Updated: Mar 3
All too commonly, we snap a photo, edit it, then it sits and sits and sits, taking up memory of our phones or hard drives. If the photo is lucky, then it might get some attention on your Instagram feed or another Social Networking platform. It might get some exposure when sent to your parents’ email account, shared in a Facebook album or may even end up alongside some of your blog content/site. And it’s short-lived digital life is just that — short-lived.
Have you ever thought about giving your images a second life?
Your images can become a physical item, which you can wear, use, display, gift and re-gift for as long as you please. Print on Demand services are so abundant that you no longer need to own your own print studio, storage facilities and have a distribution network, because POD services mentioned below are at your service!
So, what can your photographs become?
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With POD (Print on Demand) companies like TeeSpring, you can design a pair of yoga pants or capris with your own photographic designs. Considering how popular this style of wear has been, it seems like a no-brainer that you join the wave and put out your own stylish designs that suit a Yogi near you.
One of the most used and useful items you can start decorating with your own images and designs is your phone case. You can have a different case for each day of the week, different occasions, different holidays or moods. Best part – this always-in-your-hands-item will be a constant Promotion for your Art!
Going places? Pack your stylish Duffle Bag for the weekend and show it off while on a train/bus/airplane. Make it girly, fancy, adjust the theme to your vacation destination or color block it like Mondrian, it’s up to you and your artistic expression.
Another great conversation starter could be your one of a kind pair of socks. Wrap your feet in this wearable form of art, give them away as a great stocking stuffing, sell them at a local Arts Market, give them as a Thank You freebie, surprise someone by printing their face/favorite pet or favorite grandkid. This unique gift is sure to make everyone smile!
To my own surprise, masks have stuck around longer than anyone else had expected. Well, no one knows how much longer this COVID-19 chaos will continue, so might as well mask up and stay patient. Why not use it as a time to make a statement, make someone chuckle, or start a conversation with your personal photography design on a mask.
This dress design may not be my own choice for a clever and unique dress design, but someone may love KFC so much that they would pay any price to drape their body with it.
As you can see, you don’t need to be a clothing or fashion designer to become your very own Dress Maker! Just remember to flatter the body and your design will hopefully sell as much as KFC’s buckets of chicken.
If you’ve been following my work, you know that I’m a huge fan of these Microfiber Polyester scarves, which are huge! They run 55×55 inches (or 140×140 cm), which makes them very multifunctional. I’ve used them as table covers, picnic blankets, shawls, wall decorations, bag decorations, and head scarves. They are very soft, well made and are very affordable, considering you’re getting multiple uses out of a single scarf.
This is from my personal Cherry Blossoms collection, click the image to get more information and see more varieties.
Printed images don’t have to be typically square or rectangle, at Zazzle, you can print your loved ones in a shape that they are naturally in, giving your images that 3D effect!
Who would you print in 3D?
Decorate the interior of your home, office, work desk, camper or grandmother’s dining table with a customizable lamp. You’re sure to make someone’s memory reel lite up when you turn on a good-looking lamp like that. Pick your favorite photo, or create a collage to brighten up any interior space.
It seems like everyone and their grandmother have a fur baby these days and how can you not – they are cheap entertainment, loyal companions and great Instagram Superstars.
At Zazzle, you can create a number of attractive items for your loving pet – food bowls, beds, placemats, leashes, collars, bandanas and more! Your imagination doesn’t have to stop at t-shirts, postcards and prints, turn it up a notch!
Another photogenic home decor idea is to get your own photographs printed on clocks. Yes, those analog gadgets that no one thinks they need, yet always purchase when looking to fill an empty wall or shelf space.
Now, your clock can feel less store-bought and more meaningful and personalized!
Your photographs in photo albums
I personally love designing and printing photo albums for ALL of my travels. First of all, you can be as creative as you want in your design with themes, stickers, logos, etc. Or let the software do the work for you. I’ve used Picaboo for years and still have all of my books under my account in a digital version. In case I ever misplace the physical copy, I can always re-order a new one. I love looking back at my trips from over the years in a physical form, flipping through the pages, re-living the memories. I’ve also gifted these books to friends and family, who were just as excited to sit down and flip through them whenever they liked.
Even if you store your digital images in multiple locations, it never hurts to have yet another way to store and display those memories. I find Picaboo, as well as Shutterfly, or Snapfish are all doing exemplary work.
Tip – if you sign up for Picaboo’s newsletter, you’re sure to come across some can’t beat discounts and offers! (That’s how I usually get them at around $20-$25 a book).
Yet another cozy way to wrap yourself in some customized art pieces is to get your photographs printed on some blankets or pillows.
Seeing your deceased pet’s face on a pillow next to you, your friend from overseas or relatives who are no longer with us. You can still hug them and enjoy their presence with some thoughtful and heart-warming designs made by you!
What an appropriate time to pull out a 500 piece puzzle while at your family’s dining table and try to put it together with grandma, grandkids, uncle Harry, mom, dad and aunt Lisa. While we may not be able to travel or socialize much, we can still enjoy family time together. Game nights have become more special than ever before and board games and puzzles are one of the go-to gifts that suit any preference and budget.
If you haven’t printed your photographs commercially in a while, you might be in for a surprise. Even if you’re a regular print enthusiast, you might still find some new offerings which are out there.
Gone are the days of Matte vs Lustre print finish (well, they are still available, but there are so many more options), now you can print your images onto:
wood, metal, tile, acrylic, glass, magnets, canvas and even a shower curtain!
If you enjoyed this post, I hope you take a minute to buy me a coffee in exchange. Thanks!
If you enjoyed this post, I hope you take a minute to buy me a coffee in exchange. Thank you!
As you can see, your digital images no longer have to spend their life in digital terms, they are probably too pretty for that. Does someone you know have a birthday coming up? Order a custom pillow for them! Have an empty wall that’s looking for an upgrade? Order a custom tapestry or tile set to display your most memorable vacation moments. Summer is around the corner? Order a beach towel, a bag, a summer dress or a t-shirt and you’re sure to turn heads with your own custom design that no one else has.
Here is a helpful list of the various Print on Demand companies from this post and a few others:
Life is too short to wear what everyone is wearing, use what everyone else is using or display a generic clock from Target just like everyone else.
Live more creatively with your own custom merch!