Until recently, when I thought of “photo gifts”, the first thing that came to mind was the dreaded, oh-so-predictable photo mug.
If you work in an office setting, I’m sure you’ve seen one (or fifty) of them; a faded wraparound photo featuring (most often) a child or a family. Sometimes, you’ll find the words “World’s Best Dad” emblazoned across the top, and in time, the image will wash out to resemble an abstract watercolour.
It’s time to think outside the photo mug.
Introducing Staples Photo Gifts. Full disclosure: yes, they have photo mugs. But they also have totally unexpected, totally awesome photo gifts that are perfect for family, friends or just because!
Here are my faves:
Canvas (Full Photo Wrap): Create an eye-catching work of art by printing your favourite photo on a canvas print. Your photo will be printed on archival quality stretched canvas and comes ready to hang. This canvas is Full Photo Wrap with your image wrapped around the edges.
iPhone 6 Case: Protect your iPhone 6 in a stylish way with a mobile case decorated with a fun photo. Cases are made out of form-fitting plastic and feature your selected photo on the back, printed from edge to edge.
Mousepad: Keep a treasured moment at your fingertips with a personalized photo mousepad. This mousepad measures 7.5″ x 9″, and is made with a non-slip black foam rubber bottom and a comfortable cotton top. Your photo is printed edge to edge across the top.
But if you REALLY want to think outside the box, may I present… the Photo Puzzle.
Recently, we visited Walt Disney World. And one of the boys’ favourite attractions was the brand new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Well, upon exiting the ride, a very life-like recreation of Snow White’s cottage is situated in the background. Ryder and Reid insisted on posing for a photo, and even rushed to check the camera display after the picture was taken. They loved it.
I began thinking about ways I could immortalize the memory for them, but simply printing a copy of the photo seemed rather uninspiring. And then it dawned on me; I could combine one of their favourite past times with one of the their favourite memories by creating a photo puzzle! Eek – it was so perfect!
With Staples Photo Gifts, you can choose from a 30 or 110-piece puzzle. Since the boys are skilled puzzle enthusiasts, I settled on the 110-piece version. Simply upload your photo, perform any necessary edits or cropping, et voila! Your photo gift can be shipped free to your home (free shipping on orders over $45) or you can opt for in-person pickup at a Staples Copy & Print Centre near you.
I chose to delay gifting the puzzle to my boys until two months after we returned home from our vacation. That’s normally about the time they start to pine away for another exciting getaway or adventure. And to delay the suspense just a little bit more, I didn’t actually show them what the completed puzzle would look like; I simply dumped out the pieces and marveled at their giddy delight.
Of course, Ryder immediately zeroed-in on the fact that the puzzle featured him and his little brother! Just look at that face… he exclaimed, “This is the Disney photo! In front of Snow White’s cottage! And now it’s a puzzle! That’s AWESOME.”
As I type this blog post, they’re still finishing the puzzle. As you can see from the original photo above, the lush greenery in front of the cottage presents just the right challenge for a puzzle enthusiast. But they’re being good and taking turns, and I can’t wait until they complete it.
Delivery times can vary between 2-10 business days. If you’re looking for a totally new and fun way to preserve vacation memories, or if you’re already thinking ahead to the holidays (trust me, it’s never too soon) be sure to check out Staples Photo Gifts.