This post is part of a collaboration with Walgreens & Mom Spark Media. As always, thoughts are my own.
I didn’t mind dealing with the crowds at our local mall before I had children, but trying to find parking and navigate a stroller through crowds of shoppers seems like a nightmare with three little ones in tow. I let out a huge sigh of relief when I learned about my local Walgreens wide variety of customizable gifts. Not only are there two Walgreens locations open 24 hours a day within ten minutes of my house, but they have many options available for same-day pickup, including an expansive selection of holiday cards (even double-sided!), Canvas Prints, and customizable photo books.
Don’t want to leave home? Walgreens also features an enormous selection of photo gifts ranging from blankets to wall clocks to designer photo ornaments for the tree, all of which can be shipped directly to you. Holiday shopping just got a whole lot easier.
The Perfect Gift for Grandparents
Every year my husband and I stress over what to give each of our parents. They don’t really need anything specific, and we try to find a heartfelt gift that doesn’t break the bank. My toddler is quite a prolific little artist, and I can’t think of a better gift for his adoring grandparents than a printed “portfolio” of his artwork.
We are always origami folding sheets of artwork into wads of paper small enough to fit in an envelope to send to Grandma. And I’m not about to attempt sending any sort of 3D artwork like playdough or clay sculptures through the mail. But with a photo book portfolio, we can include photos of our little guy’s works of art and snapshots we took while he was creating his masterpieces.
And don’t forget the bragging rights: Grandma can easily share her grandson’s creations with friends and family without carrying folded sheets of artwork around with her. It’s a win-win all around!
Creating a DIY photo book (or in our case, art portfolio) with Walgreens is easy. Like, seriously easy. You can upload photos directly from your computer or by linking your Facebook account. You can use the Autofill feature or manually add photos to each page, and you can easily customize each page with your desired layout. That’s all pretty standard in the photo book world, but a unique feature I haven’t seen elsewhere is that you can adjust the size and layout of photos within the various photo layouts.
The extent to which you can customize a photo book is really incredible. Obviously adding your own photos makes a photo book customized, but there is a huge selection of background themes available. You could choose the “Disney Cars” theme to match your son’s birthday party theme, “Alphabet Animals” to make a personalized A-Z book for your child, or one of my personal favorites, “Wild Zoo Baby”. The themes range from scrapbook-style to modern and hip, and there’s something for everyone.
Tips for Creating an Art Portfolio
- Take a quick photo of your child’s artwork as she creates it, or keep it all in one spot and photograph it all at once. Use natural light and avoid using your camera’s flash.
- Include a variety of art mediums: watercolors, crayons, collage, art from school, sculpture, chalk on the sidewalk, etc.
- Choosing a simple, dark background paper will make the art really pop. I chose the “Studio” theme and used all black backgrounds.
- Limit photographs to 1-2 on each page.
- Include a caption or a few short sentences for special pieces of artwork. Direct quotes from the artist are always a hit! You may also want to include the medium used or the child’s age when the work of art was created.
- Don’t forget to include cute photos of your little artist at work.
- I used Walgreens’ 8.5×11 Custom Cover Photo Book.
When you print your photo book for the grandparents, don’t forget to print an extra copy for your child, too. It’s a great way to keep a record of your child’s artistic development, and little ones will take pride in seeing their hard work in book format. And if you want to really “wow” your child, consider making a special piece of artwork into a canvas print (same-day pickup available) and hang it on the wall.