Living

Sharing photos as gifts

As much fun as it is to display photos on a website or send pictures via e-mail, photo prints remain the most popular way to share images

As much fun as it is to display photos on a website or send pictures via e-mail, photo prints remain the most popular way to share images. And the benefits of home printing are numerous. With a digital darkroom at your command, you can forego the waiting and produce prints immediately. Not to mention that printing your own photos is a real blast! Read on for surefire techniques for getting the best prints from your photo files.

A book of memories

A memory book is a simple gift that can become a treasured keepsake. Whether it’s full of baby photos, snapshots from that special vacation, or your daughter’s wedding pictures, it’s the proverbial “gift that keeps on giving.” Here are a few suggestions for the kinds of albums you could create, and some helpful tips for putting them together.

  • Family history.
    Record family reunion highlights or arrange restored heirloom photos to create a “story of us” memory book. You can record a complete family tree with pictures of your ancestors. Read more about genealogy research and digital restoration techniques for ideas on preserving family heritage. And don’t just stop at photos – try scanning letters, birth announcements, marriage certificates, and other heirlooms to create a collage that adds an extra layer of history.
  • Special events.
    Weddings, new babies, graduations, a new house – any of these occasions is the perfect opportunity for giving a photo book as a gift. Consider using a blank journal with one photo placed on every page. The recipient can use the book to write down their own memories.
  • Photo travelogue.
    A traveler’s picture book is a wonderful way to wish someone bon voyage or to help them record their globetrotting memories. Scans of tickets, maps, menus and other mementos also make a great addition to the story.
  • Digital magic.
    Invent your own reality: Scan photos of old friends, even though they’re scattered around the world, and make a virtual reunion using photo-editing software. You can make copies for everyone to help them feel connected.
  • Other ideas.
    Create an album of close-up nature photos. Or fill the entire book with images of one subject as seen from numerous viewpoints. If there’s a gardening enthusiast in your life, create a book of garden photos, complete with scans of dried flowers and leaves.
Illuminating inspirations

Crafting with light is another fabulous way to turn your digital photos into gifts. Almost any kind of light source or accessory can be dressed up with your images. Here are just a few options.

  • Photo votive covers.
    Print your pictures onto translucent vellum or regular paper to create wrap-around designs for glass candle holders.
  • Lampshades.
    Print your photos on vellum or fabric to create lampshades, or on paper to create festive covers for sets of string lights.
  • Nightlight.
    Print your favorite photo on a card stock that’s stiff enough to hold its shape and maintain a safe distance from a warm bulb.
  • Light switches and outlet covers.
    This is a great gift for a housewarming or baby shower. Make sure to use laminated photos!

There are so many ways to create meaningful gifts using photos – these ideas are only the beginning. Try experimenting on your own. You’ll discover that behind every dusty album of old photos is a world of projects waiting to be introduced to the world!<

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