Last week I introduced the new series, I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas and today for its first official installment, I’d like to feature homemade gifts using photos. I am a professional photographer, but you do not need to even be a photographer at all to use photos in your homemade gifts. The possibilities are endless when it comes to pictures: photo albums, collages, scrapbooks, posters, prints, cards, magnets, frames, the list goes on. How do you creatively choose a homemade photo gift that suits your style? Read on.
Brainstorming photo gift ideas
As I said above, there are literally countless ways you can use photos in homemade gifts, but where do you start? Here are some tips to help you brainstorm:
- Recall events. Remember weddings, graduations, parties, vacations, special trips, weekend getaways, holidays, celebrations, and any other fun events. Nothing helps a person reminisce about a special event like photos.
- Spotlight a person. Highlight a person’s character or review a season or aspect of their life. Find pictures that tell a story about who that person is.
- Get sentimental. Show someone how much you care by using photos to describe your feelings. Demonstrate how much you love them, or how proud you are of them.
Getting started making homemade photo gifts
Once you’ve got an idea, you need to create it! Here are some general guidelines you can follow when it comes time to actually make your photo gift:
- Sort through your own collection of digital images or get photos from family and friends
- Scan prints of old photos onto your computer
- Use a photo editing program to manipulate your photos or add text
- If you have a photo printer, print at home
- If you don’t have a way to print from home, then use an inexpensive online photo service
- Buy any necessary supporting materials, like an album, scrapbook, or frame
- Use special arts and crafts supplies to enhance your work
- Put it all together and be creative!
An example of a homemade photo gift
I make photo gifts for friends and family for all occasions, not just Christmas. There’s just so much potential and photos really do speak a thousand words. Plus, I have a collection of close to 50,000 photos that continues to grow—I will never run out of ideas! To help you think of your own photo ideas I’d like to spotlight a photo collage I made for my parents a few years ago that is a simple concept anyone can adapt.
The concept relies on family resemblance, something pretty much every family can count on. In my family, I tend to look more like my dad, while my brother tends to look more like my mom. Furthermore, as far as personality goes, I seemed to have turned out more like my dad, while my brother seems to have turned out more like my mom. I decided to take advantage of this and search for pictures that would creatively illustrate this phenomenon. After perusing old family photos and scanning what I needed, I used my photo editing program, Paint Shop Pro, and created a collage digitally with text (but you can just as easily print the individual photos and make a scrapbook-type collage with paper & glue). Finally, I printed the collage and framed it. My parents loved it!
Homemade photo gift ideas from around the web
As I said in my introduction to this series, each week I’d like to provide some useful links to other resources on the internet for homemade gift ideas. Here are a few I found that creatively use photos:
Have you ever made homemade gifts using photos? Feel free to share any ideas here.
Coming up next week
This week we talked about homemade photo gifts, and next week we’ll look at some creative homemade gift ideas using other arts and crafts.