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.
I love the photo puzzle, I think it’s a great new way to gift a photo, a whole lot better than the mug!!
What a great idea to gift a photo and I think this would really sell a lot during the holidays – especially the photo puzzle for kids.
Photo puzzle is an amazing idea for a gift! Will keep this in mind
that’s a pretty neat gift idea
I love it! What a fun new way to share a picture!
What a wonderful idea! I have never thought of making a puzzle out of a photo – but it’s a wonderful and unique idea!
Love the photo puzzle! Photo gifts have definitely come a long ways in the last few years!
Angie In My 30s (@My30sAndItsTime)
very cool idea, my boys would love this!
I absolutely love the photo puzzle idea, and will do that for our grandchildren! Thank you so much for sharing.
A great idea for a friend with small children!
Such a neat idea!
We have created photogifts and find they are well received and unique.
That is such an awesome idea! Fun too!
That’s really neat! Especially if you are into puzzles, nothing like piecing it together and reliving the memories :)
Thanks for the amazing and creative gift idea! :)
I love doing these types of things as well. For my mom’s birthday, I turned her fave pix into mugs!
I love the puzzle photo! My granddaughter would love it.
I absolutely love the idea of a photo puzzle!!! Memories and fun all at the same time!
This is a great gift idea!
What a neat idea! Ty for sharing, you have such handsome little men! :o)
This is such a cool and interesting idea! How perfect.
I love photo puzzles,we did a family photo for Grammy one year and she loved it
Love the puzzle idea, especially for children. While keeping memories they can work on their problem solving skills.
These would be fantastic for Christmas presents this year!
Love the puzzle idea!
The photo puzzle is totally unexpected and awesome!
Mugs too, I love pictures on mugs.
The photo puzzle is really cool. Might get one made for my granddaughter; she loves puzzles. And I’m sure she would love one of herself. Also wasn’t aware of the new ride at Disney. Snow White’s cottage looks awesome!
I’d like to do a puzzle for my nieces, what fun would it be when they realized it was a puzzle of them! What a great idea!
I had a puzzle done up for a friend featuring one of her paintings
What a great idea for special memories
Photo puzzles are really really cool! I love that idea :)
I didn’t know Staples did photo gifts. I love the idea of a photo puzzle, but I’d like a really big one (a couple thousand pieces at least). I like the way you introduced the puzzle to your children without showing them the picture first – it must have been really exciting for them!
I need to do up a few on canvas
I love the idea about the puzzle… especially the part about not telling them what it is! I am SO doing this for my grandsons for Christmas! Thank you!
I love doing puzzles especially ones that afterwards we can frame!!
I didnt realized Staples had such a variety of products!
Debbie White Beattie
I find that a personal made gift is appreciated much more especially if they’re fun
The puzzle is a neat idea. I think my grandma would love one of her great grandkids!
A great idea to gift a photo ,i especially love the photo puzzle for kids.
I love the puzzle idea. brilliant
I wish I had done this when my kids were younger. It is a perfect gift for Grandparents!