The kids are back in school and once again you have time for yourself. Time to reflect on fun and silly summer memories, time to think about the fun and challenges of the new school year and time to get busy figuring out what to do with all those photos that you took during your summer adventures.
I’ll be honest, most of the time, my family vacation photos end up stuck in my iPhone or up on Instagram, never to see the light of day as a photo print, much less a photo album or a photo mouse pad. From time to time, I’ll make a photo calendar, and every year I make holiday photo cards, but there are so many more ways to display and share family vacation photos. It’s time to get busy.
Even better, lots of photo services, like Shutterfly and Tiny Prints, offer promo codes to help you save on photo gifts, like digital photo albums. Take a look at this list of 15 things to do with your family vacation photos. From business cards and postage stamps to holiday photo cards and digital photo albums, there are lots of great ways to put your photos to good use. Have fun!
1. Create Personalized Postage Stamps. Choose your favorite photos from the summer, upload them to Zazzle and create your own custom postage stamps. Pay just $22.75 for a set of 20 first class postage stamps. Or, create a set of 20 postcard stamps for $19.95. These are fun to use when mailing holiday cards.
2. Design Business Cards. My friend Sarah of Jet Set Sarah used MOO to create her square business cards. They are seriously adorable and each one has a different photo from her travels. These MOO cards are great whether you’re a blogger, a small business owner or a mom setting up playdates for her kids.
3. Make a Wall Calendar. On Calendars.com, you can upload a photo for each month of the year to create either a 12- or 18-month photo calendar. I’ve created these a couple of times to give to our au pairs. Custom photo calendars also make great gifts for grandparents (Note: National Grandparents Day is September 13).
4. Create a Canvas Print Gallery. Whether an 8” x 8” or a 30” x 40,” a canvas print is a fun way to display a gallery-style photo of your family adventures. As a bonus, Easy Canvas Prints often runs sales (right now, they have 25% off all canvas and free shipping) and they’ll likely get better as we head into the holidays.
5. Make a Photo Mug. I drink a cup of coffee every morning and love to see the smiling faces of my kids on my custom photo mugs. Plus, it’s a fun way to think back on individual memories with my kids as I’m starting my day. You can make your own photo mugs on Shutterfly. Prices start at $16.99.
6. Use Them for Holiday Photo Cards. I use Tiny Prints every year for our holiday photo cards so friends and family can see how the kids have grown. The selection of designs is huge and they often run promotions so be sure to sign up to receive coupon codes in your inbox.
7. Print Out Your Photos. I know, it seems crazy to actually print out your photos. Shutterfly frequently runs promos in which they give you 99 free photo prints, so keep your eyes open. Just pay $5.99 for shipping. You can also get 50 free 4×6 prints just by signing up with Shutterfly as a new customer.
8. Create a Custom Case for Your Phone. On CafePress, you can make hard smartphone cases for both iPhone (5 and 5s) and Samsung (Galaxy S4) model phones. Your phone is with you all the time, so why not add a few summer memories with your kids to the case.
9. Design Custom Luggage Tags. It’s a good idea to do something to distinguish your luggage from every other roll-aboard suitcase whether adding a brightly colored ribbon or a custom luggage tag with your kids’ faces. They’re easy to make on Shutterfly and they make great stocking stuffers.
10. Make a Holiday Ornament. While I like to buy holiday ornaments from the places we visit, I also like to make photo ornaments to preserve various memories from our travels, like our stop at Tunnel View at Yosemite National Park and our tubing adventure on the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon.
11. Design a Water Bottle. We must have at least a dozen water bottles in our house, but we can always use more. They get lost, get left at soccer practice. So, why not create a personalized photo water bottle for each of your kids. Just click on “Photo Gifts” and scroll down to “Water Bottles” on Canvas on Demand.
12. Customize an iPad Cover. In addition to your smartphone, you can give your iPad some love by creating a custom iPad case with your favorite vacation photos. Create an iPad cover with a collage of photos or simply pick one of your faves to display on your iPad case.
13. Create a Mouse Pad. I’ll be honest, my mousepad is ancient (it features the Running Man from my corporate AOL days), so I may be placing an order soon for a custom mousepad. I have a laptop, but I also like to use a mouse, so a mousepad is a must for me. And now, I can get one with my kids’ smiling faces!
14. Make a Gallery of Metal Prints. Some people like to frame photos, while others like to create galleries on their walls of canvas or metal prints. Create your own metal photo prints on Tiny Prints (sign up to get coupon codes in your inbox). Or, keep your eyes open for deals on metal prints on Groupon or LivingSocial.
15. Create a Photo Album. Yup, you can simply make a photo album, too. Either buy a photo album at a craft store to insert your photos into or create a digital photo album to have printed and mailed to your home. I like creating them online since it’s easy to add colorful backgrounds and make multiple copies.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.