It’s probably because of this background that I have always had a fascination with “Cinderella” stamps and enjoyed creating them whenever I could.

I thought it would be fun for this month’s tutorial to show you how I used the apps Shock My Pic, PhotoForge2, BeFunkyPro, and Iris to create a fun Holiday stamp!

iphone photography tutorial

I started by capturing this quick set-up of glass ornaments in a bowl. I used the camera replacement app, ProCamera, but really any camera app would do.

iphone photography tutorial

To square it up, I used Photo Shop Express but there are many apps out there that will do the same thing.

iphone photography tutorial

With all the prep work out of the way, time for the fun to begin! I opened Shock My Pic and tapped once on the screen to open…

…this pop up menu. I clicked on “Photo Albums” and selected the cropped image of the glass ornaments.

Once I did this, Shock My Pic automatically starts processing the image based on the filter presets.

Here’s what the image looks like now! I then tapped on the screen again to bring up the save menus.

Click on “Save Image” to save to your camera roll. Time to move to the next app!!

In this screen, I have already opened PhotoForge2 and brought in the image. Time to put one of PhotoForge2’s fun filters to use. Click on the Fx symbol…

Scroll through the filter choices until you come to “Twirl” and click on this one!

Using the slider bar (A), I adjusted the scale of the twirl applied to the ornaments…and settled on a setting of –0.06. I wanted just a bit of twirl so that they still resembled ornaments!

This done, I clicked on the check mark (B) in the top left corner to apply this effect to my image.

This screen then opens…and I clicked on the icon in the top right corner to save the image.

Which I did by clicking on the “Photo Album” icon. Time to move to the BeFunkyPro app.

In this screen shot, I’ve already opened BeFunkyPro and loaded my image. There are so many fantastic effects in this app…I was tempted to use them but decided not to as what I really wanted was a certain frame!

The “Postage” frame (A). After all a stamp needs this type of border!!! This done, I clicked on “Save”. (B)

Which brings up this screen…and clicked on “Camera Roll.”

One last little detail to add! I went to Iris because I like using its text function. (There are many other apps out there that will do the same thing…so use one of them if you prefer.) In this shot, I’m in Iris and getting ready to add a bit of Holiday text.

Okay…I first typed in “Happy Holidays” (A)…picked my text style (B)…the text color (C)…and…the text size (D). Moving the text box around, I placed the text where I wanted it! (E) Now…I had to play around with all of the above for a bit…I’m never happy with my first choices. Finally…done….I clicked on the “Apply” tab in the lower left corner!

Just before I saved this, I changed the image width and height from the shown 960×960 to 2000×2000. (A) While this creates a larger file size, it also gives me a bigger image to post! Then I clicked on “Save” (B) to finish my Holiday stamp!

And here it is…a fun Holiday stamp! I hope you like it!! Just as a side note, I have created a series of five holiday stamps, the first I posted on my web ( ) on Thanksgiving Day. The remaining four will be posted on each Sunday beginning on December 2, 2012. Do check these out and let me know what you think!

Here’s hoping that everyone has a great holiday season!!

David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at

If you like altering photographs and using them in your mixed-media art, you might also enjoy Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck.






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