November 20th, 2017

Make a Gift Day: Craft Your Own Personalized Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones

Photolab Gift ideas

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s fitting that December 3rd is Make a Gift Day. Let’s think of it as a subtle nudge to get started earlier this year. This unofficial holiday encourages people to hand craft gifts for loved ones. After all, that little bit of effort to personally customize a gift goes a long way to making it special.

Photos are a great way to personalize gifts.  You’ve likely captured hundreds if not thousands of them over the year, so why not put all those memories to good use? Do some digging through your virtual photo albums and see if you can find some gems to work with.

Even if you don’t consider yourself Pinterest-level crafty, our Photolab can help you tap into your creativity and produce personalized photo gifts.

Here are some of our favourite DIY gifts for the holidays:

Photo Mugs

Personalize a mug with a special photo or artwork. It’s an easy, inexpensive gift that shows you put some thought into it. Find step-by-step instructions for adding photos or text to a mug on our Photolab website or at our in-store Photolab kiosks. Photo mugs are available for same day pick-up. If you want to order in time for the holidays, make sure to get your order in by December 24th.

Photo Mugs

Hand Print Mugs

Have the kids create their own handprint artwork on pieces of paper, which can then be digitized using an at-home scanner. Or visit us in the Photolab, where you can use our self-serve scanner, or have one of our LDExperts scan it for you. Then you can upload those digital files to our Photolab site (or use our in-store kiosks) and customize special mugs with that artwork, to be given away as holiday gifts.

Personalized Stockings

If your family does stockings every year, a fun pre-Christmas gift to make would be personalized stockings for everyone. Brand new to our Photolab, we have a selection of different Christmas stocking designs to choose from. Customize one for each member of your family, by choosing a design, selecting a photo of your choice, and adding their name (you want Santa to know who he’s delivering to). Then we’ll do the printing for you.

Personalized Stockings

Photo Ornaments

Photo ornaments are a gift that will show the recipient just how much you care. It’s something that can signify a special moment or milestone in their life, and they can hang it on their Christmas tree year after year.

Our Photolab can help you create your own customized photo ornaments. You pick the design: metal, crystal, ceramic or pewter, in a variety of shapes. Then choose a design template that fits your giftee perfectly. We have everything from baby’s first Christmas to first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. Then, you can add the right photo, and get as creative as you like by editing the colour scheme, text and layout. Knowing you put the time and effort to customize every aspect of the gift will make it that much more meaningful for them.

 

We hope you’re feeling inspired to use your images to make fun and personal gifts that your friends and family are sure to cherish. We have lots more items you can customize. Just check out our Photolab site to see them all, from bobbleheads and crystals, to photobooks and blankets.

Need a hand getting started? LDExperts at many of our Photolabs are hosting workshops throughout December to help you personalize your holiday gifts. For workshop locations and times, click here.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Sunday, December 24th including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a Photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery.

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greetings Cards…………Sunday, December 17

Creative Products………………………………………………………Sunday, December 17

Crystals…………………………………………………………….……Sunday, December 17

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals………………………………….Wednesday, December 13

Yes Video……………………………………….……………………..Saturday, November 25

 

If you need some help creating your holiday gifts, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



November 15th, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas from Blogger Melissa Cartier: Coffeetable Books & Photographic Albums

Hi everyone, Melissa from Melissa Cartier here!

On my blog, I recently shared my process for developing all of my photos quickly and directly from my phone using the London Drugs Photolab App! After hearing how much I love their app, the lovely team from London Drugs asked if I’d like to talk about some of the creative products their Photolab has to offer. The first thought that popped into my mind was trying some of them out by tackling a few names on my Christmas list and I quickly agreed.

One person on my list that I have a really tough time buying for is my Dad. His Christmas list every year is black socks and golf balls. I wish I was kidding. While I don’t mind working from a Christmas list I can’t say I’m eager to buy him black socks every year. Besides, isn’t the best part of Christmas shopping finding thoughtful gifts that have meaning behind them? One of my favourite gifts to get for my dad is a framed photo. Two years ago it was a photo from my wedding and last Christmas it was a photo of him and my son.

After scrolling through all of the creative products I could make in the London Drugs Photolab App (how fun would it be to make a recipe book or a book of Instagram photos for a gift?), I settled on a Coffeetable Photo Book. I loved the traditional look of the Photographic Albums as well. It didn’t take me long to create a quality book full of our favourite memories from this past year all from photos on my phone. I really liked that I could choose a layout for each page and while I had the option of including text, for this book I wanted more of a picture book feel. I chose a 10×8 muslin cloth book with a window for this project, but on my next one I think I’ll get a custom photo cover because those look really impressive

If you have a photographer, or just someone in your life who is sentimental like I am, these photo books are both fantastic gift options.

My Coffeetable Photo Book was ready in 5 days and I’m so happy with how it turned out! The quality of the pages didn’t disappoint, and I know my Dad is going to love flipping through all of the memories our family has created this year.



October 25th, 2017

Get a Jumpstart on the Holidays with Personalized Greeting Cards

The Holidays may seem like a ways away still, but every year the same thing happens: you blink, November is almost over, and you’re suddenly scrambling to get all your holiday to-do’s done. Why not make this the year you get a jumpstart, and save yourself the stress in December?

If there’s one item you may want to get working on sooner rather than later, it’s holiday greeting cards – especially if you’re planning to send them off by mail to friends and family. Rather than picking out a generic set of cards to share, our Photolab can help you create unique holiday cards that are completely personalized.

Finding the Right Photo

Lots of people share a photo or two of their family when they send out their annual holiday cards. It’s a chance to show your loved ones how your family has grown over the past year. You can choose a favourite photo you have from this year, or plan a fun photo shoot with your family to snap a special ‘holiday card’ photo. Get creative and have a theme, like everyone wearing red, or have some fun holiday props on-hand, like pre-wrapped gifts. If you get an early snowfall this year, why not take advantage and run outside for a wintery group photo?

You can also turn your old Christmas photographs into digital copies that can be featured on your greeting cards. We can digitize those photos for you with our Photo Scanning Box service. Just pick up a box from your local London Drugs Photolab, fill it with all your print photos, and bring it back the Photolab where our technicians will digitize the photos at high resolution. Your print photos will then be returned to you, along with a USB flash drive storing all your special photos. Then you can simply upload them to our Photolab website or one of our in-store Photolab kiosks to get started with customizing your holiday greeting cards.

Pick a Card Style

Our Photolab’s user-friendly website and in-store kiosks give you every opportunity to customize, which means you have lots of options when it comes to the style of your cards. First, choose between either flat or folded cards. Flat cards have an extensive list of options, including single-sided, double-sided, and postcards. You can even pick a postcard template that is ready to stamp and drop in the mail. If you’d prefer a traditional folded card, we have both regular and premium folded cards in both 5×7 and 7×5.

We are the only local Photolab to use premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique. To make your holiday greeting cards truly stand out, our Photolab also offers 6 specialty papers in addition to our card stock: linen natural white, linen white, matte soft white, matte white, shimmer silver, and shimmer soft gold.

Once you’ve picked your greeting card style, you’ll then be able to choose a template. We have a wide variety of themes available, including Christmas card templates and Hanukkah card templates. Or if you’re feeling extra creative, feel free to go complete-DIY with a blank card.

Write a Personalized Message

To make your cards as personal as possible, add text to any of our greeting cards. You can choose your preferred font and colour, and customize where it will appear. Type a simple season’s greetings that you can easily send out to all of your family and friends, or customize each card with a unique and personal message. Our LDExperts recommend signing the cards by hand after it’s printed, for an extra special touch.

 

Ready to get a jumpstart on your holiday greeting cards? You can save 10% on your order of greeting cards, calendars and photo books if you order between October 27th and November 1st, 2017. Click here to get started!

If you need some help creating your holiday greeting cards, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



July 19th, 2017

Guide to Wedding Season Photos

Wedding season is upon us. If you’re looking at your calendar and realizing that your weekends are packed with bridal showers and weddings, you’re not the only one. Or, maybe it’s your own wedding that’s just around the corner. From unique gifts to customized cards, here are some creative ways to celebrate and preserve those wedding memories.

Wedding Cards

Especially if you’re gifting the couple something off their registry or giving cash, the wedding card is your chance to get personal. Rather than choosing a generic one from the card aisle, you can customize a blank or wedding templated card with photos and a heartfelt message to the soon-to-be bride and groom. Better yet, if you happen to have some photos of the couple from back when they first met, add those photos to the front of the card. They’re sure to appreciate the flashback!

Save The Dates

Save the Dates have become more elaborate in recent years, with couples staging fun and creative photoshoots to capture the excitement of their wedding announcement. If you have photos from an engagement or Save the Date photoshoot, you can turn those photos into personalized Save the Dates that can be printed on thick postcards using your choice of 6 specialty papers. Make sure to include important information on the card, including who’s invited, your wedding website URL (if you have one), and “Invitation to Follow” if you’ll be sending a wedding invitation at a later date.

For a clever twist on Save the Dates, put it on a magnet! They’re unique, versatile and most importantly they’re hard to lose once they’re on the fridge, so you can be sure your guests won’t forget the special date.

Unique Wedding Favours

Being able to celebrate your wedding with all of your friends and family members present is something truly special. All the more reason to share a token of this special day with them. A crystal or ornament can be customized with a photo and the wedding date for each guest to take home. They also make a great centrepiece on the tables during the wedding reception. Personalized playing cards are a handy wedding favour your guests will likely use again and again; take a wedding logo you’ve designed, or a photo of the two of you, to have printed on the cards.

Wedding Gifts

Rather than the traditional stand mixer or crystal ware, consider surprising the newlyweds with something unique and personalized. The best gifts say something about the happy life you wish the couple will lead.

A fine art print will set your wedding gift apart from all the others. Feature a photo of the happy couple or a photo of their favourite place to travel, on a Canvas Gallery Wrap. Not only is it sentimental, but will help to brighten up the walls of their home together.

Any couple is also sure to appreciate a gift they can use together. A set of customized Mr. and Mrs. aprons plus personalized placemats would be a sweet gesture if they share a love for cooking. Or help the couple start off their new lives together with some of your all-time favourite recipes, curated into a soft cover book.

Photo books are also a thoughtful way to show the couple you wish them the best. Collect photos of the two from their dating years through to their wedding day, and create a beautiful Coffeetable Photo Book for them to look back on years from now.

Thank You Cards

There is a lot to thank your guests for. It could be the incredible shiny new gift they gave you both, or the fact that they flew across the country to be there on your wedding day – whatever the reason, a good thank you card will help to convey your appreciation. Just like Save the Dates, Thank You cards can be printed on 6 different specialty papers. Double-sided or folded cards both make a good choice, and come with envelopes included.

Wedding Photo Book

Once the wedding is over, and the thank-you cards are sent, it’s finally time to sort through your wedding photos. Compile your favourites into your choice of photo book to display the memories of your special day. Especially if you invested in having a professional photographer at your wedding, it’s worth it to have those photos printed in a high quality format Photographic AlbumExpress books are also a great option; they’re quick and easy to make, and perfect for handing out to family and friends.

 

If you need some help getting started, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



March 24th, 2017

Photobook, photo album, what’s the difference?

If you’ve browsed the Photolab website, you may have noticed that both are described as ‘books’. However, some products are actually photo albums, while others are books comprised of (your) photography. True, in many ways they are similar; but there are also some key differences between them.

Let’s begin with their similarities: You can customize both using the Photolab website and in-store kiosks, and both are printed at the highest quality possible by Photolab technicians. As for their differences, the biggest is the type of paper used in each. All photo albums are printed on high quality photo paper (usually pearl finish, but glossy is available for certain albums.) True photobooks meanwhile, are printed on archival bond paper, which lends them a contemporary and realistic book feel. You can curl the pages of a photobook, while the photo paper in albums is more stiff. However, because of the way they’re bound you can flat-lay the photo albums; photobooks, not so much.

Of course, I could just make it easy for you and list which is which:

Albums

 

Photobooks

 

You’ll notice that albums offer a wider range of products. Express books and Instagram books are great options to keep in a purse or in an office drawer; something you can pull out for quick and easy viewing. Photographic albums, meanwhile, can have some real heft to them and are perfectly suited as a wedding album or for documenting years of family history (as photo albums have traditionally done). Photobooks, meanwhile, are lightweight and lend themselves well to creative expression. They’re a great choice for when photos are only part of the story you want to tell, or if you’d like to be able to design the cover. If you’d really like to know which type of book is the best choice for any given situation, the best thing to do is discuss your options with the Photolab technican at your neighbourhood London Drugs. And if you’d like to know just how easy and convenient they are to create and customize, well, there are Photoblog posts that cover that—just check out a few of these.



March 20th, 2017

Make springtime the photobook making season

Photobooks let you re-live that luau all year long.

Maybe it’s me, but it seems there are a lot of people going away on sunny tropical vacations this spring break. Well, for the rest of us who aren’t quite so lucky, we may not be taking a ton of exciting new photos this spring, but we can do something to preserve all the great photos we’ve already taken—in a format that’s much more fun (not to mention more real) to browse through. I refer, of course, to photobooks.

Trust me…make at least one or two now, in the spring, before you get busy again. If you’re already up to your elbows in spring cleaning, you may as well grab all those ancient pre-digital photo albums and prints you have slowly decaying in boxes and bins (and yes, that’s actually what they’re doing), and organize them into a scan box for the Photolab technicians to turn into high-quality digital scans. Then, get creative and make a photobook or two that will truly do justice to those priceless photos of days gone by. It’s the best way to ensure they never get buried in storage again. You’ll be able to display them prominently on your coffee table, and share them with the friends and family who had undoubtedly forgotten they exist.

Or, if you’re a winter lover who is too busy lamenting the inevitable end of a memorable winter to start your spring cleaning, why not turn your favourite memories from this past winter into a photobook? Keep it on the coffee table all year as a reminder how awesome this winter was. It will set a high bar for you and your family to beat next winter. It will be a fun and convenient way to look back on over Easter or a rainy spring (for our west coast readers).

You can create and personalize one in a few minutes using your local Photolab’s in-store kiosk (I’ve posted a number of how-to’s here on the Photoblog this past year.) If you have your digital photos organized and earmarked it takes even less time; it also depends on the amount of editing you want to do, and of course, the more experience you gain as a photobook-maker, the quicker and easier it gets. And if you happen to be one of those lucky ones taking a spring vacation, remember you can use the Photolab website to create a photobook from your poolside lounger.



February 8th, 2017

Photo blankets are a real thing

The London Drugs Photolab continues to expand its impressive line of photo gifts. This is very good news for people like me who are always struggling to find fresh and interesting gift ideas for occasions like Valentine’s Day.  You can only give the same person a photo mug or a fine art print so many times, after all. Regardless of the quality of the print or the perfection of the chosen photo, after a while the recipient is going to wonder why you never bother to think of something new. It’s ok. They don’t need to know that the Photolab is happy to do this kind of thinking for you.

For example, the Photolab now boasts a robust selection of textile print gift items including t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, pillowcases and blankets. Textile gifts are perfect for a range of occasions including bachelor(ette) parties and company picnics, but to me at least they seem especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Giving jewelry or a vacation is a little overkill and candy/roses/dinner is lame and cliché, but giving a personalized photo blanket ticks all the boxes: sentimental, thoughtful, affordable, original and uncommon. Most importantly, if you choose something like a beautiful vacation photo of the two of you, it’s also very romantic.

And, as always, creating a textile gift is as easy as ordering prints. Here is a short walkthrough of some of the steps for ordering a photo blanket at the Photolab in-store kiosk:

From the main screen, select Creative Orders and accept the terms.

 

Choose the source of your photos to upload, for example Wireless Transfer or Facebook.

 

Once you’ve gone through the steps to select your chosen picture for your blanket, you can choose the upload size. Blankets have a large surface area, so you should choose ‘Large’.

 

Once the upload is complete, you’ll see the Photolab homepage and from here you should select ‘Textiles’ followed by ‘Blankets’.

 

Choose either than landscape or portrait orientation…

 

Finally, whether you want it to be a full rectangular image or if you want to go Valentine’s Day to the Max and choose a heart print!

 

Nearly there! You can name your project and then get to work choosing and placing your image.
There’s a Toolbar along the bottom which you can use to edit your photo and add text.

 

Then, when you’re done, proceed to the Cart page and voila! Valentine’s Day all wrapped up in a personalized blanket.

 

Come to think of it, a personalized photo blanket makes arguably the best Photolab Valentine’s Day gift—because it’s the only personalized gift that two people can snuggle in.

 



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