It’s lovely and fun the way people are always thrilled when you make something for them that is completely personal. Here is a very personal favor that you can create quickly and easily: a set of gift tags with the person’s (or family’s) name and photo on it. You can make them into adorable favors for your holiday guests, by putting each set in a little organza bag, and lay them all in a basket under the tree or by the door. They are a delightful surprise for guests as they leave, and for hosts as you arrive. The people you give them to can, in turn, use their photo gift tags to adorn the gifts they give. This is a very simple gift to create, and yet it is as nice, and as personal, as you can get.
Choose a good quality photo of the family or the home. Choose a photo that is flattering – there are plenty of unflattering photos out there, so be sure the image you choose makes your people look good! Children and pets are very photogenic; if you do not have an appropriate photo of the giftee(s), using a photo of their children or pets is an excellent and very popular solution.
Be sure the photo is a high enough resolution to reproduce sharply. It must be at least 300 pixels per inch if used at actual size; if the photo will be enlarged the resolution must be higher. For example, if you want to enlarge the photo to 200%, the resolution must be 600 pixels per inch so that when it is enlarged to 200%, the resolution becomes 300 pixels per inch. And, just to be sure you know, the original file must be high resolution. It won’t work to take a low resolution image and increase the resolution; doing so does not increase the amount of data that has been recorded. Make sure the photo is sharp and in focus, and a good exposure. Look for dark shadows; for example, a person wearing a baseball cap will almost always have a dark shadow over their face. Although our photo editors can do miracles sometimes, it is very difficult to transform a poor, low-resolution, out-ot-focus image into a studio quality photo, so make every effort to provide a good quality photo.
Scan the photo and put it on your computer. Then place an order for gift tags, following the prompts to upload your photo. You can size the image and slide it around if needed. In one hour, you can take care of gifts for a dozen people. Order organza bags as well; then when you receive the tags, put them and their strings in the bags, and hang the bags on the tree or lay in a basket at the door. It makes a lovely display, and people are so delighted when they see their photo peeking out at them on their tags!
Guidelines for Simple Gifts:
• Plan ahead. Think about and decide what you want to do well in advance so you can do the shopping portion of the giftmaking along with other errands. Have all materials and ingredients on hand when it is time to make the gift.
• Packaging. Pretty packaging makes any gift special. Arm yourself with a supply of small boxes or cellophane bags and ribbon. We also recommend having your own personalized tags or labels on hand. Use generic wording so they can be used on a multitude of items. For example, mom’s tags and labels say “with love from Grammie.” With no reference to what the item is, they can be used on anything!
• It is not the item itself that is special; it is the idea that you think enough about a person to prepare something personally for them. Sometimes your gift doesn’t even have to be handmade; but hand-assembled. Follow this monthly series and you will see examples of both.