Still have some people on your gift list? There are lots of gift ideas that can be made from your own photographs. Some of them can be ready to pick up at your local Walmart or Walgreens today, and some can be mailed overnight for an extra charge. Normally, it takes a week or so to receive the gift. You can even have it shipped directly to your recipient. It’s all done online with your digital photos, a credit card, and a shipping address.
What can you Order?
You can order anything from simple prints of your photos, to framed or ‘floated’ wall masterpieces. You can also order professional hard-bound books of your pictures – I love these books for special keepsake gifts. Then there’s the fun stuff. Photo gifts that are also useful, like mugs, tshirts, or mouse pads. Most of the providers listed offer all of these things, but they each have their specialties. You can check them out on their various websites before selecting one thru Picasa. Here’s a partial list of the websites, but make sure to come back to Picasa before actually ordering! Read on to see why.
Check out the offerings at these providers, then come back to Picasa to order:
CVS, Kodak Gallery, PhotoStamps, fotoflōt, Walmart FOTO.com, Lifepics, Snapfish, Walgreens, RITZPIX, Shutterfly, American Greetings PhotoWorks, Snaptotes
Picasa’s ‘Shop’ button makes it easy
If you use Picasa, all you have to do is select the photo, or photos you want to use and click the Shop button. Whatever pictures you select will be uploaded with all edits applied – what you see is what you’ll get.
After you click ‘Shop’, you will see the list of providers. More are added all the time, so be sure to look them over carefully. Once you choose a provider, you will be asked to create an account – it’s free – they just need some identification for your photos. Fill in your email and a desired password. When you click OK, the photos you had previously selected will be uploaded to the provider’s servers under your account. This takes a while because it is uploading the full-sized file. It needs the full size to create the best print possible.
Picasa hands you off to the print provider
Once your photos are uploaded, you will find yourself on the provider’s website. Each one will have very different procedures. If you are ordering a coffee mug, for example, it is a simple matter of selecting the mug, and selecting the picture you want on it. That should only take a few minutes.
If you are ordering a photo book with 50 photos, this will take you some time to learn how to use their software for designing the book, placing the pictures, adding text etc. It took me several hours before I was happy with the finished product. I also kept changing my mind about the pictures I wanted, so I had to go back to Picasa and re-upload each time I added more! But the finished product, with 80 pictures, is a keepsake that I am confident will be a cherished gift. It cost me about $50, plus another $12 for expedited shipping … I’m always a little late!
When you’re done with creating your products, you will need to provide a shipping address, or select a store where your gifts can be picked up. You will also need to provide a credit card. That’s it!
Happy Holidays everyone!
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