By Kelly from ToBecomeMum
Photos, photos, everywhere – and what better way to use them than to make the perfect (Christmas) gift?
I’ve written many times before about how I’m as snap-happy as the next blogger / proud mama and how I’m always looking to make the most of my photos.
And part of this is making special gifts for friends and family.
I’ve made personalised calendars for friends and family for a few years now (I missed out last year to the disappointment of some!) and I’ve been looking for other fun ways to bring photos, and the memories they represent, to life.
Now, everyone has coasters at home and we have an eclectic mix ourselves – ones given as souvenirs from friends’ holidays and others with funny slogans on like ‘I child-proofed my house… but they keep getting back in!’ – so what better gift idea than making a set specific for someone in your life?
Snapfish asked me for my ideas and I came up with a few different options…
Armed with the trusty photo editing site picmonkey.com (where I go for all my blog and photo amends), I thought I would have a play and find a new way to use photos and other ideas to create some creative coasters.
So, what could you put on your photo coasters? *spoiler alert for some of my friends and family!*
* Favourite cocktail recipes – As well as a nice cuppa, people use coasters when enjoying a tipple or two so I thought that using cocktail recipes as a coaster design would be a fun idea.
These are perfect for my in-laws. I searched online for bright images of their favourite cocktails, then uploaded these to PicMonkey so I could overlay the recipe text in my chosen font. Simple!
* Scrabble or wordsearch mats – Again, using PicMonkey, I created a grid format and chose a beige colour for the background, to look like the colour of Scrabble tiles. I then filled in some of the squares with the letters of people’s names – Simon and Nicky for instance, my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law who have just got married – as a really simple but unique coaster concept.
* Photos to remember – Sometimes, there’s a special day, holiday or series of photos that you want to celebrate and display. Be it a wedding, baby photos or your favourite snaps of places you’ve visited, coasters are a great way to collect these together.
* Quotes – I am a very visual person but I also love a good quote, so around my house I have all kinds of signs and postcards with messages on that I want to enjoy or remind myself of. I was thinking about how I could create a coaster gift using quotes and thought about my best friends, who are BIG Disney fans.
I Googled for Disney quotes and selected a few that I thought held special meaning – there’s quite a lot when you start looking into it! – before then searching for photos from the films or characters they came from. I chose Snow White as one, as she’s the princess my friend Nat likes, and a few others, then using PicMonkey, cropped them to a square format, made the images slightly more opaque by playing with the exposure settings before overlaying the text in a Disney-style font.
I am so pleased with how these turned out!
These were just some of my ideas and you really could have a lot of fun, either using images you have already taken or snapping some shots especially for this purpose. For instance, I saw at Grand Designs Live a company who take photos of objects they see out and about that look like letters of the alphabet, which they then use to spell out words such as ‘Love’ or ‘Home’ – you get the idea. I think this is such a beautiful idea and I’d like to recreate something like this myself one day, and coasters could be used to spell this word out.
The Snapfish system is really easy to use – you simply upload your images to your chosen online album, then select the ones you want to turn into coasters before approving the proofs and sending to print, with the service costing just £9.99 for a set of six and taking around a week to complete.
I’m really impressed with the quality of the coasters and the print detail, particularly for such a great price. I’d certainly recommend these as a gift idea – they’d make the perfect stocking filler for sure!
What would you create?