Category Archives: home decor

vistaprint canvas review

Vistaprint Canvas: Here’s My Real Review + a Sweet Coupon

vistaprint logo blueCoupons for Canvas Prints from Vistaprint.com – Not to be confused with their cheaper cousin, “mounted prints,” premium canvas prints from Vistaprint are a beautiful way to display your favorite photos as wall art. Use a coupon below for up to a 40% discount or free shipping:


vistaprint canvas print samples

First Things First: Don’t Pay Full Price; Always Use a Coupon Towards Their Canvas Prints!

The Vistaprint.com website displays different pricing, depending on where you arrived from. For example, if you just type their URL in and go to the site, you’ll probably pay more than if you did a 20 second search for coupons.

There is always a promo code or coupon of some sort available that works site-wide, towards photo gifts, or specifically for canvas prints. For new customers you should consider the “20% off + Free shipping on $50+ promotion, and all customers should aim for at least a 25% discount off their regular price.

Simply clicking on a promotional link will usually apply the discount, and they usually notify you which promo code has been applied as soon as you arrive on their site from a promotional link or banner.


Premium Canvas Prints From Vistaprint: My Review

Canvas prints are a way to show off or preserve your best photos and memories. After a two-week trip up the California coastline I had no shortage of candidates to print on canvas to remember our trip and some of the breath-taking views that we saw.

*Tip: Don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper, mounted prints, which are categorized under “canvas prints” but essentially printed on thicker paper stock, not canvas! 

So, here’s a review of my own experience and the final product:

Designing Your Canvas Print

First, have a large photo ready to upload, and choose a Size for Your Canvas Print: From 8×12 to 24×36“. You can print your canvas horizontally or vertically, but unlike other products, there are no design templates for canvas with borders or text. (you upload the complete design)

For the most accurate results, design your image in CMYK color mode, instead of RGB. If you have a photo-editing program like Photoshop, it’s easy to save your image in this color mode. A few reviews complain that the image printed darker than expected, which is probably due to color mode.

You can upload your image from a number of sources including Facebook or your image library if you’re a returning customer. Beware: If you do upload a photo from Facebook, make sure it is big enough!  Printing of all kinds should be done at high resolution CMYK; I recommend at least 150 dpi or more. If you have the ability to work with a 300 dpi image, go with that. That means any image less than about 2500 pixels wide won’t work on any size canvas. 

After you upload your image, you’ll see a preview screen like this:

vistaprint canvas design

*Tip: Always upload a high resolution photo! After choosing one or more photos, I can’t stress enough the importance of using a high-resolution photo. These canvas prints are much larger than a common 5×7 prints and holiday cards, and you can’t get away with using small photos. 

If you are uploading a file from a phone or device, make sure that it’s the biggest version available. Any files showing a size less than 1mb are going to be too small.

Beware of the Safety line; sides of the canvas

Unlike designing and printing on a flat surface, (like posters) you have to account for your photo to wrap around the sides of the canvas. That big outer frame in the preview (shown with your photo at about 30% opacity)  is the part of your photo that will wrap around the edges or be trimmed away.

  • Never leave important parts of your photo to the margins (lighter) preview area: Anything displayed there will be wrapped around the sides of the canvas, and likely be wrapped around the sides.
  • Never leave white space in the margins of the preview area. If you do, you’ll likely get white space on the side(s) of your canvas! A number of negative reviews describe these white bands, and they are easily preventable!
  • If you see a small exclamation point / warning icon under your image in preview, click on it for a message. Most likely Vistaprint is telling you your image is not high enough resolution, and may print blurry, especially at the larger canvas sizes.

By clicking on the image, you’ll get a few simple design tools like crop, move, and rotate.

Final preview of your Canvas:

vistaprint premium canvas review

You’ll once again notice the glaring reason that angry people go online writing bad reviews for Vistaprint’s canvas: you can’t see the sides on the final preview. Also, even when you click “view larger” it’s hard to see minute details, or whether your image could be blurry. (resolution too small) 

At this point you should see a discounted price from the coupon

Without the use of a promo code or discount, Vistaprint’s canvases are relatively expensive. Companies like Shutterfly (get promo codes) and Snapfish (get promo codes here) and even art to frames (get coupons) have raised the bar on canvas quality, and the prices have really come down. The retail price of my 16×24″ canvas is $93, which is too expensive.

After applying a 20% off + free shipping promotion, the cost comes down to about $75, which is more competitive.

vistaprint canvas print

Review: My canvas Shipped in 8 days, and looks really good!

As mentioned, the bar has been raised for custom-printed canvas online, so no major brands are printing poor quality. I notice that the photo is about a quarter inch or so off-center from the preview, which doesn’t matter for my landscape photo of the California coast. This might be an issue if you rely on text or people’s heads being near the edges of the canvas. Give yourself a little extra room to the edge so that you you have everything important with at least an inch or two of margin around the sides.

Print quality: The quality of the photo is really sharp! The colors look really vibrant, too. I uploaded my photo at 300 dpi, which means that the largest dimension of my file was a massive 7200 pixels wide! That’s a lot bigger than any Facebook or Instagram images, so be careful importing from there.

The canvas is wrapped around sides neatly and stapled for ‘a no frame’ look, which looks good on the wall. It also saves you from having to buy a nice 16×24″ frame for your print. The images are printed “full bleed,” which means that unless something went wrong during the design phase, you’ll see no white area at the edges.

Vistaprint is good, but not the best for printing on canvas

At the end of the day, I recommend Shutterfly or Easy Canvas Prints for the best combination of price & quality for custom printed canvas, and like Vistaprint, you should always use a coupon! Good

Tip: If you are not happy with your canvas for any reason, write an honest & helpful, negative review on vistaprint.com, and they will likely credit your account with the purchase amount. Hopefully this is not the case, as Vistaprint has adjusted their online design process to fix the white space issue that was creating problems and garnering poor reviews.

[yasr_overall_rating] – Review by Kevin M.

canvas design ideas

Ready to Print Your Photo on Canvas? Design Ideas & Inspiration

Here are some neat canvas design ideas on pinterest including designing a collage of canvas prints, as well as some nice black and white inspiration for canvas from Shutterfly.

DIY: How to Make a Gallery Wall + 9 Design Ideas From Shutterfly

Designing and creating a gallery wall with your own photos: It’s really easy to create a beautiful gallery wall in your house to showcase your favorite photos.

No need to hire an interior designer; just design and print your enlargements or canvas prints from a top site like Shutterfly or Snapfish. In fact, you can do it from your phone or iPad. Just check out the video and photos below for inspiration, and use a coupon for 50% off + free shipping at Shutterfly!new  You can also find an incredible 85% off coupon for Easy Canvas Prints here!

How to Make a Gallery Wall of Your Photos (Shutterfly Video)


Here are some of my favorite photo gallery walls from the video:

Sample Framed Photo Gallery Wall (different size frames)

gallery wall sample idea

mismatched sized photos together on gallery wall

DIY Gallery Wall: Frames of Different Sizes (black and white photos)

gallery wall sample idea

gallery wall – various sized framed pictures

Gallery Wall: 6 Framed Pictures Same Size:

gallery wall sample idea

DIY gallery wall framed photos

DIY Gallery Wall: Shutterfly Canvas Prints

gallery wall sample idea

Shutterfly Unframed (wrapped) canvas gallery wall: DIY

gallery wall sample idea

unframed canvas gallery wall idea

DIY gallery wall idea (framed, different sizes)

gallery wall sample idea

DIY gallery wall framed prints various sizes

Shutterfly prints framed to make a gallery wall at home (various size frames)

gallery wall sample idea

Shutterfly photo prints framed to make a gallery wall sample idea

As you can see, making a gallery out of your photos is a snap!

*Be sure to use one of our coupon codes for Shutterfly, get free delivery from Snapfish, or 50% off 4×6 – 8×10 prints at Walgreens Photo this week!

*Need to know shipping times? Snapfish shipping timesShutterfly shipping times and prices / Vistaprint shipping times

shutterfly pillow coupons

Shutterfly Pillow Coupon + 7 Reasons Pillows Make Great Gifts

shutterfly logo smallPersonalized photo pillows from shutterfly: If you are looking for a special, personalized gift for a friend or family member, you might not think of personalizing a pillow, but they make amazing gifts. Whether you are giving one to your husband for an anniversary, or featuring a favorite Instagram photo for your kids bedroom, these beautiful pillows look great in any room.

Right now there are several promotional codes at Shutterfly.com that can save you up to 40% on a photo pillow, or store-wide discounts including free shipping. Check them out below:

photo pillows

Personalized pillows featuring your favorite photos

personalized photo pillow from shutterfly

beautiful, sharp colors

I was looking on Pottery Barn’s website last night for a gift, admiring their great photo pillows. Their pillows featured great photos of beach scenes, and hip chevron stripe designs. They also have some fun pillows with different dog breeds that you can personalize with text.

It wasn’t until I contemplated buying one of these $40-60 pillows that the idea occured to me to make one myself with my own photo. We just got back from a vacation in California, so why should I settle for a generic beach scene when I can choose from dozens of great pics that I took, including a few beautiful shots that include our kids?

Well, needless to say, I ended up choosing one of my son taking surfing lessons for his room, and a great shot of the Santa Monica pier that will be a great birthday gift for my wife. When I used the available 30% off coupon, these personalized pillows actually cost significantly less than the generic ones I was considering buying!

Photos on the pillow have sharp, vibrant colors

black white photo pillow

click for larger photo

It wasn’t long ago that the only option for printing on a pillow limited you to a blank square area in the middle of a a solid-colored pillow. This wasn’t bad, but it looked like someone had stuck a photo print on a boring store-bought pillow.

This certainly isn’t the case with Shutterfly, and as a man who played football in high school, I never thought I would actually get this excited about home decor! They have dozens of template design options including pattern borders and photo collages. You can even choose a black and white photo. Their pillows also feature a removable machine washable cover, hidden zipper, and choice of black or ivory colored back.

A few photo pillow gift ideas

In all seriousness, I’m going to design a couple more of these in the future for Christmas gifts. They won’t lose relevance after a year like the photo calendars that I’m used to giving (we’ll still do those for the grandparents!) and they are really practical. (Everyone has a spot on a chair or couch for a throw pillow, right?) Anyway, here are just a couple of ideas:

  • Kids’ rooms – Do you have a theme in your kids’ bedrooms? A photo of my son learning how to surf goes perfectly in his room that has a beach theme
  • Wedding / Anniversary – Personalize a pillow with a favorite wedding photo that is too good to stay hidden in an album or photo book. Consider black and white if you use a color border or pattern. (Use a promo code!)
  • Travel – If you have a favorite vacation spot, consider a photo collage featuring you favorite pics. A picture of a sunset, architecture, boat, or marketplace is great too.
  • Pets – These look amazing with one or more pictures of your dog or cat. Even better, give someone a pillow that features their pet; you can even customize the text
  • Instagram pictures – Those cool retro filters can produce awesome square instagram photos
  • Quotes & Lyrics – Feel free to customize a pillow with text, including a favorite quote or lyric from a song
  • Thank you gifts – We just stayed overnight at a friend’s house and took some memorable photos. One of those would be a great way to say, “thanks.”

Don’t forget to use a coupon at Shutterfly.com

Looking for the perfect photo to use? Check out National Geographic’s photo tips for inspiration. When ordering from Shutterfly, there is often a promo code available for free shipping on orders of $30+, so that is worth considering in this case. Also, look for coupons with a percentage discount towards photo gifts or home decor, as these would qualify.