Photo Gift Guide with Pinhole Press - Skillful Cook
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Photo Gift Guide with Pinhole Press

Small photo prints tied with red string.

Today's post is me showing you all the sweet, thoughtful, and unique real life gifts that I made for the people I love this year, sponsored by the creatives at Pinhole Press!

A little secret for all the Santas out there - if you want to make me cry happy tears, just give me a photo gift. You guys, I can't even.

I love photography of all kinds - from the quick mobile upload of your lunch with friends on Facebook to your professional family photos to your snaps on Instagram - all of it speaks to me. And since we've got the whole blog BFF thing going on, I think I might know how you feel about photo gifts, too. Am I right or am I right?

Today I'm just going to showcase a few of the creative photo gifts that I made for my family and friends using the gift design ideas and resources on Pinhole Press. There's a little bit of something for every photo gift giver and receiver on their website - home, play, organization, office, wedding, baby, photo books and more - and the best part of all is that this whole site is drag-and-drop friendly. Drag, drop, and gift happily.

Just how I like.

Photo Magnet Set

Small photos with red string.

Last Christmas Bjork totally took my breath away with one of the most thoughtful gifts I think I've ever received - he made me a print of my Instagram photos from our year living in the Philippines. I unwrapped the big, weirdly shaped present and just started crying, 1) because I'm like that, and 2) because it's so, so thoughtful when your photos (even when they're just regular everyday snapshots) are seen, appreciated, valued, and then given back to you as a physical memento of those most precious moments.

It's like someone saying: I see your normal stuff, and I think your normal stuff is beautiful.

When I was looking through the Pinhole Press website and I saw that they make these cute sets of square magnets, my mind went to square Instas, and how loved I felt when someone else took my pictures and made them into a lasting gift for me. So right away I thought of a few of the people, like our best friends Angela and Landon, who had a hugely normal but not normal year, moving to a new house and welcoming their second son into the world a few months earlier than anticipated. I grabbed a few of their best images from the last year — their toddler playing in the snow, a sweet silhouette of arms-out airplanes flying through a tunnel at the park, and their first day together as a new family of four — and I just dragged and dropped them onto these magnets. Drag, drop, click, order, done.

Pinhole Press Magnets.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure how the resolution would be since I was just grabbing the pictures from Instagram, but the verdict is that they look completely awesome. When I opened it at looked at these normal little snapshots of their last year, I almost started crying. It's not even my life, people. I have issues.

There will be lots of Photo Magnet Sets in my future. Or more accurately, in yours, if you're a real life friend. This is my new favorite way to gift. Get ready.

Perpetual Desk Calendar

Calendar with small photo.

I made this desk calendar as a gift for my parents from “all the kids” — you know, one of those ones where it's from everyone but you just need someone who is willing to put everyone's stuff together? That person is me and that gift is this calendar.

I took our pictures from Emerald Isle trip earlier this year and dragged and dropped pictures into the little photo boxes in the template. Easy peasy like WHAT. The thing I love about this is that it won't take up half of your wall space - it just sits nice and tidy on your desk. Voila! And then when you get tired of looking at the same face all month long, you can just ... no. I'm kidding, guys.

Photo Planner

Small calendar with photos.

This is Charlie. Charlie is my nummy, chubby, 9-month-old nephew. He laughs at all my jokes and he tells me I'm his favorite aunt when no one is watching. My heart is so extra soft for him.

My sister, Charlie's mama, is organized like whoa. She brings the most beautiful cakes and cookies and homemade breads and all the other meticulously decorated thingsss to Christmas every year, and I'm like, Hi, here's my beige soup and store-bought rolls. All the color-coded calendars, closet organizers, and daily planners in the world were made for Kristin, I'm sure of it.

This planner, though, was REALLY made for Kristin, because I MADE IT. For Kristin. I knew she had been taking all these month-by-month pictures of Charlie in his first year, so I gathered them off her Facebook page (is this even legal? Santa made me) and put them in this planner that is a visual daily reminder of how cute her little chubster really is — and how fast the time really goes, even for an auntie. Heart pinch.

I'm afraid I'm going to hurt my face smiling so much when I look through this. I should have ordered one for myself. I love you Chahhh-leeee!

Framed Print

Frame with cabin photos.

That's my Vanna White shot. Like?

Once upon a time I went into my dad's office and saw that the family pictures on his walls were from ancient times. aka the 1980s. My sisters and I were probably were a little cuter back then with our pigtails and bangs and matching outfits and errything, but still.

This year I'm giving my dad this framed print for his office - it has pictures of some of our favorite moments from our two weeks at the cabin in Wisconsin this summer, which is one of his favorite places in all the big wide world if you can't tell by the huge smile on his face in this picture. Simple, classy, and shelf-ready.

Polaroid Notepad

Photo book.

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to go to the Storyline conference with a long-time blogging friend, Ali (you probably know her superfamous blog, Gimme Some Oven - yeah, THAT Ali). The thing about long-time blogging friends is that you can be friends ... without ever meeting. Our weekend together at the conference was such a fun opportunity to get to know Ali personally, face to face, and share blogging and life in a deeper sphere than the internet one.

Sometimes I get this compulsion to give people gifts when I feel especially connected to them. I'm sure no one thinks this is weird, ever. After meeting Ali and connecting with her in person, I obviously needed to gift her something. Obviously.

If you're a food blogger, you know that a notebook for recipe adjustments and tweaks is essential, so for Ali, I picked out this little Polaroid Notepad and put her very own Gimme Some Oven pictures right on every page. Is that cute or what?! If you have a food blogger in your life, this is a really fun way to say I Think What You're Doing Is Awesome.

Recipe Magnet

Recipe cards.

More magnets! And more yum.

For this one, I took my recipe for pumpkin pancakes, which has become standby recipe for the basement life, and I printed it onto these magnets with a photo and I shall sneak them into Christmas cards and stockings and onto refrigerators all season long whenever I have the chance. I love this idea - it's so simple, but it's such a great way to share a favorite recipe which always = love.

So let me guess. You were sipping on a peppermint mocha while simultaneously reading this post today and browsing the website? UGH. I like your self.

If you have any questions about Pinhole Press and how I used it for these gifts, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email — and if you want to order any of these for yourself I MEEEEAN your friends and family, you can use the discount code skillfulcook at checkout to get 30% off your holiday cards, but get going because this code will expire on December 5th.

Merry Chr- wait. Thanksgiving first. Happy weekend!

Many photo-happy-thanks to Pinhole Press for sponsoring this post.

Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Aw, everything is adorable! I really want the Instagram magnets! (Yes, for myself.) I wonder if I keep this page up on my laptop long enough if my boyfriend will take the hint that this is what I want for Christmas… probably not. I’ll just order them myself 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG, LOVE these! I’ve been looking for a way to print my Instagram photos without them getting all fuzzy. Did you use your IG photos in any of these besides the magnets?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good question – the rest of them (besides the magnets) are not instagram pictures. They’re my regular high res photos.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    These ideas are great. I would love to get some for myself and use your 30% discount at checkout… is this for real? You are the nicest person. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, Angelika

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love all these ideas!! And I never expected to get teary eyed over this post, but this totally did it: “It’s like someone saying: I see your normal stuff, and I think your normal stuff is beautiful.” I love that!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Okay seriously I WAS drinking a peppermint mocha while scrolling through and reading this post on my phone. It’s like you knew

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Weird, Lindsay!! My sister and I coined this phrase we use amongst our family “heart cramp” and it was so funny to see you use a similar term “heart pinch”…I wonder if we use it the same???

    I am one of those compulsory gifters as well, and I always think everyone else thinks it is the strangest/slightly awkward social behavior. ;P

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love, love, LOVE these ideas! Thanks…I know a few people that are going to get something special from this list!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love Love LOVE these ideas, I kinda want the calendar for myself lol but I love the magnets, my mother might love those

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a useful post, Lindsay … thank you! I was actually wondering how I could print some Instagram photos and I guess you’ve now answered that question for me. You just right click in your instagram account, right? I really wanted to do this but didn’t think it would work. 😉

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      If there is a way to save or download from instagram directly, I don’t know about it! I just took a screen shot of the images I wanted on my computer, saved them as jpegs, and then uploaded those for my project. They worked great!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m ordering several things today. What a fantastic gift! I’m like you Lindsay, I love personal gifts that mean something. Just reading about you crying when you opened your gift made me tear up. Ugh!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great idea! Just curious, is there a way to access friend’s instagram accounts? How can you get their personal pictures uploaded to the pinhole site?


    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      There’s not a great way I know of other than just taking a screen shot of the ones you like and saving them in a folder on your desktop, renaming, and uploading. I had to save them all as jpegs – I don’t think Pinhole supports png files which is what my screen shots default to.