DIY Photo Gifts: 5 Easy & Unique Handmade Photo Gift Ideas (+ Non DIY Alternatives)
DIY photo gifts are becoming increasingly popular in 2023.
Because people love photos, and who doesn't love a good arts & crafts project? Combine the two, and you've got a recipe for a fun photo gift idea that can be cherished for years to come.
Not so artistic?
Not to worry, we've got all your bases covered with some non-DIY alternatives. All you need to start are some of your favorite photos.
Have one in mind?
Great, let's get going!
DIY Photo Gift Ideas That Make Excellent Handmade Gifts
DIY projects are a great activity you can enjoy on your own or with your family members.
Once complete, you can provide a loved one with a thoughtful gift. Handmade gifts really have the ability to showcase your emotions due to the effort you put into them.
That being said, let's take a look at six DIY photo gift ideas you can do from home.
1. DIY Photo Coasters
Via One Good Thing
Having the ability to make handmade Polaroid photos is a pretty cool concept. It's one photo gift idea that's truly unique. When done right, it can be difficult to differentiate by sight. It will look like the real deal.
So, what do you need to get started?
Obviously, you'll need some photo prints to use for your photo gifts. Additionally, you'll need to acquire one 4x4 ceramic tile for each DIY photo gift. You'll also need some mod podge, a sponge paint brush, clear acrylic finish spray, and small adhesive felt circles.
Got everything? Great, here's what to do:
First, resize your photos to 3.75 x 3.75 and print them out. Once you've got your photo prints, you'll need to trim half an inch from the top, the bottom, or a combination of both from the photos to make them appear like Polaroids.
Next, paint a thin layer of mod podge over the top of your ceramic tile and place the photo on top. Once it's dry, apply one more layer and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Then, spray some clear acrylic finishing spray on top and let it dry for about 15 minutes. As in the last step, apply one more coat and let it dry.
Lastly, once everything is dry, apply one adhesive felt circle in each of the four corners. Then, stand back and admire your work.
2. DIY Photo Keychain
Next up on our list of DIY photo gift ideas is a handmade photo keychain. This gives you the ability to gift your family members a DIY photo that's portable so they can adore it wherever they may be.
Here's what you'll need:
- a small wooden square or circle
- a drill
- craft paint
- scrapbook paper
- an X-Acto knife
- a photo (small enough to fit the wooden element)
- mod podge & mod podge dimensional magic
- jump ring, chain, and split ring
To start, drill a small hole at the top of the wood and paint the sides whatever color you desire.
Next, cut a piece of scrapbook paper just larger than the shape of your wooden piece. Apply some mod podge to the front of the wood piece and the back of the scrapbook paper, set it in place, and wait for it to dry.
Now finish off the back with some dimensional magic to give it a shiny look. Then repeat the process on the front, except replace the scrapbook paper with your photo.
Once dry, poke the hole and add your jump ring, chain, and split ring, and voila! You've got a nifty homemade keychain using one of your favorite photos that'll make for a perfect gift.
3. Handmade Personalized Photo Map
For the travelers among us, you may like the idea of pinning the destinations you've been to on a wall map. But what if you could take it a step further?
Well, that's where this next DIY photo gift idea comes into play. We're going to show you how to make a photo wall map using your personal photos and some basic materials. By the end, you'll have a great handmade gift you can give to your favorite family member or friend.
For starters, here's what you'll need:
- Basic wall map
- Foam Board (You may need more than one depending on the size of the map)
- Ball pins
- Print your favorite photos to be used for this project (You may need different sizes depending on the shape of the state. Ex: 5x7, 4x6, etc.)
To add emotion and meaning to your project, you may consider adding a photo taken in the state where you're placing the photo.
To begin, you'll need to cut the photos to match the shape of the state. If you're the coordinated and artistic type, just go for it. Alternatively, you can copy the shape of the state on a piece of paper to use for tracing your photo. Don't worry; it doesn't need to be exact. If you can get it relatively close, that should be okay.
Next, you'll want to place globs of hot glue on the back of the photo and put the ball pins into the glue while it's still hot. Make sure to put the ball part inside the glue.
Then, cut the foam board to the exact size of the map. You may need to tape or glue multiple pieces of foam board together for this to work. Duct tape tends to work because of the strength of the tape.
Attach the map to the board using whatever type of glue you prefer or a spray adhesive.
Finally, place your pictures on the correct map piece by pushing the pins through the board. If you want it to look as though the photos are "jumping off the map," ensure you don't press the pins all the way through.
That's it! This concept will allow you to create a unique photo gift idea that consists of your favorite photos.
4. DIY Photo Wall Home Decor Project
If you're like the average American family, you may be looking to showcase your family photos in one of the common areas of your home.This home decor DIY photo project has two options.
- Make a traditional photo wall using picture frames
- Implement & create your photo wall ideas without a single photo frame
In 2023, more people are leaning more toward the clean aesthetic of photo walls without frames.
If that's you, pick one of the simple options from the aforementioned link, and you can have your photo wall complete as a thoughtful gift in a weekend.
This would be an excellent surprise gift while your spouse is at work or family is out of town.
5. DIY Photo Wine Glasses
Via Brit + Co
The last DIY photo crafts project we have for you is a phot wine glass. How does that work?
You'll simply transfer photos onto some wine glasses for enjoyment during relaxing nights at home.
Here's what you'll need:
- photos on printer paper
- mod podge
- paint brush
To get started, print out your favorite photo on standard printer paper.
Once you have your photos, you'll want to use the pencil and trace the base of the wine glass on your printed photo. Then you'll cut out the photo using this outline as a guide. Be sure you have your photo centered in the area you want visible on the wine glass. Think of it like cropping your photos online, only in real life.
Next, you'll paint some mod podge on the back of the photo and the base of the wine glass. Ensure you have the photo lined up in right place for the best visual.
Once it drys, you're all done! Now you have an awesome set of DIY photo gifts you can enjoy with your wine whenever it tickles your fancy.
Pretty sweet, right?
Non-DIY Alternative Photo Gift Ideas
Okay, that's it for all our creative and fun DIY photo gifts, but what if you're not the creative type? Or what if you simply don't have the time to spend on a DIY project but still want to find great photo gifts for weddings, Valentine's Day, birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, or just because?
No worries, not everyone can color between the lines or is a natural Picasso.
For those of us that are looking for a great gift without putting their (lack of) DIY skills to use, here are a few non-DIY photo gift ideas available for purchase.
1. Personalized 3D Photo Crystal
Are you looking for easy non-DIY photo gifts that will make a lasting impression? Look no further than these 3D photo crystals from 3dphotogifts.com.
Here's how it works:
Simply pick your favorite photo of your gift recipient, choose a shape, and upload your photo image to be engraved.
Next, we'll have one of our 3D Artists render and engrave your photo inside your photo crystal to perfection using cutting-edge technology.
Finally, our team will quality check and ship your order within 24 hours.
Pretty simple, right?
Not only that, but it makes for a great gift for any occasion. (Score!)
2. 3D Photo Keychain
Keychains are the best photo gifts.
Because they're portable and can be taken with you everywhere you go. A constant reminder of your love for your gift recipient to admire always.
Although you can opt to create your own using the DIY option above, this done-for-you option saves precious time.
It's as simple as uploading an image and, selecting a size, and waiting for your gift to arrive without the hassle of photo crafts.
You can pick between a heart-shaped gift or the standard rectangle-shaped keychain.
The best part?
They also light up for visual effect.
3. Personalized Photo Necklace
One of our favorite photo gifts is this custom necklace with a 3D photo etched inside.
Choose the best photo image to upload into this stunning crystal necklace that makes for a meaningful gift for your mom, wife, or girlfriend.
It's one of our favorite personalized gifts for her for under $100.
Personalized gifts are all the rage these days, but this is a great gift idea for any day of the year.
What's more, is that it's unique yet still adds the personal touch of customization, and it requires some thought in picking the best photo.
4. Custom Photo Wine Stopper
Our last item in this gift guide of the best photo gift ideas is a custom photo wine stopper.
This photo gift idea is both thoughtful and practical. Not only does it preserve your wine and slow the oxidation, but it also has a cute personal photo for you to enjoy while relaxing.
Again, you can opt to choose to apply the DIY wine glass option above or simply choose this personalized done-for-you option. Both have their benefits and make for great gifts.
So how can you get one?
Follow the same process outlined above:
- Choose Your Photo & Checkout
- We'll Render & Engrave it
- Wait for Delivery within 24 hours
Easy peasy, right?
It's one of our many great ideas for the best gifts involving photos.
Wrap-Up: DIY Photo Gift Ideas & Done For You Alternatives
So there you go! That's some of our favorite DIY photo gift ideas and done-for-you photo gifts.
Whether you enjoy arts & crafts or just want something special to deliver to your friends, family, or favorite loved one, these gifts are sure to deliver smiles and happiness.
Check out our online shop for photo gifts and inspiration. Or for more gift ideas and DIY photo projects, check out the 3D Photo Gifts Blog.