Keen photographers already have everything they need for making unique photo gifts for Christmas, Birthdays and other occasions! Tracy Calder shares some gift options using your photos that make a great alternative to socks and soap…
What gifts can be made from photos?
When it comes to making gifts from photos, there are a wide range of options out there. For example, photo books, cards and cushions. Photo gifts are a great and personal present for your loved one, at Christmas, Birthdays and other special occasions like anniversaries, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Below are some top gift ideas you can make using your photos.
Top ideas for Christmas photo gifts:
Newspaper Club, www.newspaperclub.com, Single Digital Mini from £42
You might think that your photographer friend has everything, but if they have never created a zine, catalogue or newspaper out of their work then you are mistaken. Newspapers are a great way to promote (or simply celebrate) images. With the Newspaper Club you can make tabloid, broadsheet or mini versions. The more papers you print, the cheaper individual copies become, but you can also order one copy if you prefer. Gift vouchers are available.
CEWE, www.cewe.co.uk, Pocket and Mini Photo Books start at £5.99
Photobooks always make brilliant gifts – they allow you to relive memories while having a go at being an editor and book designer. You might decide to make a recipe book, a travel book, an image portfolio or a yearbook containing highlights from the last 12 months. Photo finishing firm CEWE offers all this plus calendars, mugs, puzzles, greetings cards, prints, cushions and more.
Square Format Prints
inkifi, www.inkifi.com, 12 Mini Square Prints cost £7
Ever since I started posting pictures on Instagram, I’ve become a little obsessed with the square format. Recently, printing companies have cottoned on to the fact that phones are not always the best place to view images and have consequently been upping their printing game. One of my favourites is inkifi where you can order square prints, and frames that will happily accommodate them. You can also order photostrips, magnets, books and calendars, among other things.
ThisPicture, www.thispicture.co.uk, 10x8in frame from £26.99
Too many images are stuck on devices when they should be out on display. With more than 50 years of experience printing and framing, ThisPicture knows how to make the most of your art. You can choose from single or multi-image frames and use the upload system to check that your selected style works with your wall colour. If your loved one has a pile of prints that they’ve been meaning to display, why not use the ‘Frame Only’ service and get them ready to hang?
Etsy (SilkPurseSowsEar), www.etsy.com, Photo Locket Necklace, £35
SilkPurseSowsEar has developed an ingenious way of transferring photographs onto brass to create unique, vintage-looking pieces of jewellery. I’m a big fan of wearable keepsakes, so the Photo Locket Necklace instantly caught my eye. The heart-shaped locket opens up to reveal four different photographs, and the back can be engraved with a name or initials of your choice. You can select from a variety of chain lengths.
Photowall, www.photowall.co.uk, custom wallpaper from £29 per sqm
Forget 1970s flock wallpaper, upload an image to Photowall and you can create wall art that truly reflects your personality. Your photographs can be turned into canvas prints, posters or bespoke wallpaper that is sure to enliven even the dullest corner of your home. If you need advice about file quality, the Photowall team is on hand to answer your questions before you order. (You can also buy off-the-peg murals – I particularly like the Landscapes & Scenics range.)
Film Reel Keyring
BandEdesignsUK, www.etsy.com, Film Reel Keyring £14.99
This Film Reel Keyring would make a great stocking filler. Each canister has been upcycled by Samantha Cropper – when you pull on the roll it reveals five or ten pictures inside. You can add your own message to the ‘pull me’ tab or swap one of the pictures out for text mid-roll. You can choose from white, green or yellow canisters, and order without a keychain if you so desire. Such a fab idea (and a great one for the environmentally conscious!)
Funkypigeon, www.funkypigeon.com, Baubles from £9.99
I associate Funky Pigeon with birthday card panic purchases, so it came as some surprise to learn that it also offers candles, balloons, calendars and chocolate bars that can be customised with photographs. I was especially taken with the range of photo baubles and tree decorations – the Mr & Mrs 1st Christmas Photo Bauble was super-cute. Why not make a tradition and get a new bauble every year!
Personalised Drawstring Bag
Photobox, www.photobox.co.uk, Small Personalised Drawstring Bag £27.99
I’m a big fan of drawstring bags: you can store everything from laundry to ping-pong balls in them and if you order one with a picture on the front there can be no denying who the random haul belongs to. Bags are available in various sizes from Photobox and they can be printed with both images and text. You can choose from numerous designs, and the medium-sized version also features a hidden zipped pocket.
Parabo Press, www.parabo.press, Engineer Prints £23
Parabo Press has a range of products that will suit lovers of the lo-fi look. Engineer Prints, for example, measure 3x4ft and are printed on architectural paper. The prints are super-lightweight
and can be hung using wooden rails or skeleton clips on a single nail or hook. You can include up to 130 images on an Engineer Print, with a variety of options for arranging them.
Lay Flat Photo Book
Photobox, www.photobox.co.uk, A4 Lay Flat Photo Book – Premium Hardcover from £29.99
As the name suggests, Lay Flat Photo Books open flat, making them ideal for showing off panoramics and landscapes. The books are available in two sizes (A4 and A3) and you can personalise the cover and spine. The paper stock is extra thick 380gsm and the starting price includes 26 pages (extra pages can be purchased). You can choose from a variety of background themes to create a design that truly matches your artistic style.
Hello Ruth, www.helloruth.co.uk, Origami Heart Keepsake £14
Light and thin enough to carry inside a wallet, this origami keepsake displays up to four of your favourite photos. It’s handmade from 120gsm paper, measures 7.5×7.5cm, and arrives wrapped in silver thread and encased in a vellum envelope. The item can be personalised with a message on the back; lots of other hand-made gifts are also available.
The Drifting Bear Co, www.thedriftingbear.com, Bespoke Favourite Photo Luxury Blanket from £76
Layering up has really caught on in the current energy crisis. Show someone you love them with the gift of warmth, and a picture that will trigger great memories, at the same time. This Bespoke Favourite Photo Luxury Blanket from The Drifting Bear Co is available in three sizes with your image printed directly onto the fleece (which is backed with super-soft polyester).
Minimalist Photo Book
Papier, www.papier.com, The Minimalist from £38
Printed on tactile Mohawk Superfine paper, The Minimalist photo book is all about keeping things uncluttered and simple, giving your images space and room to breathe. The Minimalist range from Papier is available in square and landscape formats and comes in two sizes.
Loxley Colour, www.loxleycolour.com, Luggage Tag from £6
Loxley Colour provides everything from professional photographic printing services to portfolio boxes, transparent print sleeves and personalised USB sticks, but what better way to tell someone you’ve bought them a trip away than to hang a photo luggage tag on the Christmas tree. (Of course, if you haven’t bought a trip away, I wouldn’t risk it.) The tags measure 1.2x7cm and they have an attractive gloss finish.
Photo Prints, Blocks and Calendars
WhiteWall, www.whitewall.com, calendars from £14.95
WhiteWall marries state-of-the-art technology with traditional printing methods to create gallery-worthy prints and products. When it comes to creating personalised calendars, the options are manifold. You can choose from 12 different sizes, customise a range of design templates and select from four different papers. Calendars are available in portrait, square or landscape formats. More photo gifts including photo blocks, prints and books are available.
The Drifting Bear Co, www.thedriftingbear.com, Personalised ‘Viewmaster’ Style Photo Print from £45
Remember View-Master toys from the 1970s/’80s? This Personalised ‘Viewmaster’ Print makes a great gift for anyone over 40, as well as retro-loving millennials. You can personalise the print with up to eight of your photographs while also adding text to both the viewer and the reel. The print is available in two different sizes, with various framing options.
Bags of Love, www.bagsoflove.co.uk, Photo Quilt from £104
If you’ve ever attempted traditional patchwork quilting (as I have), you will know it’s extremely therapeutic, but incredibly time-consuming! Thankfully, Bags of Love has taken the legwork out of the task with its range of photo quilts. Using simple software, you can design a quilt with a photo collage that has the appearance of pictures sewn together. (Alternatively, you can keep things classic with mismatched squares.) Previous customers have ordered these quilts as memory prompts for family members with dementia, which sounds like a wonderful idea.
Saal Digital, www.saal-digital.co.uk, Photo Doormat £24.95 (60x40cm mat)
Saal Digital might offer photo books, wall décor, prints, cards and calendars, but it was the possibility of a Photo Doormat that caught my eye. The mat is available in two sizes: 60x40cm and 75x50cm and can be printed with a landscape image and text. It’s made of waterproof material and features a 2cm black frame around the designable area.
Image Restore, www.image-restore.co.uk, photo restoration from £9
Neil Rhodes, the founder of Image Restore, regularly deals with photographs suffering from mould, tears and fading – he’s even been known to replace missing body parts! If someone you know has a treasured picture that has degraded over time, why not get it restored for them as a gift. Neil can repair, restore and retouch photographs, but he’s also able to digitally recolour old pictures with historical accuracy.
MY PICTURE, www.my-picture.co.uk, Premium Photo Cushion from £39.90
Customised photo products are the lifeblood of MY PICTURE. From woodblocks to doormats, sports towels, mugs and cushions, it can apply your favourite photograph to pretty much anything. The Personalised Photo Cushion, for instance, is handmade and available in various sizes. Your picture can also be printed without a border on the Premium version.
Photo Greeting Cards
Hello Ruth, www.helloruth.co.uk, Personalised Origami Christmas Cracker Photo Greeting Card £14
Unlike most Christmas cards, this lovely keepsake from Hello Ruth is likely to stay above the fireplace for many years to come. Your image can be printed in black & white and you can customise the card with a message. The ‘cracker’ itself is made of 120gsm paper with a candy cane pattern, while the image inside is printed on quality photo paper.
OakdeneDesigns, www.etsy.com, Personalised Colourful Pop Out Photo Box from £19
A great way to celebrate mini photo collections, the Personalised Pop Out Photo Box opens up in an accordion fashion and can feature up to 12 images, all printed on satin photo paper. The box can be personalised and is available in a choice of six colours. It measures just 9.5×9.5cm.
Need more gift ideas? See more of our guides below: