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Giving from the heart: Create meaningful, personalized gifts that are quick and easy to make

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Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 am, Fri Oct 3, 2014.

(BPT) - It’s that time of year to recognize the important people in your life. From Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to weddings and graduations, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate your loved ones. But this year, don’t fall into the trap of giving generic cards and gifts that are often discarded. It’s easier than ever to create a special present that comes from the heart, for any occasion.

Personalization is a leading gifting trend, meaning more people are skipping generic gift options and creating sentimental presents that instantly become cherished keepsakes. Gifts that convey meaning and embrace special memories are sure to make a lasting impression. Even for the most time-starved among us, the following quick and easy ideas are guaranteed to make your loved one smile:

One-of-a-kind card:

Make her blush or brighten his day with a customized card that features fun photos and a touching message. Creating a wonderful, one-of-a-kind creation takes just a few minutes when you take your camera or photo card to the nearest KODAK Picture Kiosk. In various formats and sizes for less than $2.00, photo cards are very affordable and have loads of sentimental value. Choose from tons of exclusive modern, creative layouts from designers like Bonnie Marcus to delight every parent, grad or bride-to-be in your life.

Personalized flowerpot:

Beautiful blooms and warm weather are the perfect pairing, and giving flowers is always a classic gift. But why not take it one step further and make a personalized flowerpot that can be used season after season? Perfect for Mom, Grandma or anyone with a green thumb, flowerpots can be decorated with a favorite photo and then painted for a one-of-a-kind homemade design. Finish by adorning with a colorful bow that matches the beautiful blooms held within the pot.

Photo collages:

A carefully crafted photo collage of special images can make a stunning gift that tugs at the heartstrings and only takes minutes to make. Thanks to advanced printing technology, you can skip the scissors and paste and create a professional-looking collage for less at your local photo printer. For mothers, add photos of special family moments from a recent vacation, or for grads, add photos from different grades as way to reflect on how quickly time flies. Place the collage in a frame and pair it with a card for a gift that will be cherished long after the party is over.

Creative handprints:

Every person’s hand and fingerprints are unique – use them to create crafty gifts that convey the special love your family shares for each other. Hand impressions in clay stepping stones make unique presents that can be placed in a garden or displayed on a shelf. Or, adorn a family picture with a matte featuring the kids’ handprints. Use paint or ink and carefully press hands to the matte so it doesn’t smudge. You might want to try a few times on a practice piece of paper first before adding handprints to the matte. Choose one color or let kids each pick their own favorite hue to represent their unique personalities.

Photo blocks:

Impress loved ones young and old by creating special photo blocks that display favorite images from the past year. Start by buying wood blocks at your local craft store. Usually four or five is a good amount. Then order prints – any time, anywhere by downloading the free My KODAK Moments App, which makes it easy to access images from your phone or social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. Once materials are collected, cut each photo to the block size and attach with spray adhesive. Add a special message on the corner of each block with a marker or stamp. Some people write out “mama,” “love” or another special word to add a personalized touch to this easy-to-make project.

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