Catch up on the latest news from Bob Books and friends

5 Creative Ways to Use Your Photos this Christmas

Photos make great personalised gifts for friends, children, parents, grandparents and just about anyone else. But aside from simply framing your favourite photos to give away as gifts, there are a few other creative ways to turn a photo into an original gift for a loved one.

Whether you enjoy making gifts by hand or prefer to get all your Christmas shopping done online, these ideas can help you spice up your gift-giving this year.

1. Photo calendar

With the New Year swiftly approaching, a photo calendar can be both a useful and sentimental gift for friends or family. You can use photos you already have, or if you really want to get creative you could even do your own photo shoot using props that are unique to each month of the year.

For instance, your December photo shoot might involve a snowman or Christmas tree, while July could feature props like beach balls and sunhats.

2. Photo gift tags

Photo tags are a fun way to personalise gifts that would otherwise be rather generic, such as gift cards, scented candles or kitchenware. The tags can feature anything from recent family photos to old throwbacks that everyone can enjoy. All you’ll need is some twine, card stock, a hole puncher and a selection of suitable photos that you don’t mind cutting into.

3. Christmas cards

Creating your own Christmas cards puts a twist on a time-honoured tradition, and it can also be a fun activity to tackle at home with the kids. With some card stock, stickers and glitter pens, along with a bit of creativity; you’ll soon have your own personalised Christmas cards to send out to friends and family.

Of course, if you’re not a seasoned photographer, getting good photo to use can be a bit tricky, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

Shoot your photo outdoors

Unless you have access to studio lighting, you’ll likely get better photos outdoors with natural lighting. Shooting just before sunset or right after sunrise can give your photos a nice warm glow, but if you’re shooting in the middle of the day, try to avoid direct sunlight, which can be a bit harsh.

Choose the background carefully

Although it can be fun to have a Christmassy background in your photo, it’s best to avoid busy backgrounds that may distract from the subject of the photo. Nature backgrounds usually work quite well, but failing that, a plain brick wall or open space can do the trick.

You don’t have to match

It can be tempting to get the whole family dressed up in red cardigans and Santa hats, but for a more natural-looking photo, you might be better off letting everyone choose their own outfits.

4. Jigsaw puzzle

If you’re looking for a gift the whole family can enjoy together over the holidays, consider making your own jigsaw puzzle with a family photo or even with photos of a pet or other familiar things like your home or garden.

To do this at home, print the photo you want to use and glue it to some card stock or cardboard. Once it’s dry, you can laminate it and cut it into the shapes you want by using a utility knife and ruler. The puzzle can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, depending on the ages of the recipients.

For instance, for younger children, you could cut the photo into six simple squares, whereas for older kids you could create a more complicated puzzle by first cutting the photo into six squares and then cutting each of those squares in half to create 12 triangles.

5. Photo books or early readers

Photo books make great gifts for relatives, but they’re also a lovely way to look back on all the highlights of your year together. If you have kids, another way to get creative with photos is to put together a picture book or alphabet book with some of your child’s favourite things, friends and family members. This can be a fun way to get your kids excited about learning to read, and also makes for a lovely keepsake once they get older. 

The Bob Books My ABC Book app is ideal for creating a personalised alphabet book your family will enjoy.  Available for download on iPhone and iPad in iTunes UK and Ireland.